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STEMM entrepreneur named 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year

Melbourne-based Michelle Gallaher from The Social Science was last night named the 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year, after also receiving the Entrepreneur Award.

Having spent 25 years in biopharmaceutical and medical research, Ms Gallaher founded The Social Science, a marketing and communications consultancy specialising in digital content creation for clients within the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) innovation industries.

Her second start-up, Women in STEMM Australia, looks to reduce barriers to entry for women looking to enter the industries and, ultimately, close the gender pay gap.

The two businesses are powered by Ms Gallaher’s belief that Australia cannot reach its full ‘innovation potential’ if a significant proportion of STEMM-qualified females opt out mid-career or fail to enter into the workforce at all.

“Social and professional networks are enormously powerful in accelerating careers and building innovation ecosystems,” she said. “Women know this, yet many of us hold back from investing and leveraging networks in the same way that men do.”

Also recognised at the 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Award were:

  • For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award winner: Katy Barfield, Founder / Director, Yume, from Windsor
  • Public Sector and Academia Award winner: Associate Professor Kate Hoy, Monash University, from Melbourne
  • Corporate and Private Award winner: Gemma Fordham, Head of Content, Hit Network, Southern Cross Austereo, from South Melbourne
  • Young Business Women’s Award winner: Linda Monique, Founder and CEO, Almo Milk, from Melbourne

Joe Pollard, Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, Group Executive Media and Chief Marketing Officer, said that all of the Victorian winners are extraordinary business women whose achievements deserve to be recognised.

“Michelle’s deep passion to encourage more women and girls in STEMM is helping to transform the industries and create opportunities for other women. Her disruptive thinking, as a serial entrepreneur, is highly commendable.”

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards shine a light on women’s achievements as business leaders. They celebrate the positive results of inclusive leadership, such as better organisational performance, increased competitive advantage and, at a macro level, a thriving economy.

State and Territory winners will attend the National Awards judging, in Melbourne, culminating in a Gala Dinner on the night of Tuesday 21 November.

Nominations for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are open year-round. If you, or a brilliant business woman you know, deserve recognition, nominate today:

telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/nominate/

The winners of the 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards are:

Michelle Gallaher, The Social Science

2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year

2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Entrepreneur Award winner

After 25 years in leadership roles within the biopharmaceutical and medical research sector, Michelle Gallaher decided to leave her comfort zone for a more uncertain path in start-ups. Her first venture, The Social Science, focuses on digital content creation for clients within the STEMM innovation industries. Her second is Women in STEMM Australia. This organisation looks to reduce the industries’ barriers to entry for women and close the gender pay gap. The third business is a dermatology-focused biotech start-up with near-term clinical skincare products launching this year. Michelle’s businesses are powered by her belief that Australia cannot reach its full innovation potential if a significant proportion of the female, STEMM-qualified workforce opts out mid-career or, even worse, fails to enter into it at all.

Katy Barfield, Yume

2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award winner

Katy Barfield is passionate about the sustainable food industry. Yume, launched in 2014, is an online marketplace that connects food suppliers, such as manufacturers and distributors, with commercial buyers (including restaurants and hotels) to prevent surplus food from going to landfill, by offering significant discounts on food that would otherwise be wasted. Katy’s position as founder and CEO of Yume follows roles at SecondBite and Spade & Barrow. Her lifelong commitment to food rescue has seen millions of kilograms of surplus food saved from wastage under her watch. As a leader in business and food rescue alike, Katy has worked to secure likeminded investors who are focused not only on financial returns, but also environmental and social benefits.

Associate Professor Kate Hoy, Monash University

2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Public Sector and Academia Award winner

There are currently more than 46.8 million people living with dementia worldwide. Without any significant breakthroughs in treatment, that figure is predicted to rise to 131.5 million by 2050. In her role as head of the cognitive therapeutics research program at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Associate Professor Kate Hoy is leading the charge in tackling such cognitive disorders. In addition to her current exploration of effective treatments for dementia, Kate’s role also sees her mentor the future research workforce. She is especially focused on helping female scientists to break into senior positions within male-dominated research fields, in a bid to reverse the low proportion of female senior level academics nationally.

Gemma Fordham,Southern Cross Austereo

2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Corporate and Private Award winner 

Gemma Fordham started her career in radio at just 14, answering studio phones. Since then she has been an executive producer for several high-rating shows, and worked as a creative executive for Nicole Kidman as part of her film production company. Now, in her role as head of content for the Hit Network at Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Gemma ensures the Hit brand is maintained across 43 stations nationally. Radio has long been known to be a male-dominated industry and when Gemma was appointed head of the network she was the first woman to fill the role. Gemma is proud of this achievement and hopes she is the first of many to come.

Linda Monique, Almo Milk

2017 Telstra Victorian Young Business Woman of the Year

Linda Monique is the founder and CEO of Almo Milk and one of 75,000 Australians suffering from Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Linda’s own struggle with severe digestive issues inspired her to develop Almo Milk – an Australian-sourced almond milk which, unlike others on the market, is entirely free from questionable additives, sugars and starches. Testament to Linda’s continual hustling and the product’s national relevance, in less than a year since its launch, Almo Milk has secured distribution contracts across three countries. The brand continues to grow nationally and overseas in over 400 outlets.

Media contact:

James Kelly; M: 0455 079 295

media@team.telstra.com

www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/media-centre/

Reference: 111/2017

 

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