50 most powerful women in business Australia - Part 1
From tech entrepreneurs to finance experts, these 50 influential women have made their mark in the world of business.
When it comes to business, there are plenty of women in Australia who are crushing it. They come from all different backgrounds and industries, but they share one common trait- they know how to get the job done. And they’re not just successful- they’re inspiring.
Each of these women has a unique story to tell, and each has something valuable to teach us about what it takes to be a successful businesswoman. We’ve compiled 50 of the most powerful businesswomen in Australia.
From tech entrepreneurs to finance experts, these 50 influential women have made their mark in the world of business. Read about their successes, and see how you can use their stories to help you reach your own goals. This list is not in any particular order.
1. Naomi Simson - Founder of Red Balloon
Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO of Red Balloon, an online experience gift retailer. She is also a renowned speaker and author. Naomi has spoken on a variety of topics including the power of positivity and the importance of having a ‘why’. Her achievements include being a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and recipient of a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the business sector. What is inspirational about Naomi is her drive to continuously learn and get better.
2. Anna Ross - CEO of L’Oreal Australia
Anna Ross is the CEO of L’Oreal Australia, one of the world's largest cosmetic companies. She has held a number of senior posts in the organisation and was previously the group marketing director for L’Oreal Italy. Anna is passionate about developing innovative products, consumer education and sustainability. She is a believer in the power of collaboration and believes that success comes from teamwork and resilience. Anna is also an active mentor for young women in the industry, encouraging them to take their careers to the next level.
3. Joanna Pech - Managing Director of MLC Life
Joanna Pech is the managing director of MLC Life Insurance, one of Australia’s largest insurers. She is a seasoned businesswoman with over 20 years of financial services experience. Joanna has held a number of leadership positions in organisations such as Westpac and Credit Suisse. She is a strong advocate for diversity in the workplace, with her leadership driving MLC Life’s focus on creating an inclusive and diverse culture. Joanna is also a mentor to many young women in the industry, inspiring them to reach their goals.
4. Jessica Rudd - CEO of Whitefox Technologies
Jessica Rudd is the CEO of Whitefox Technologies, a software development company based in Sydney. She has held a number of senior roles in the industry, including being the CEO of Airtasker and a business advisor for Google Australia. Jessica is a highly sought-after speaker, having been invited to speak at a number of business conferences. Her passion for technology and innovation has seen her develop unique products and services to help businesses succeed.
5. Catherine Harris - Founder of The Watermark Group
Catherine Harris is the founder and CEO of The Watermark Group, an investment firm specialising in commercial real estate. She has built a significant portfolio of properties across Australia and New Zealand, making her one of the country’s most successful investors. Catherine is passionate about creating opportunities for young people and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. She regularly speaks at events and mentors start-up founders, helping them to make the most of their skills and ideas.
6. Beverley Head - Founder of Brandology
Beverley Head is the founder of Brandology, a digital marketing and strategy agency. She has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising industry, giving her insight into what makes businesses successful. Beverley has won numerous awards and accolades for her work, including the Avery Award for excellence in branding.
7. Gai Le Roy - CEO of IABGroup
Gai Le Roy is the CEO of IABGroup, a leading industry group representing Australian employers. She has been in the role since 2005 and is a highly-regarded leader. Gai is passionate about creating an environment where employers and employees can work together in harmony. She is a strong advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion, believing that it plays an important role in business success.
8. Tracey Fellows - Former CEO of REA Group
Tracey Fellows is the former CEO of REA Group, a property data and advertising company based in Melbourne. She has been in the role since 2014 and is a prominent figure in the technology industry. Tracey is now a chairman and advisor for a number of companies, encouraging them to innovate and embrace technology. She brings her extensive experience in the corporate world to her roles, giving her the ability to make sound and informed decisions.
9. Tracey Horton - Managing Director of Investec
Tracey Horton is the managing director of Investec, one of Australia’s leading investment banks. She has held several senior positions in the banking and finance industry, including being the head of the strategy at ANZ. Tracey is passionate about helping businesses succeed and is a vocal advocate for more women in leadership roles. She recently launched the Women in Investec initiative, which aims to support and promote women in the banking and finance industry.
10. Deborah Hutton - CEO of The Iconic
Deborah Hutton is the CEO of The Iconic, Australia’s largest online fashion retailer. She has been in the role since 2018 and is a recognised leader in the e-commerce space. Deborah is passionate about innovation and customer experience, having led The Iconic to become one of Australia’s top online retailers. She is also a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion, having been awarded the Telstra Business Women’s Award in 2019.
11. Kate Burleigh - Former director of Intel and now Alexa Amazon
Kate Burleigh is the former Managing Director of Intel Australia and New Zealand. She is now the director of Amazon’s Alexa team in Australia and New Zealand. Kate has an impressive background in technology, having also served as the General Manager of Microsoft Australia’s Business Division. She is a strong advocate for using technology to create innovative solutions and help businesses succeed.
12. Sally Loane - director of Chubb Insurance
Sally Loane is the director of Chubb Insurance in Australia. She has more than 20 years of insurance experience and was recently appointed as the first female director of the company. Sally is passionate about making sure that customers are protected and have access to the best possible insurance products. She has set new standards for customer service at Chubb and is a vocal advocate of gender equality in the workplace.
13. Claire Rogers - CEO/Co-founder of Oho Group
Claire Rogers is the CEO and co-founder of Oho Group, an award-winning ecommerce company based in Sydney. She has been in the role since 2016 and is a recognised leader in the tech industry. Claire has an impressive background in technology, having worked for major companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and HP. She is a strong advocate for using technology to drive business growth and create innovative solutions.
14. Catriona Wallace - founder of Flamingo AI
Catriona Wallace is the founder and CEO of Flamingo AI, a revolutionary artificial intelligence platform. She has been in the role since 2016 and is an experienced entrepreneur, having founded several successful businesses. Catriona is passionate about using technology to create innovative solutions and she recently won the Australian Innovation Award for her work with Flamingo AI.
15. Nicole Smith - Co founder of Shebah
Nicole Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Shebah, an all-female ride-sharing service. Nicole has an impressive background in the tech industry, having worked for companies such as Airbnb and Microsoft. She is passionate about using technology to make people’s lives easier and has created an innovative solution that is transforming the ride-sharing industry. She is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, having recently been featured in the BBC 100 Women list.
16. Carol Schwartz - Chair of the Centre for Social Impact
Carol Schwartz is the chair of the Centre for Social Impact, a national organisation that works to drive positive social change. She is a highly respected leader in the corporate world and has previously held senior positions at News Corporation and Telstra Corporation. Carol is a passionate advocate for innovation and collaboration, has been recognised for her efforts in driving social impact, and is a strong believer in the power of women to change the world.
17. Libby Roy - CEO & MD - Bravura Solutions
Libby Roy is the CEO & MD of Bravura Solutions, a world-leading provider of software for wealth management and superannuation. Libby has an impressive background in the tech industry, having worked for companies such as Oracle and Microsoft. Libby is a passionate advocate for women in tech and is a sought-after public speaker on topics such as digital transformation, innovation and leadership.
18. Dr. Rashmi Sharma - CEO of the Invictus Education Foundation
Dr. Rashmi Sharma is the CEO of the Invictus Education Foundation, an organisation that works to empower young people through education. She has extensive experience in the corporate and educational sectors, having previously held senior roles at PwC and the University of Melbourne. Rashmi is a strong believer in the power of education to create positive social change, has been recognised for her efforts in driving education innovation, and is passionate about creating pathways for young people from all backgrounds to succeed.
19. Dr. Emma Johnston – President of the Australian Academy of Science
Dr. Emma Johnston is the President of the Australian Academy of Science, an organisation that works to promote and advance scientific research in Australia. She has extensive experience in the scientific sector, having held roles at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. Emma is a passionate advocate for science and has been recognised for her efforts in driving innovation in the sector.
20. Belinda Hutchinson - Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Hutchinson served on the board of directors for AGL Energy and QBE Insurance before being appointed chancellor of the University of Sydney in 2013. She is a passionate advocate for education, having also served as the chair of Education Foundation Australia. She has been recognised for her efforts in driving educational reform and has been featured in numerous lists of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.
21. Jillian Broadbent - Chair of the Reserve Bank of Australia
Jillian Broadbent is on the board of Macquarie bank and was formerly the chair of the Reserve Bank of Australia, one of Australia’s most important financial institutions. She has an extensive background in the banking and finance sectors, having previously held senior roles at Westpac Banking Corporation and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Jillian is a passionate advocate for sound financial management and is a sought-after public speaker on the topics of financial literacy, sustainability and leadership.
22. Gail Kelly - Former CEO of Westpac
Gail Kelly was the CEO of Westpac, one of Australia's largest banks, from 2008 to 2015. Under her leadership, Westpac became one of the most profitable banks in Australia and she was recognised as one of the most powerful women in business globally.
23. Jane Halton AO PSM - Former Secretary of the Department of Health
Jane Halton AO PSM was the former Secretary of the Department of Health, a government department responsible for the health and welfare of Australians. She has extensive experience in healthcare, having held roles at the Australian Red Cross Society and World Health Organisation. Jane fights for healthcare reform and has won awards for her creativity in the industry.
24. Elizabeth Gaines - CEO of Fortescue Metals Group
Elizabeth Gaines is the current CEO of Fortescue Metals Group, one of Australia's largest iron ore producers. She has extensive experience in the mining sector, having held roles at BHP and Rio Tinto. Elizabeth is known for her innovation in the mining sector and for promoting sustainable and responsible mining practices.
25. Angela Bowne - Senior Counsel at Denman Chambers
Angela Bowne is a Senior Counsel at Denman Chambers, one of Australia’s most respected law firms. She has extensive experience in the legal sector, having held senior roles at the Victorian Bar and Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Angela is a passionate advocate for legal reform and has been recognised for her work in the public interest.
The list goes on, we are not done yet. To learn about the rest of the powerful women in business, CLICK HERE.