When Scottish pop icon Annie Lennox penned the famous feminist anthem, “Sisters are doing it for themselves” in 1985, she surely didn’t expect those lyrics to still ring true more than 30 years later. But here we are, in 2019, and Annie’s words are as relevant as ever. Female-led start-ups are enjoying enormous success here in Australia and around the world as more and more women choose to ditch the traditional corporate ladder for their own professional pursuits. It’s a trend that presents enormous opportunity. In fact, increasing support for female entrepreneurs could boost the global economy by trillions of dollars, according to new research by Boston Consulting Group. However, in 2018, companies with all-female founders attracted less than three per cent of Australia’s venture funding. This is an area in which the gender pay gap is most glaring. But the future is bright. Because we are in this together. Support networks are considered the key to overcoming some of the biggest barriers facing women in business. Connectivity is key. Access is everything.
In my travels as a journalist, I’m frequently blown away by the impressive women whose paths I cross and I’m grateful for the lessons and knowledge I take away from them. But I figured it was unacceptably selfish of me to keep those golden connections to myself. So I’ve pulled together a conga line of brilliant female minds for a nine-part series, which launches this week. From fashion to tech and everything in between, we pick the brains and ride the highs and lows of some of this country’s most impressive female game changers. P.E. Nation founder, Pip Edwards, kicks it off with insights into the “Kardashian effect”. Across the next few weeks, you will also hear from Plann App CEO, Christy Laurence, as she shares some jaw-dropping experiences as a woman in the male-heavy world of tech. Meggie Palmer from PepTalkHer teaches us how to get a raise. While Kate Morris of Adore Beauty explains how she transformed her start up from a tiny operation in a Melbourne garage to a multi-million dollar online retailer. Every woman I spoke to was extremely generous with their story and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. I hope you get as much out of these conversations as I did. The future is female. So get on board.
Future Women X AIA: Next Generation Innovators with Sylvia Jeffreys
Next Generation Innovators with Sylvia Jeffreys is an engaging and enlightening interview series for women who dream of carving their own paths. Sylvia climbs inside the brilliant minds of female game changers who have smashed ceilings in the fields of fashion, tech, beauty, health and artificial intelligence. Our mission is to share with you the keys to a successful start-up and the secrets to finding professional and personal fulfillment.
Season 1 of Next Generation Innovators is presented by Future Women and AIA Australia. Episodes will be released weekly.