Influential media and marketing leaders have been recognised in the AFR 100 Women of Influence awards, sponsored by Qantas.
Several women, including Tracey Spicer, Nina Funnell, Catherine Fox and Catherine Fitzpatrick come from journalism backgrounds and join others from areas ranging from technology, medicine and science to social affairs and education.
Household names such as Naomi Simson of The Big Red Group and Shark Tank fame and anti-domestic-violence campaigner, Rosie Batty are joined by the next generation of leaders in tech, like Sharon Hunneybell, CEO and co-founder of Gold Coast Innovation Hub and teenage scientist and inventor Macinley Butson from NSW.
Many of the entrepreneurial women on the list who started their own businesses have grown their companies through marketing, advertising and social media skills that they had to learn from the ground up.
One such woman is Dimitra Markogiannaki, founder and chief marketing officer of WeTeachMe, an online platform connecting learners with classes in their area.
Dimitra describes herself as “a Greek woman with an accent who had no idea about business”.
By her third year in business, Dimitra was seeing clients breaking through the $1M barrier.
Dimitra is in the Business and Entrepreneur category.
Karen McGrath, in the Young Leader category, is a global marketing manager, Act for Peace – Ration Challenge.
After time spent at refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border, Karen and a colleague had the idea for Ration Challenge.
They consumed the same rations as a Burmese refugee for one week and invited friends to sponsor them.
Over the next four years, Karen increased fundraising for the Ration Challenge from $60,000 to more than $3.2 million.
In the Social Enterprise and Not for Profit category is Nina Funnell, a Walkley-award winning journalist, author and anti-sexual assault advocate who has trained NRL football players on appropriate off-field behaviour and treatment of women.
She has served on the NSW Premier’s council on Preventing Violence Against Women and the board of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia.
Michael Stutchbury, editor-in-chief of the Financial Review, noted the contribution these women make to our country.
“We are very excited to announce the 100 Women of Influence for 2018 and to celebrate female trailblazers across the country, from many walks of life.
“One of the common threads that run through this year’s winners is that they’ve come from a place of adversity and hardship,” he said.
“But rather than giving up and being beaten down by their experiences, they have used them for the greater good so that others don’t find themselves in the same situation.
“The women include a refugee who fled the Taliban and advocates for asylum seekers and those who have endured the loss of a loved one.”
The overall winner and category winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on 17 October.