Why business women should put themselves forward for the 2017 Smart50 Awards

04 Sep 2017 |

For more than 10 years SmartCompany has been hosting the Smart50 Awards, acknowledging Australia’s fastest-growing SMEs. This year, SmartCompany is looking to encourage more women to enter the awards.

It is widely acknowledged that women are less likely to put themselves forward for awards and acclaim or to “self-promote”. At a recent SmartCompany event, former Smart50 listee and founder of Adore Beauty Kate Morris said that entering awards is not about the individual.

“It’s something you can do for your business,” she says. And, as women, she argues, you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. “If that’s an advantage you can take, get over yourself and just take it!”

SmartCompany publisher, Zoe Dattner, says, “The Smart50 is distinct from many other awards. It’s calculated principally on revenue growth. There’s no reason more women business owners and founders shouldn’t be on the list.”

The problem, Dattner says, lies in the tendency for women to be less likely to nominate themselves for awards like these. The 2014, 2015 and 2016 awards featured only 10, nine and 12 women founders respectively out of a total 50. This is a statistic that SmartCompany is committed to improving in 2017.

Dannielle Michaels of b.box for kids says that women rise to challenges differently, and that should be embraced. “Being empathetic, listening, understanding is a strength, not a weakness. If we embrace the strength we have as women we can make a big step further.”

While admitting that self-promotion didn’t come easily for her, Michaels, who along with co-founder Monique Filer, took home last year’s Top Exporter award, acknowledges the benefits. “Awards are empowering for the team you work for. It also adds to the value of the business,” she says. “The awards let you stop and celebrate what you’ve achieved.”

Founder of Just for Pets and winner of the Top Retailer award at the 2015 Smart50 Awards, Karen Justice, encourages all women to enter. “Put yourself out there and have a go. You have nothing to lose.”

The 2017 Smart50 Awards have now closed.

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