This year the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network (SCBWN) is
celebrating a momentous 25 YEARS since the incorporation of the network
under the name 'Women in the Workforce'.
To celebrate this great milestone we are recognising those who have put
so much into the long-term sustainability of SCBWN. We are incredibly
excited to share with you all the interviews of our devoted past
presidents and share their stories of personal contribution and their
legacy to SCBWN over the years!
As president from 2018 to 2021, Roz White made remarkable advancements
to the SCBWN. She strengthened the Network's partnership with the
University of the Sunshine Coast, resulting in the development of MBA
pathway programs. Roz also enhanced the organisation's structure by
optimising the leadership team, committee portfolios, and reporting
processes for greater efficiency. Under her leadership, the SCBWN adopted
a new motto: "to empower and celebrate women in business to achieve."
This forward-thinking approach solidified the Network's leadership position
in the business community, leaving a lasting legacy of strength and
Roz, what brought you to the SCBWN?
“The Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network slipped under my radar
initially - probably due to the fact that I was busy building my own
business and raising a family. In 2015 I was absolutely honoured to receive
the Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network ‘Outstanding Business
Woman of the Year’ award. Soon after that I realised I wanted to be a part
of the Network and it’s been a very big part of my life ever since.”
What are your fondest memories of the SCBWN?
“Being awarded the ‘Outstanding Business Woman of the Year’ award
would have to be up there as one of my fondest memories and moments.
It is such an honour and a privilege to be given an acknowledgement like
that. I remember receiving the news that my nomination came through
and I was stunned. That acknowledgement in itself was enough right at
that point. Then I tentatively went through the process, grateful at every
step that somebody had taken the time to nominate me. What I uncovered
through the process was that the awards are an incredibly powerful,
impactful experience. I gained so much insight and self reflection - you
don't usually get that in your everyday life. There are so many fond
memories and moments from that time, it's hard to define one.”
What did you always want to achieve? What was your legacy?
“As president, you tend to steer the Network in your own direction and it's
important as a leader to put your stamp on it and lead in your own way. I
was able to assemble a really powerful dynamic team around me and I
think we became the enablers of a new vision for the Network. Together we
created the new mantra: ‘empower and celebrate women in business to
achieve’. It was the perfect timing for something fresh and I think this
change further elevated the impact of the Network. Every president puts
energy, enthusiasm and their own stamp on taking the Network in a new
direction, or in a direction that keeps it alive. I'm really proud of what we did
Another area I really focussed on throughout my presidency was the
micro-credentials and professional executive education program. We
broke it down into chunks so members can actually focus on, and
complete modules that empower them to be successful. Bite-sized
modules can help solve problems, provide support, and improve
knowledge. I knew how important this approach was when I was growing
my own business, so I was really pleased to be able to provide it as an
option to the Network.”
What are your hopes for women in business, now and into the future?
“There's a lot of discussion around equality and the new discussion is
about sustainability. For women in business, there's a lot to balance. So my
wish for women in business is to find your calm. Find calmness, lead with
calmness and slow down. It's focusing on the micro steps that will actually
drive your success. Don't let the world overwhelm you, because it can, very
easily. So just open yourself up to just micro steps.”
What was your greatest challenge as a woman in business when you
were president? What is the greatest challenge you believe faces women
in business today?
“Throughout my presidency, probably one of the biggest challenges was
COVID. I was president when that was upon us all and so, that sense of
adaptability was a big challenge. Any business person, the whole
community in fact, suddenly had to adapt and change to a new world that
we'd never experienced before. I think there's been a big change in the way
we think and act as humans and the behaviour right across the globe has
changed. This brings lots of opportunity, but if you haven't got the ability to
adapt, then you'll find that very challenging. So adaptability is key. It can be
a challenge, but if you have the skill, then there's opportunity.”
What would you like to see the Network do next?
“The Network is doing such an awesome job and Min is leading so well.
She's inspiring and she just gets better and better, she continues to blow
me away. The committee is just unbelievable and is doing a fine, fine job. It
gives me a lot of pride, it really does. Going forward, I think the Sunshine
Coast Business Women's Network must continue to evolve, adapting its
mantra and focus as needed. It’s really about offering a fresh, energised
and relevant space that advocates and empowers women at every step.”
What are your thoughts on business and the economy in the Sunshine
Coast now and over the next decade?
“Currently there's some financial pressure and it's starting to really bite.
Here we are in 2023 and you can see by the budgets being released that
there's a lot of focus on the vulnerable for basic utilities like electricity etc.
What concerns me is that money always has to come from somewhere. I
absolutely do concur and support the notion of looking out for the
vulnerable in our community and believe we have a responsibility, if we
can, to help support people that need it. However one concern that comes
with that for me in business is the pressures that exist. So we have to try to
stay positive and work out ways in our business to maintain, be
sustainable, meet all the pressures, and be able to continue while looking
ahead with optimism.”
Do you have a message of encouragement for women in business today?
“Find ways to fall in love with what you do. Business is hard work, you need
discipline and consistency to have an impact, and it’s very difficult to stay
disciplined if you’re not enjoying what you do. Find ways to fall in love with
what you do and it will love you back.”
What are you up to now?
“I'm really excited about the Sunshine Coast's prospects over the next 9 - 10
years leading up to the Brisbane 2032 Games and beyond. The Sunshine
Coast is already supportive and very collaborative, but if we come together
as a community, harness that energy and make it into something really
positive, then it is going to be an incredible decade ahead. We look forward
to continuing to serve the local people in our community whilst highlighting
and championing other local businesses through our locavore program.
We delight in providing our shoppers with a unique shopping experience
they won’t find elsewhere.”