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Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network

What an extraordinary month celebrating International Women's Day and focusing on #breakingthebias and what that really means to each of us. Reflecting on my views on bias leading into our 8th March IWD event at Venue 114, unearthed some surprises for me and enabled me to identify three types of bias that exist in my world:

  • Blatant bias - we all know this outright condemnation of gender, race, religion, beliefs that make people treat us different as part of a stereotype. There is no doubt that together we have to make this stop!

More surprising to me was two other biases that I unearthed in my deep dive into my own bias experiences:

  • Well-meaning/unintentional bias - from the goodness of your heart, it is still possible to make others feel the generational conditioning that leads to bias. Open communication, shared experiences and kindness are the way to break these biases and increase awareness that they too are part of the bigger problem.
  • Self-inflicted bias - I realised that I carry bias against myself as a female leader. I will often use the term 'token female' when invited to represent a topic. I allow this bias to overshadow opportunities that come my way and I work extra hard to 'prove' my perceived bias wrong. An alternate I am now practicing is accepting opportunities at their face value and breaking the habit of wondering 'why me'.

I invited guests to recognise that we all have bias, to be kind to yourself when you realise what yours are, become fully aware of them and take small daily steps to break them. Together we can make a real difference. I invite you to do the same. Breaking a bias is breaking a habit (and sometimes one that has been engrained for generations), so let's support each other as we move forwards.

Our guest speaker Dr Jo Brown shared her experiences and related herself to being a white rhino. She encouraged us all to live to our full potential no matter how different we may be from those around us and gave us insights on the strength that she pulls on to jump the hurdles to her success. I found Dr Brown's inner strength and authenticity refreshing in a world where you sometimes feel like you have to be someone other than who you are to have a voice.

A big thank you to Dr Jo Brown and Venue 114 for making this event a truly special celebration of an important day.

Another very important element of the day was the launch of the SCBWN Business Woman of the Year Awards. Nominations are still open until midnight Tuesday 5th April, so you will need to get in quick. I encourage you to nominate as many women in business that you feel deserves to be acknowledged and reassured that someone believes in them!

Opening that letter of nomination might be just the thing they need to take the next big leap. You can also nominate yourself! There are so many examples where these awards are life changing to those involved. Thank you to Michelle Hamer who returns as the 2022 Judging Chair to oversee the judging and award selection.

This month it was also my extreme pleasure to award life membership to two very special humans and contributors to SCBWN, Roz White and Prue Byrnes. This will forever be a highlight of my time at SCBWN. These two individuals are perfect examples of people that live to lift others up and they share the essence of SCBWN to their core.

In closing (and no doubt I am way over my word count again!), I really want to reach out to all members of SCBWN and acknowledge the space that you hold for the rest of us. Each of us has a different set of circumstances that we face daily to be the best version of ourselves. I often arrive at SCBWN events tired and overwhelmed with what it has taken to get there; but without exception, I leave uplifted, light and ready to face whatever comes next. That is because of the energy that you all share with me and those around you, and for that I want to say a big thank you! It is a source of strength for me and I truly hope you feel the same.

Min Swan

Congratulations to our 2021 Award Recipients!

Professional Business Woman of the Year – Ayllie White, Whitelight Communications - sponsored by Pacific Motor Group

Micro Small Business Woman of the Year – Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane, Roxanne McCarty-O'Kane - Writer - sponsored by University of the Sunshine Coast

Corporate Business Woman of the Year – Sally Doran, Infectious Clothing Company - sponsored by The Events Centre, Caloundra

Sustainable Business Woman of the Year – Ami Bateman, Pleasant State - sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council

Young Business Woman of the Year – Elise Jione, Thompson Institute - sponsored by Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay

    Outstanding Business Woman of the Year – Emma Greenhatch, Food Agribusiness Network
    sponsored by Garland Waddington Solicitors


    View more photos of the 21st Annual Awards Gala on our Facebook page. 

    Celebrating 20 Years of Outstanding Business Women

    Honouring those who have gone before us and leading the way for those to come forth and shine, the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Business Women's Awards in 2018. We are honoured to share our proud history in this wonderful feature publication made possible by our Executive Committee Member Lizzie Henebery in partnership with the talented and dedicated team at My Weekly Preview.



    View more photos on our Facebook Page!


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