11 female founders and CEOs share their advice for other women

Here's to women in positions of power!
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Emblematic of the women’s rights movement, for over a decade March 8 has been marked as International Women’s Day (IWD). Aimed to bring attention to gender inequalities, the civil awareness day represents women’s achievements and the ongoing work of feminists worldwide.

While there is still a long way to go in terms of achieving gender equity, thanks to the hard work of gender activists before us, systems have started to shift towards inclusivity.

Today, we celebrate the achievements of the incredible women around us. In honour of IWD, WHO spoke to eleven incredible female founders regarding the advice they wish to share with other women.

WATCH: Meghan Markle discusses feminism and gender equality for International Women’s Day. Article continues after video.

Lorna Jane Clarkson, Founder & CEO Lorna Jane Active

Lorna Jane Clarkson (Credit: Supplied)

“Building a business has taught me so many things, but I think one of the most important lessons that has stayed with me over the years is that women need to support each other. As successful women in business I see it as is our duty to help build the next generation of successful women in business, and be generous with our knowledge and support as those that went before us did for us.”

Explore Lorna Jane Active.

Liandra Gaykamangu, Founder & Creative Director of Liandra Swim

Liandra Gaykamangu (Credit: Liandra Swim)

“Always stay focused on what you are trying to achieve and chip away at your goals daily. It’s okay to allow room for plans to change, but don’t let the noise and distractions of the world around you take you completely off course.”

Explore Liandra Swim.

Elaine Yang, Founder of askbella

Elaine Yang (Credit: Supplied)

“Being a female founder to me means embodying resilience, creativity, patience, and passion. It represents being able to support other women while on the path to entrepreneurial success. Always remember to treat others how you would like to be treated – you never know what someone is going through, so always take a moment to understand someone else’s point of view.”

Explore askbella.

Kristina Youssef, Founder & CEO of KYK Hair Care

Kristina Youssef (Credit: Supplied)

“In a world known to be dominated by successful men, it has been proven over and over again that women can also have whatever they strive for. If you dream it, you can achieve it; nothing is out of your reach.”

Explore KYK Hair.

Chloe Zhu, Founder of Glowie

Chloe Zhu (Credit: Supplied)

“Get clear on the woman you want to be, and show up as though you are already her.”

Explore Glowie.

Erica Berchtold, CEO of THE ICONIC

Erica Berchtold (Credit: Supplied)

“Women often wait until they’re confident ‘enough’ before they throw their hat in the ring. My motto is, ‘Why not?’. Why not give something a go? If it doesn’t work out how you hoped, don’t lose out on a lesson for the sake of a perfect experience. That’s almost more valuable than if everything goes according to plan!”


Dr Ginni Mansberg, Founder of Evidence Skincare (E.S.K)

Dr Ginni Mansberg (Credit: Supplied)

“Two bits of advice: The first is to have more coffee catch-ups. Meeting more people and getting out there has so many benefits. Apart from the health benefits, you never know how the people you meet can and will cross paths with you later on. It may be tomorrow and it may be years from now, but chances are that coffee will pay off in ways you don’t expect. The second is while keeping your eye on your own goals, when meeting with others, think not about what they can do for you, but how you can help them. The more valuable you are, the more value you can create.”

Explore E.S.K.

Melanie Leahy & Elisse Alexander, Co-Founders of Ziinkle

Melanie Leahy & Elisse Alexander (Credit: Supplied)

“Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities and don’t be afraid to take risks. Believe that you can achieve your goals and work towards them with determination. Also pay it forward when you can. Share your knowledge, skills, and experiences with other women and help support them as they pursue their own goals. Together, we can lift each other up and achieve great things.”

Explore Ziinkle.

Renee Douros, Founder of ADYTUM

Renee Douros (Credit: Supplied)

“Avoid trying to define who you are. Never pigeonhole yourself as this automatically restricts your potential in all facets of life. You are more than one thing and who you are is fluid. Express this in creative or career pursuits, how you dress day-to-day, the company you keep and where you direct your energy. Doing so will position you on a pathway to constant learning and self-discovery.”

Explore ADYTUM.

Tahnee Edwards, Founder of Gammin Threads

Tahnee Edwards (Credit: Supplied)

“Surround yourself with people who believe in you and can hype you up. It can be really isolating running a business by yourself and imposter syndrome sometimes creeps in, so having the right supports around you is crucial – especially other women who are getting it done!”

Explore Gammin Threads.

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