Small business owners are the backbone of the Sydney and Australian wide economy. While there are not many published statistics online on the gender split between owners in Australia, several have been made about the US gender split on small business owners. A report from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research showed that about 29 percent of small businesses in the US are owned by women, while the Economic Policy Institute reports that women-owned companies only make about 25 cents for every dollar – or about 83 percent – earned by a business owned by a man.

This shows that, in the labour market, there is still a significant gap between genders, of which the negative repercussions fall upon women. But what can we do to help women be more successful in the field of business and achieve an equal standing between both genders?

At Business Coaches Sydney, we think that it all starts with having the right support and training. In fact, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that women are more likely to report higher business activity and household income when they receive business training and support, and have a peer-to-peer relationship they can lean on.

While the glass ceiling is yet to be entirely broken through regarding equal pay among genders, there are some incredible Australian women cementing their status among the country’s potpourri of elite minds and innovators.


1. Malie Carnegie


Title: Former Managing Director, Google Australia

Achievements: Since taking over at Google in 2013, Carnegie has suggested tax breaks for research and development should be given to start-up tech companies, rather than giants such as Google.

Passion project: She advocates flexible working arrangements to encourage women to enter the tech industry. “Female participation is a critical issue for the industry.”

2. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin



Title: Group Executive, Commonwealth Bank

Achievements: She made the company $1.26 billion, which is 14.5 percent of CBA’s total net profit.

Watch this space: Many believe she will become the next female CEO of one of the big four banks.

3. Carolyn Creswell



Title: Founder and Managing Director, Carman’s Fine Foods

Achievements: Twenty-two years ago, Creswell bought a health food company for $2000 and made muesli bars for Melbourne cafes. Today she turns over $50million a year and exports products to 32 countries.

Did you know? Creswell’s head office has a “no eating at your desk” rule. The 22 staff sit down to lunch at a table together every day.

4. Katie Page



Title: CEO, Harvey Norman

Achievements: Page started working at Harvey Norman in 1983 as an assistant to now-husband Gerry Harvey. Today the company has over 20,000 staff in eight countries and an annual turnover of $6 billion.

Did you know? She loves sports. She was the first female director of the National Rugby League and is on the board at Sydney Cricket Ground.

5. Gina Rinehart



Title: Chair, Hancock Prospecting

Achievements: After inheriting the debt-ridden mining company from her father in 1992, Rinehart has turned the company around. The iron ore tenements in WA she took control of 22 years ago are about to become part of a $10 billion operation. She’s personally worth $16billion.

Her advice: “Success comes out of working long hours, dedication and with some significant sacrifices.”

6. Catherine Livingstone



Title: Chair, Telstra

Achievements: Livingstone has turned Telstra’s fortunes around since joining in 2009, doubling its share price in the last four years.

Passion project: As the first female president of the Business Council of Australia she’s encouraging STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills at primary level. “People who don’t have STEM skills will be at a serious disadvantage in the global economy.”

7. Therese Rein



Title: CEO, Ingeus

Achievements: Rein founded employment service provider, Ingeus in 1989. Today they employ 2000 people in 10 countries. In 2014 she sold the company to a US employment firm for $222million, but will stay on as managing director until 2019.

Her advice: “It’s really good to have people who are not in the midst of the idea, who can stand back and ask the ‘have-you-thought-about-this?’ question.”

8. Julie Bishop



Title: Australian Foreign Minister

Achievements: Bishop is encouraging Australian businesses to partner with our aid programme to boost social and financial returns.

Watch this space: Although she maintains she doesn’t want to be Prime Minister, she has the skills and stamina for the top job.

9. Amanda Barnard



Title: Leader, Virtual Nanoscience Laboratory at CSIRO

Achievements: Barnard is the first female winner of one of the world’s top science prizes, the Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology, for discovering diamond nanoparticles have electrostatic properties. This has led to the development of chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer and may also result in self-cleaning surfaces and printable inks that conduct electricity.

Watch this space: “Science is reinventing itself all the time — it never becomes complacent. One finding always leads to another question.”

10. Jenny Munro



Title: Leader, Aboriginal Tent Embassy

Achievements: Munro struck a $70 million deal with the government to allow 62 affordable homes for Indigenous families to be built on aboriginally owned land in Sydney.

Her advice: “I’m old school. My teachers taught me the principles of our resistance – we never ceded our land to anyone.”

Gender has no bearing when it comes to success – indeed, these women thought it wasn’t. Whether as a man or as a woman, a business owner is capable of spearheading their company and careers to success if they know what they want, believe in what they want, and have the proper training to start them on the right track.

Contact Business Coaches Sydney today at 1300-833-574 or visit our website to learn more about our Business Coaching services today


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Garret Norris

Garret is the founder and CEO of Business Coaches Sydney and through his company, remains dedicated as ever to use his training and real life business experience to meet his passion to see business succeed through disciplined management, creative marketing and committed client service.