Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Awards Event | Winners

We are lucky to live in a country that fosters and supports female talent in business and the community. On Thursday, 6 March 2014, I was invited to attend the second annual NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, where the winners of the best and most inspiring female talent were announced.

The luncheon, which was held at Dolton House in Pyrmont Park last week, was well attended and you were provided with an excellent two course meal and a goodies bag including the book, ‘Getting real about having it all’ by Megan Dalla-Camina. I haven’t read it yet but the title reminds me of ABC’s Q&A live studio recording interview with an inspirational female leader, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde whose advice to a young teenage girl at university resonated with me. Madame Lagarde’s advice to the teenage girl was that from her personal experience, “You don't necessarily succeed on all fronts at the same time. So you should try to be yourself, do your best, and have as much confidence as you can in what you do, and not hesitate to call for help from other women, from other men, from family members, from husband, companion, however, because it's a joint operation. It's not flying solo.”

All winners were impressive, but I was interested in the idea behind the winning emerging entrepreneur. I was particularly interested in young Bridget Loudon’s idea of a freelance platform called ExPERT 360. Freelance platforms seem to be a growing trend, perhaps because of a high number of retrenchments of skilled white-collar workforce during and post GFC and also a large number of executives reaching retirement age who do not want to engage in full time employment but still can perform project based freelance work.

Bridget Loudon was working at global management consulting firm when she realised how many businesses of all sizes needed to engage expertise to complete certain projects. Bridget found that finding flexible talent to provide that expertise in house was difficult and expensive. She also noticed there was a growing pool of quality executives who were working freelance in search of flexibility, mobility and diversity of work. So she conceived a platform to connect the two parties safely, efficiently and enjoyably. That platform went live in July 2013 and is now her business called Expert360. Bridget attributes her success to her 'champion' mentors, who were male. These people not only mentored her, but did something a bit extra:  promoted her ideas and her talent to others behind closed doors.

Congratulations to the 2014 NAB Women’s Agenda winners! You are an inspiration for the next generation of future leaders.

Hall of Fame Entrant | Ann Sherry, AO
Awarded to an inspiring woman who has made a significant and long-term business contribution

Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award | Bridget Loudon ExPERT360
Awarded to a woman who has established a new business or significantly progressed an existing business in the last 12 months

Emerging Leader in the Not-for-Profit Sector | Rachelle Towart
Awarded to an emerging leader in the not-for- profit sector who has demonstrated a positive and measurable impact in her field of expertise

Emerging Leader In the Private Sector | Fay Calderone, Director, MatthewsFolbigg Lawyers
Awarded to an emerging leader in the private sector who has demonstrated a positive and measurableimpact in her field of expertise

Regional/Rural Entrepreneur or Manager of the Year Award | Zoe Waters, Director, Volunteer Services, Barwon Health

The Agenda Setter Award | Alison Monroe, General Manager, Sageco
Awarded to the most inspirational and successful woman who makes a difference, provides real solutions in the world today and is instrumental in building a smarter planet

Emerging Leaderin the Public Sector Award | Michelle Bennetts, Executive General Manager, Aviation and Fire Fighting, Airservices Australia
Awarded to an emerging leader in the public sector who has demonstrated a positive and measurable impact in her field of expertise

Best Employer initiative for Women Award | Caltex
Awarded to the organisation that can best demonstrate how a new or reinvigorated gender diversity initiative is supporting the recruitment, retention and advancement of women.

Male or Female Change Champion of the year Award | Carol Schwartz AM, Founding Chair, Women's Leadership Institute Australia
This Award recognises the significant contribution of a man or woman whose determination, commitment and dedication has changed the landscape for women within their organisation or more broadly across Australian society

Highly Commended Award | Andrew Brewer, Manager Kurnell Refinery, Caltex Kurnell Refinery

Mentor of the Year Award | Lynn Kraus, Sydney Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young
Awarded to a woman who isusing her achievements, experience and high profile to mentor or sponsor other women, and help more women to excel in their careers


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