Women Leading Startups and what motivates them


Women Leading Startups and what motivates them

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8th March, 2018

As the saying goes, if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. As we look to highlight women working in the innovation landscape on this International Women’s Day in the hopes of inspiring others, with the help of Head Over Heelswe asked the women leading some of Australia’s fastest-growing tech companies what motivates and inspires them.

Tessa Court founded Intelligence Bank

What inspired you to start your business?

IntelligenceBank is a content management platform to help teams manage business processes and workflows around digital information.  We have digital asset management, board portal and risk and compliance applications that are used by over 175,000 users worldwide.

Our flagship product is our Digital Asset Management tool, which helps sales and marketing teams manage creative operations including workflow and marketing project management.  I have a background in sales and marketing and I essentially built the product I wanted to have managing a global team of sales and marketing professionals.

What motivates you as a leader?

There are two things that motivate me as a leader.  The first is that I have a passion to create things – products, new systems and of course, scalable growing businesses.  On the human side, I get a lot of satisfaction helping people to progress their careers and ensuring our staff get the most out of their time with IntelligenceBank.

I love that our second employee ever hired as a sales and support manager is now running global product development.  With a rapidly growing global business, there are excellent opportunities for staff who can and want to step up.

How can we create thriving businesses that promote gender equality in our workplaces?

Gender equality starts with tone at the top.  If CEOs create a fair playing field for all people, the business will absolutely thrive – and so will women.  When I hear CEOs complain they can’t find female developers, I have a quiet laugh as more than 50 percent of our R&D staff are women.  I get asked how I found them, and I always reply that they found us.

Jess May founded Enabled Employment 

What inspired you to start your business?

I started Enabled Employment because of my own experience in trying to find work as a person with a disability. I could see the need for a diversity led recruitment company that specialised in using positive discrimination to ensure job opportunities are available for people that are often overlooked as qualified and skilled workers because of their background. The thing about discrimination is that it all comes from the one place – preconceived ideas or stereotypes about a person and their ability to do the job. It doesn’t matter if you’re a former Australian Defence Force personnel member or a migrant, a person with a disability, or a woman, discrimination happens because of these preconceived ideas. As a recruitment company that is diversity led, we actively use positive discrimination for our candidates, and we specialise in accessibility brokering, which enables people to do the job and achieve amazing results.

What motivates you as a leader?

I’m motivated by social change – I really do believe that we need to bring our attitudes into the 21st century along with our technology. If we’re going to move our economy forward, we have to acknowledge that we’re a very diverse society in Australia, and practising real inclusion with flexible working.

We need to acknowledge there are new ways of working and use technology to enable people to give their best to a job and work from an environment that is both safe and productive. We also need to examine our motivation, be honest about our preconceptions, and move our businesses forward with passion, and with real inclusion.

I’m motivated by the challenge of using technology to achieve social change, and better diversity in our workforce and enabling people, businesses and governments to realise their full potential.

How can we create thriving businesses that promote gender equality in our workplaces?

Businesses can improve their profit margins by 35 per cent just by having a diverse workforce and practising real inclusion.  What we know from university research and studies on diversity and inclusion, is that where teams and businesses have more diverse management and staff, there is better decision making, better problem solving, higher innovation rates, and – most importantly higher profit margins.

It’s an economic imperative that we recognise what the research says, and realise we’ll get better results with a more diverse workforce at all levels, and use flexible working and technology led solutions to enable our workforce to perform. Management need to lead in this respect, and commit to the inclusion policies and ensure that the entire workforce buys in to the concept, whether you’re in a not-for-profit, a private business, or a public sector organisation.

Read the full article here



Heads Over Heels

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