Who ever said business was a man’s world? It still may be in some parts of the world, but in a country like Australia where the richest person is a female entrepreneur (Gina Reinhart), businesswomen are continually utilizing their savvy start-ups to fund more than just their ventures.
Here’s a look at 9 Australian women making a splash in business.
These women have fought against the odds. They’ve pushed inequality in the workforce and took charge to lead their businesses into overwhelming success. Not only do they make a difference in the business world, but the names on this list serve as an inspiration to any woman with a big idea whose willing to take a chance on herself.
Katie Page (Harvey Norman)
Katie Page has become one of the most powerful retailing teams in the world. She got her start with Harvey Norman in 1983 and has been CEO ever since. Katie was the first woman in history to become a member of a major sporting board in Australia, appointed to the NRL in 2005. She also owns a 50% share of Magic Millions, is the Director of Pertama Holdings Limited Singapore and is the perfect woman to kick start our list.
Her assets in business? Longevity and Adaptability.
Kym Clark (She’s Empowered)
Kym Clark is new to the world of entrepreneurship. In 2013 she was an accountant working on a remote Queensland mining island. It was here that she discovered a gap in the market; there was a lack of maternity clothing for women working in construction, trade and transportation. But filling a need in the marketplace didn’t stop with clothing. Gender inequality became a focal point of her passion. Kym founded She’s Empowered, a Hi-Vis work wear business that focuses on gender inequality in industries that are generally dominated by men. Kym’s products are now sold in nearly 120 stores across Australia.
Her assets in business? Innovation and a Passion for Equality.
Melanie Gleeson (Endota Spa)
Melanie Gleeson started Endota Spa with her friend in 2000. What makes this spa so unique? The partners combined beauty and massage. Melanie now has nearly 90 Endota Spas spread throughout Australia. She’s credits her success to really understanding her clients. In addition to serving thousands of clients, her spas employ over a thousand people.
Her assets in business? An inner drive to success and careful attention to friendships.
Beverley Honig (Greenville Developments & Honeylight Enterprises)
Beverley Honig is rated among the top 9 entrepreneurs in Australia. She’s the CEO of Honeylight Enterprises, a business consultation company. Also an attorney, the Director of the Australian-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of Greenville Upcycled Shipping Container Buildings, Beverley has an incredible list of credentials.
Her assets in business? Providing housing for the homeless and giving back to students through her published books.
Maxine Horne (Fone Zone/Vita Group)
Maxine Horne is Australia’s wealthiest female company executive. The value of Vita Group has reached $90 million, and continues to thrive after she was inducted into the Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame in 2016. It all began with one store called Fone Zone in 1995, where she formed the Vita Group – diving into telecommunications industry. Last year, Maxine sold 28% of her company, netting a handy $42 million dollars. Maxine says her prime focus is on improving customer service, training, staff incentives and career development.
Her business assets? She focuses on people and culture.
Lesley Gillespie (Baker’s Delight)
Lesley Gillespie created Baker’s Delight with her husband. Her share is now worth $75 million. She credits Australia as being the ideal place for female entrepreneurs. Over its 36 years in existence, Baker’s Delight has become synonymous with fresh bread and quality pastries. The company has expanded into New Zealand and Canada, now boasting over 700 shops. It is Australia’s most successful bakery franchise.
Her business assets? Sticking to goals.
Amantha Imber (Inventium)
Amantha Imber a psychologist and the Founder of Inventium. If you’re scratching your head wondering what an innovation consultant does, you likely have a few others who would join you, but Amantha’s company has helped the likes of Google, McDonalds, Red Bull and Coca-Cola improve innovation within their industries. Now that’s an impressive list!
Her business assets? Creativity.
Hetty Johnston (Bravehearts)
Hetty Johnston is Australia’s leading child protection advocate who created Bravehearts in 1997. Her goal: to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020. Not only does this demonstrate great ambition, but it proves how selfless Hetty is.
Her business assets? Focused on giving instead of taking.
Lisa Messenger (The Messenger Group)
Lisa is the CEO of Messenger Group and the Editor of Collective Hub; a print publication distributed to more than 37 countries across the globe. She’s helped publish 16 books and knows a thing or to about the start-up world. HER Magazine featured Messenger in an article recently.
Her business assets? Focused on impact and disrupting her industry.
This list is a small sampling of the incredible female entrepreneurs in Australia. A list for the U.S. is coming soon…
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