83 per cent of Australia’s leading business women say that “confidence to challenge and influence authority” is an important factor needed to succeed in business.
125 state and territory finalists in the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards were surveyed, with results highlighting what women believe to be the essential factors needed to reach success and gender equality.
A responsibility to mentor the next generation of women was found to be taken on by 84 per cent of those surveyed, with the belief that their influence will help tackle gender equality in the workplace.
Four out of ten (39 per cent) leading business women said they have found a pay gap compared with a male in the same position.
“Gender equality is not just about the workplace or what we get paid,” said Harcourts Victoria CEO Sadhana Smiles, one of last year’s winners.
“Revolutions start as a ripple. If each of us, men and women, choose to start a ripple, no matter how small, we would effect revolutionary change and it would not take another lifetime for our children to achieve gender equality.”
The survey, which was conducted before the National finals took place in Melbourne on 26 November, found 70 per cent of respondents believe the gender gap would have a better chance of closing if employers were “willing to act to close it.” 59 per cent said the gap would close with “women becoming better negotiators over pay.”
More senior leadership opportunities and gender pay equity were highlighted as the top two issues Australia’s leading business women would most like to change.
Physical fitness (96 per cent) was considered to be the strongest factor driving focus and productivity, with most respondents devoting five hours or less a week to their physical wellbeing.
Here are the top ten tips finalists said they would give other women:
- Be honest to yourself and others.
- Listen to all advice but stay true to your beliefs and values.
- Back yourself and draw on your intuition and emotional intelligence to make better choices.
- Never give up or let your ego get in the way.
- If you are a leader, scaffold other women to follow in your path.
- Be your authentic self.
- Lead with confidence, flexibility and compassion.
- Praise, praise, praise.
- Learn to say ‘no’ at times and don’t apologise for it.
- Be exceptional at what you do and your gender won’t matter.