Sweet Gigs

International Women's Day 2024

As a fiercely female founded business, we are passionate about lifting up and supporting other females. Today, and every day, we are incredibly proud to be surrounded by unique and talented woman. From trailblazers driving female-led enterprises and mothers mastering multiple roles, to the community of support systems empowering and uplifting women every day. This International Women's Day we celebrate our beautiful Kip&Co community by sharing the challenges, triumphs and wisdom from some of the incredible women we've had the privilege of meeting.

Jamilla Rizvi | Best-selling author, gender equality advocate 

Your work with Future Women is a standout. Please tell us a bit about this incredible organisation and what you do there? 

I joined Future Women when you could fit the whole team in a standard five-seat car. Five years on, we’re a diverse team of more than forty, spread across five states plus New Zealand. I am abundant proud of what we’ve created and the change each team member is part of. 

At its heart, FW delivers professional development, advice, content, and events, to build more equal Australian workplaces. We work with hundreds of Australian employers to train their next generation of women and gender diverse leaders, as well as supporting their executive teams to overcome gender bias. We advise employers on how to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at work, including to eliminate sexual harassment and sex discrimination. 

FW also hosts events and creates articles, newsletters, video, podcast, and social content for our tens of thousands of members and subscribers. We’ve built a community of people who are genuinely committed to gender equity and as invested in one another’s professional success, as they are their own. I am consistently humbled by the generosity and achievements of our members, particularly those in the Jobs Academy, who overcome enormous challenges to return to work or training.

Bree Johnson | Co-founder, Frank Body

You’ve smashed some pretty serious business goals over the years! What have been some of the biggest challenges and biggest highlights in running your own businesses? 

Biggest challenge; the mental toll of running a business. Like motherhood it’s relentless. You don’t get to a certain stage and switch off. It’s your responsibility to constantly think about the future of the business and ensure you stay relevant. 

Biggest highlights over my career - Having the freedom to create the life I want to lead and seeing the direct result of your hard work. The other highlight is people I’ve met along the way. From my co-founders and team members to other female entrepreneurs I’ve always admired and young entrepreneurs just starting their own businesses. I love having these conversations.

Onella Muralidharan | Model and content creator

Tell us about your experience with vitiligo. What advice would you give to young women about celebrating their uniqueness and feeling great in their own skin? 

I would say I've had a very positive experience with my skin condition Vitiligo, and I would put that down to the people around me. I am lucky to say I was never bullied at school despite looking different, sounding different and migrating from another country at the young age of 8. The acceptance I recieved, especially in primary school, paved the way for further acceptance within myself, so when someone did make a comment about my skin I was able to brush it off and not let it affect the way in which I view myself which in turn helped me build a thick skin. My advice to other young people who want to celebrate their uniqueness and feel great in their own skin is to always treat themselves with kindness and compassion, just as they would others and to keep working on themselves. Self acceptance comes from a place of knowing yourself and realising that life is a journey not a destination, as humans we are constantly changing and evolving and that's okay. Don't be too harsh on yourself as you find your feet and learn to undo the negative teaching society has brought on us about our own bodies, that takes time and we are all trying to rewrite our own stories together! I've found surrounding myself with other people both IRL and on social media who are true to themselves, authentic and embody self acceptance has helped me celebrate myself and feel more dignified in my own skin.

Zoe Weir | Podcast host, Not Super.Woman 

How did the idea for your podcast Not Super.Woman come about? And why do you think it’s important to share the pressures, expectations and challenges we experience as women? 

The idea came about with my best friend Bec during the overwhelm of COVID lockdowns. Bec and I had come out of the fog of having babies and toddlers, looking back on how intense that period was and also trying to understand how to find balance going forward. 

Bec and I chat daily, and in most of our conversations we were sharing our overwhelm of the juggle, the different hats we wear as women, and asking how on earth other women were coping and doing life?! We decided to take it online, and to be fair Bec pushed me to do it with her, as her background is film and TV, but we haven’t looked back.  

We have learnt so much, created a community we are proud of, and also wanted to push back on social media to remove the perfection filter to provide relatable conversations and short-circuited guidance from experts to help us all, in a fast pace, time poor, modern world of womanhood.

Anna Mackenzie | Start up consultant and writer

You’ve co-hosted one of Australia's top business podcasts lady-brains, and have had some pretty incredible guests. What has been the biggest lesson you've learned from the many founders you've spoken with? 

I’ve learned thousands of lessons from speaking to over 100 brilliant founders on the pod, but the one that’s on my mind right now is to make time for creativity, even when faced with an endless list of to-dos. 

One of the biggest struggles founders face is how to allocate their most scarce resource - time. In fact, to be honest, I’d say most of us deal with this challenge on the reg. When we’re drowning in responsibilities we often tackle what’s directly in front of us, but urgent tasks are usually not the ones that will actually move us forward. 

I recently wrote a Substack piece titled ‘Why creativity is a lifeline when I’m drowning in responsibilities: how I make time to be creative when I have none’. In it, I talk about the fact that when I take time out of my busy schedule to reflect and tap into my creativity, even if just for a few minutes, that’s when I have my best ideas and find strategic solutions to my most stressful problems. It’s counter intuitive but taking time out helps you to move forward. No one has life-and-business epiphanies staring into a spreadsheet ;)

Lia DiMingo | Founder, Portier

What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced when starting your own business?Based on this, what advice would you give to others trying to start their own brands? 

Like every entrepreneur, starting your own business presents ongoing challenges. It’s important to be resilient and solutions orientated. Rather than stressing about the problem, consume your energy with finding a solution. One of my favourite quotes that I heard recently was “All problems are an opportunity to innovate”, and that could not ring truer.