Why did you start your business or take the role that you're in now? 

I love that the role I took was left-field and basically NOT what I was doing in my PhD. However it was a chance to prove myself to the world (especially those who turned me down for a job) and show that you can use the skills learnt during PhD in other areas / industries. As Chief Economist for the PRD Real Estate Group I am not a real-estate sales person or property manager, however I have been successful in applying my PhD research skills and economics/business acumen to make PRD Real Estate Research well-known in the industry and media; and can boast finalist award nominations. I also wanted to prove that someone who is of my personality - extremely outgoing, has been a model, extroverted, young (I am 35), and somewhat left-field in way of thinking - CAN be successful in a "traditional" and executive management business role.


Connect with Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo on LinkedIn. 

What inspires you and gets you out of bed in the mornings? 

A few things inspires me and gets me out of bed


1. My 3yr old daughter. I want to show her a strong message that its okay to follow your dreams and that mumma can be her absolute best, even if mumma is a single mom and is working/living in a foreign country.


2. Other young, multicultural, muslim women - they inspire me to always excel at what I do. Whether it's my job, charity work, networking events, family life / decision making, and how I look at life in general - they remind me that I represent them and that I must always do my best.

3. My father inspires me and my mother gets me out of bed in the mornings. My father has always been "the man" in my greater family - his motto has always been "for family and country".

My mother gets me out of bed in the mornings because, well, awful as this sounds, I want to prove her wrong. My mother is my motivator, she pushes me time and time again to show the world that despite all odds, and despite how non-mainstream I am, that I CAN do it.

An interview with Dr Diaswati - ARNA women leaders

What's been the best lesson you've learned in business or your career and why? 

There are MANY lessons that I have learned in the past 6 years of business - a few highlights:

1. Collaboration is win-win. The more you collaborate the more you win. This can apply in multiple situations - with your business network, your executive team, your department members.

2. Stay who you are. Along the way there will be times where you will have to defend your point of view or how you are wanting to run things. Yes take on the advice, and apply if applicable, however stay to being true to who you are and what is it that you want to achieve. There is a reason why you have been entrusted to run a department or a team, trust in your abilities.

3. Stay humble. Rice (the plant) becomes more inward/downwards when it's ripe, because it is full with nutrients. In comparison, rice (plant) that is still green (with no nutrients) stand taller. Yes you can be proud of what you have achieved and don't deny yourself of celebrating this, but let your work and achievements speak for itself - no need to trumpet it and become "uppity" or a "know it all" - trust that there are more successful people out there are "more" than you.

What does the future look like for you? 

I would like to say that the future will be filled with my conquering the many challenges that I know are coming my way - whether it's work related (especially how to take things to the next level), family (impending divorce), social and cultural perception and commitments, and whatever else the universe decides to throw at me; WITHOUT losing who I am as a person. Some would say that I am a romantic-realist, and I truly am. I dream big, I see the sunshine / light at the end of the tunnel, I practice gratitude, etc - but I also know that there will be periods of despair, annoyances, late nights to get the deadline, and juggling multiple commitments.

An interview with Dr Diaswati from PRDnationwide ARNA women leaders

What is your boldest move to date? 

I can think of two bold moves to date. I convinced our Managing Director to sign on to an Australia Research Council Linkage, a 3 year research project that PRD Real Estate has never done. The result? a finalist nomination for Innovation of the Year at the Real Estate Business Awards 2018, which has propelled the PRD  Real Estate Research department forward, as it was the first time in history in which a research product has made it to finalist in that category.


Another bold move I made was to re-vamp how “junior staff” was traditionally perceived within the company.

This meant:

a) creating a Senior Research Analyst position, essentially my "number two" ,

b) delegating some decision making to research analysts (why would they be in my team if I can’t professionally trust them),

c) trusting junior staff to represent myself (and thus the company) at business events,

d) up-skilling junior staff through conferences and university courses, and e) treating them like my family – we have FUN monopoly nights at my house over chicken wings! I nearly cried when staff members nominated me for Young Leader of the Year at REB Women in Real Estate Awards 2019, and it was their testimonials that earned me a finalist title.

What's one piece of advice you'd give other women in business or in their careers? 

Be true to YOU and trust in YOU. Collaborate, listen, and work with others to grow; however at the end of the day ALWAYS trust in YOU. Because at the end of the day only YOU can control your own life journey - its path, its pace, its meaning.


An interview with Dr Diaswati from PRDnationwide ARNA women leaders

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