“At the end of the day, all we’d love to see is young women receiving equal opportunities to prosper in their career.”
Two of Business Chicks’ newest members are Year 12 students and social entrepreneurs Maja Wilbrink and Ivana Santic. Maja and Ivana are the founders of ChangeMakeHer Australia, a grassroots organisation that aims to inspire and encourage girls to pursue male-dominated careers, develop invaluable leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and connect with like-minded young women. We chatted to Ivana about ChangeMakeHer and their recent #EmpowHer conference.
Maja came to me knowing I was really passionate about gender equality and asked if I wanted to become an ambassador for an Australian version of Girlboss New Zealand.
After getting in contact with the Founder of Girlboss NZ, we decided to attempt to organise a conference. At this point, we were late into Term 2 of Grade 12 (arguably the most stressful term) so we were sceptical about getting it done at all, but we’ve managed to pull through, and I honestly can’t believe how much we’ve achieved in such a short period of time.
We believe one of the most pressing issues for young women is the future of employment.
47% of jobs are expected to be lost to automation in the next 20 years, a majority of which will be female dominated careers such as retail, hospitality, and administration. That’s why our aim is to empower young women to enter into underrepresented fields, but most importantly, provide them with employable skills. There’s such a disconnect within girl’s high schools in regards to networking and leadership, something we’ve found only exists in the private school ‘old boys’ mentality.
We were honoured to receive an award at the Brisbane News Australia’s “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” 2017 Awards.
We were winners in the “Social Enterprise” category. However, our most rewarding moments are receiving messages from girls and women telling us how passionate they are about the cause and their excitement over our organisation.
We’re really keen for the future of ChangeMakeHer, especially being able to work on it without the pressures of grade 12.
We have a few project ideas coming up for next year to specifically target primary schools, and give high school girls more personal support.
The #EmpowHer conference was a high-energy, exciting day of engaging and empowering the future change-makers of our generation.
We hosted 150 girls from grades 9-12 across Queensland. It was packed with exclusive guest speakers, a Q&A panel and engaging workshops. The young women left the conference motivated and inspired to make a difference in their community.
Knowing that there is an entire group of people who believe in the same thing you do really boosts your confidence and drives you to complete your mission.
I had the pleasure of attending a recent Business Chicks event and was absolutely inspired by the network of women who were so passionate and supportive of other women. Not to mention, speaker Dame Quentin Bryce was incredible to listen to.
Connect with Ivana and Maja here.
Find ChangeMakeHer Australia on: