International Women’s Day Series: Dr Andrea La Nauze

Our International Women’s Day Series celebrates UQ business, economics and law professionals excelling in their careers.

Committed to increasing female representation in economics

Profile photo of Dr Andrea La Nauze standing in UQ's Great CourtDr Andrea La Nauze is an environmental economist in UQ’s School of Economics who focuses on household behaviour and is committed to increasing the representation of women in the industry.

Read on to discover what inspires Andrea and her advice for other female-identifying professionals.

What are 3 words that best describe you?

Candid, inquisitive, logical.

What do you love most about your job?

Learning new things from people’s behaviour can change the way we tackle environmental problems.

How do you define success?

I think we are successful if we make something better and not worse – for me that means generating new knowledge that changes the way we think and has real-world impact while supporting others to do the same.

Why do you think education is so important in advancing a woman’s career?

Education is important, but women are now more educated than men and gender gaps remain. For me, the process of education showed me that I am capable, and my degrees are a visible signal of that capability.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

We have amazing female leaders everywhere, but their leadership is not necessarily recognised, and they don’t have the kind of power they should have. In academia, and perhaps elsewhere, I think the most significant barrier to that kind of formal recognised leadership is the mid-career period: when personal and caring demands are greatest and cannot easily be delayed but delay in your research is seen as failure, you no longer get a break for being junior and are expected to be proving your worth.

Who inspires you?

So many people – people who are kind and brilliant, people who are self-aware and people who are curious. My family, my friends, women who are older than me, and increasingly, women who are younger than me!

Who or what has been your greatest source of support?

My partner, my family, and a few close friends – challenging me, enabling me to take risks and seek out opportunities, being proud of ‘successes’ but not taking anything too seriously.

What’s been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career?

I was on Freakonomics radio talking about research alongside one of the world’s leading environmental economists. As a graduate student, the researchers who were featured on that podcast seemed in an entirely different world.

What are your tips for other women hoping to excel in their career?

I’ve learned a lot from listening to advice and imitating others – there are often good reasons some paths are well-trodden and there may be sound logic behind advice – but sometimes there are not good reasons, and the logic does not hold in your case. I have also learned a lot by trying things out, and I think it is easier to do that if you are not so worried about other people’s expectations and you are not terrified of making mistakes.

View more inspiring stories from female-identifying UQ staff working in the faculty of business, economics and law.

View more inspiring stories from female-identifying UQ staff working in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.

Last updated:
28 February 2023