Women around the globe have made significant strides in the business world in the past several decades, but a select few from Australia have managed to rise to the top of the executive class and successfully sit at the helm of hugely successful ventures. These women aren’t just rich and powerful influencers, they’re prime examples of how one can go far with a bit of savvy and gumption. Here are five Australian female entrepreneurs who have used creativity and expertise to take their careers to the next level.
You can’t hit Australia’s high street scene without running into one of Naomi Milgrom’s retail chains, which is why she’s such a powerful force in fashion. With over 500 stores and more than 3,900 staff members to manage, this CEO really has it together. The key to Naomi’s success has been thinking big — really big. She doesn’t want to limit her company’s reach to Australia and has begun thinking about how to bring the online side of the company’s retail empire to countries around the globe.
She started as an assistant at Australian retail giant Harvey Norman in 1983 and is now the company’s CEO. In all, Harvey Norman turns over $2.5 billion in revenue each year. Page’s backstory is a bit interesting: after she started working at Harvey Page she caught the eye of its co-founder Gerry Harvey, the two married, and she made moves to rise to the company’s leadership. As one of the top female executives in The weird and wonderful land of Oz, Page could definitely afford to take a virtual break at the Royal Vegas Casino. Not that she’d need the prize winnings, but who wouldn’t benefit from inserting a bit of play between business deals?
Lorna Jane Clarkson
With 146 locations in Australia, 54 in other countries, and 42 US stores, Lorna Jane reigns supreme in the active wear market. This female entrepreneur wasn’t always in business and started out working as a dental hygienist before moving on to becoming an aerobics teacher. Lorna Jane saw a void in the market, partnered with her husband Bill, and together they launched a business that brings in over $200 million in sales a year. What’s more, her brand’s online sales are climbing the charts and putting Lorna Jane on track to even more success.
Few ladies know what it means to rise from the bottom to the top like Jo Horgan, who launched renowned brand Mecca Cosmetica nearly 20 years ago. She used to work for L’Oreal, which gave her keen insight into the fragrance and makeup industries and put her on the road to success. After opening her very first retail store in 1997, Horgan now has 61 stores dedicated to her prestige cosmetic brands.
Another woman who worked with her husband to take over the retail sector is Vicky Teoh, who founded a computer hardware company in 1992 alongside her husband David. Together, they hold over 36 percent of their Australian company’s shares. As a computer entrepreneur, no doubt Teoh is familiar with online gaming and casinos — that would make her and Royal Vegas casino a perfect match when she manages to get some down time.