Peter Strong - chief executive of theAustralian Council of Small Business
While big business often struggles to get women on board in positions of power, the small business sector brims with the skills and energy of female entrepreneurs.
We hear a lot about women not being in positions with influence and power. We know we need diversity on boards and across leading management positions in industry if we are to access the skills, experience, knowledge, passion, energy and attitude of everyone in our business community. Yet in the world of small business we do have women in important jobs and this should be recognised.
As the chief executive of the Council of Small Business, when I need to talk to someone about policy or process or some issue of the day, I have a group of advisers that I consult. Included in this group are people with the experience, knowledge, skills and attitude that I value.
We don’t always agree but that is the important part of the consultation – discussion informs policy while constant agreement creates hubris and inhibits growth and innovation. Myadvisers come from most sectors, including retail, transport, finance, the service sector, and small business support agencies.
So who are the women I consult? My advisers may head up organisations with over 80,000 members; they influence health, property and real estate, regional issues, finance and skills, organisational capacity and attitude development for workforces of the largest businesses and government agencies. I consult these people not just on women’s issues, although I might do from time to time. I consult them on issues to do with policy, process, politics and innovation.
They may not be chief executives of large private sector corporations but they are involved in powerhouse organisations that add to the wealth and health of Australia; more power to them and women like them and I hope they get the recognition they have earned.
See the attached list of Australia's Seven Most Influencial Women in Small Business in Australia
If you want a worthwhile opinion or the facts, find these women – and other women and men like them – in associations that support small business.