Some of last year’s WA Business News 40under40 winners share their thoughts on being young women in business.
Q&A Communications group director
“The unfamiliarity of having women in management positions creates a working culture or environment that acts as a subtle, and sometimes outright barrier, to women’s success.
“I think diversity is important in any organisation and I do believe that many of the corporate governance issues that we are seeing today are a direct result of boards and management teams looking and thinking the same. Diversity brings new perspectives and difference that can only enhance an organisation’s success.
“We are the first generation really taught that we can have it all. We are directed towards university, then told to establish a career and our independence. At some point, we are then meant to get off the freeway without an ‘exit here’ sign or a clear path of how to do it.
“Despite its hurdles, in many ways the professional path is clear cut and well defined; the family path comes with so many ‘what ifs’.”
Mission Australia community services manager
“In the human services industry there are a lot of women. We actually try to encourage more men into the area.
“I find age-related obstacles are a bigger issue because people often assume that I don’t have enough life experience to be doing what I am. But you can never judge a book by its cover.”
Exchange Plaza general manager
“There are not so many obstacles to women in property management.
“Property management is concerned with public relations and organisational skills, and this is why women excel in this area.
“I don’t believe any exceptions should be made for women.
“Women should be as educated as everyone else in their industry to get ahead in business.”
Bethany Cosmetics founder
“Being young and female is a disadvantage in business.
“When I started my business people weren’t putting effort into taking me seriously … people weren’t returning my calls because I was woman.
“The prospect of having children is a disadvantage for young women because inevitably most of the responsibility falls on the woman.
“My advice would be to design your business around your family so that you can be away from it if you want to be.
“Owning your own business is an advantage because you can do this.”