Women in Business: Kath Mahoney, Head of ER & Compliance

Craveable People: April 28, 2023

Craveable Brands celebrate the women in their business. Photo by Bianca De Marchi/The Photo Pitch

Kath Mahoney is a passionate, hardworking and loyal business leader. She’s also cheeky and incredibly fun.

Starting her career in a coffee shop at just 14, Kath quickly fell in love with hospitality. Since her twenties, Kath has been in leadership roles. After living and working overseas for several years, Kath returned to Australia and started working in franchising.

Nine years ago, Kath started with Craveable Brands. Her first role was in franchise development for Red Rooster. She then worked her way up to her current role, Head of Employee Relations and Compliance. “It’s been a journey that has seen a lot of growth and development in who I am,” says Kath.

Kath is now responsible for two different teams. The first is employee relations, which takes care of matters spanning our 600 restaurants and 13,000 staff. The second is the compliance team, who are responsible for conducting audits in all our restaurants across the country. “I love building relationships and using them to support and help people be successful in business,” says Kath.

Two particular managers have made a significant impact on Kath’s leadership. “Their belief in me to succeed was astonishing,” she says. “Having a leader that believed in me and what I could bring to any new role was a gift.”

Her family and partner are also huge supporters. “They continue to keep me focused on being grateful and kind. They ground me which gives me the chance to focus on what I need to.”

One of Kath’s biggest challenges in her career has been facing unexpected change. “What I have learnt through these times in my career is to never give up,” she says. Determination helped her get through these difficult times. “Keep focused on the end goal. You might need to pivot and find a different way through but you will always get there.”

Kath’s top three qualities of a good leader are empathy, pervasiveness and resilience. “To me, leadership means encouraging and enabling your team to do their best work,” she says. “Self-awareness and the ability to understand what your actions add or take away are also essential. What’s more, Kath believes if you love what you do it is much easier to lead a team of people to be successful.

Outside of work, Kath is usually hanging out with her partner and son. She also makes use of her green thumb by pottering about in her garden whenever possible. “I will often take calls or a meeting whilst walking around in the garden with the grass between my toes,” she says. “I make it a priority to go to yoga each week and recognise when I need a break and take it.”

Kath believes that there is always room for improvement when it comes to diversity. “Supporting the female leaders starts with encouragement and making sure they have room to be heard,” she says. “For anyone looking to move into leadership, I’d encourage them to be brave. Always take time to listen and remember everyone makes mistakes but the key is to learn from them.”