Over the past year, we’ve sat down with some incredible women across many different industries, from tech to media and everything in between.

Although coming from different walks of life, these women have one thing in common – they are shaking up their respective industries and leaving a positive impact on women through their work. 

As 2022 comes to a close, we thought we’d share our favourite quotes and stories from each Stella Women Series edition (in case you haven’t had a chance to read them). 

We want to give a big shout-out to these women for taking the time to sit with us and share their personal stories, and experiences and share their best-kept wisdom for our community to learn from. We know we’ll be taking a page out of their books! 

Lauren Clinnick on the importance of building tech that improves our wellbeing

Lauren Clinnick is the CEO of Lumi Interactive, a female-founded mobile game studio focused on games that make the world a kinder place and help women take care of their mental health and wellbeing. 

“In 2020 [my co-founder and I] were incredibly burned out by the pandemic, but I found more traditional recommended apps like Headspace and Calm weren’t working for me – so we tried to dig into the ‘why’ in case it was part of a larger pattern. 

We interviewed and surveyed hundreds of Gen Z and millennial women and nonbinary folks on this exact issue. Why were the dropout rates so high for these experiences? Our research indicates that these experiences feel more like homework, are often quite solitary and linear, or something that they can ‘fail’ at. 

When they’re already exhausted or anxious, they find themselves looking for more fragmented emotional regulation tools like cosy games, ASMR, lo-fi music etc.”

Lauren Clinnick

Hannah Spilva on what it takes to build (and sell) a successful business

Hannah Spilva is the Co-Founder of LVLY who started the brand on a mission to make people’s day by taking a playful and cheeky approach to gifting. 

“We really believed in what we were building and we got momentum pretty quickly in terms of product market fit – we were selling out of flowers daily, we earned great PR and people loved LVLY from the get-go. 

Success takes many forms and one of the early ‘how f*cking cool is this?!’ moments was when Thankyou approached us to do their corporate gifting and later to collaborate. It was meaningful because we’d brainstormed a list of epic brands that we’d like to work with one day and Thankyou was top of this list. So when they approached us, not the other way around, it was a high-five moment.” 

Hannah Spilva

Zoë Milgrom on why genetic information is so important for women

Zoë Milgrom is the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer at Eugene who is on a mission to revolutionise access to genetic testing (especially for women). Eugene are changing the healthcare landscape through affordable, fully digital at-home genetic testing (no waiting rooms or blood tests required).

“At Eugene, we recognise that, particularly in a pregnancy setting, the women are the decision-makers. We want to build a model that empowers people and acknowledges that people are intelligent, and can make informed decisions if they’re given transparent, clear information. 

If we’re going to be improving the health outcomes of all people in the future, that means we need to offer products and services that are relevant to all people, whether it’s their gender, their ethnic background, or their belief systems.” 

Zoë Milgrom

Frances Goh on why community is so important for women in business

Frances Goh is the Chief Community Officer at One Roof, a digital membership empowering women in business, entrepreneurship and leadership. Frances is committed to curating the membership experience at One Roof to meet the unique needs of women in business. 

“The business and the entrepreneurial journey is tumultuous at best and heartbreaking at its worst, but not without its moments of fulfilment. Sharing these stories openly and transparently is part of what brings the One Roof community together and allows women in business to feel less isolated and alone. 

One Roof is passionate about solving the problem of the gender gap in business and entrepreneurship, so we actively create safe spaces and opportunities for women to connect, share and learn from each other, in the hope that we can speed up women’s progress.”

Frances Goh 

Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall on overcoming the challenges they faced as young women in business 

Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall are the Co-Founders of TABOO, a period care brand that goes beyond selling pads and tampons but actively works to eliminate global period poverty by using their profits to fund education and advocacy initiatives. 

“As young women, there has always been a sense of needing to prove ourselves for people to take us seriously. This is especially frustrating when you have done everything ‘right’, and know that if you were an older man, perhaps you would have been received differently! 

If anything, the snide remarks, jokes and assumptions have just added fuel to the fire and reminded us how important it is to never assume or underestimate the capabilities of others just because of things like age, gender or background.”

Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall

Sam White on navigating the juggle of work and family life

Sam White is Stella’s very own Founder and CEO, who started Stella Insurance as a purpose-driven and female-first brand who was fed up with insurance products and insurers that didn’t speak to women. 

“I use my diary to help manage my work-life balance, I realised early on that if I didn’t specifically allocate time for the things that are important to me in life, then things that were important to other people would take over. It’s also easy for work to take over everything so I set pretty clear boundaries, and there has to be a very compelling reason to change them. 

I am however very aware that I’m extremely privileged, with a supportive partner, and home and work resources that others do not have. I’m quite frankly in awe of single parents who manage to parent and work and not completely fall apart.”

Sam White

Angela Priestley on why we need publications curated by women, for women

Angela Priestly is the Co-Founder of Women’s Agenda, an independent and 100% female owned and run media company who share politics, business, leadership, tech and lifestyle news from a female-focused lens. 

“In 2022, it’s still extremely rare to find media publications that are 100% owned by women in Australia, or significant diversity across the leadership positions of media. Diversity (which must go much further than gender, and which we strive to achieve and improve every day at Women’s Agenda) is critical to news media. 

It not only enables more voices to be heard but more stories to be shared in the first place, given we take what we see, learn and hear in our own communities, families and experiences, back into those news meetings where story ideas are shared.”  

Angela Priestley

Shivani Gopal on breaking biases towards women 

Shivani Gopal is the CEO and Founder of The Remarkable Woman, a leadership and mentoring platform helping to close the gender pay gap and provide women with access to resources, mentors, support and more. 

 “A recent bias I shattered was around the ability of female founders to raise capital. It’s challenging and women only receive less than 3% of the world’s VC funds. So when I was pregnant I decided that I’d bring my round forward and raise while I was visibly ‘about to pop’.  

I wanted to challenge the biases around women not just being worthy of investment, but pregnant women too. There’s something really powerful about owning all that you are and showing up in all your glory, and I ended up closing my round, fully funded, a month before giving birth. Knowing that I managed to pull that off gives me a great deal of hope for the future.”

Shivani Gopal

Renee Cosgrave on the words of wisdom she can share with mums in the Stella community 

Renee Cosgrave is the General Manager at Stella Insurance who’s focused on making changes in the financial services industry and beyond to create a world with endless opportunities for women. 

“Find your happy place, whether that is with your children, closing a deal at work or just taking some time to read your favourite book. Being a mum is hard and challenging so always be kind to yourself. There is no right or wrong way to parent, and each child will be completely different, all you can do is your best and for them, your best is always enough.”

Renee Cosgrave

Sheree Rubinstein on excelling as a woman in business

Sheree Rubinstein is the Founder and CEO of One Roof, a community that started off as a coworking and event space for women but has since shifted to a digital membership for Australian women in business and entrepreneurship. 

“My advice to all women is to continue to show up and find a seat at the table. We need women to be seen, to be heard and to push through the discomfort. We need to know it can be done. I would also encourage you to find your tribe, your people who understand your challenges and can offer tools and support. When women find their tribe and feel truly supported they are almost always unstoppable.” 

Sheree Rubinstein 

Cherie Clonan on shattering stereotypes for women

Cherie Clonan is the Founder and Creative Director of The Digital Picnic, a social media marketing agency, a.k.a the nicest place on the internet. 

“What motivates me to break biases that exist for women is the knowledge I have around what women bring to the table, if we’re invited to it. And because I know we often aren’t, I instead want to focus on the impact that I can make … which is not just being able to invite them to the table within my own company, but advance them professionally [and subsequently personally] so that they can break generational cycles, and socioeconomic limitations, and the so many other things some of my company’s senior leaders are able to break off the back of The Digital Picnic opportunities I’ve made available to them.” 

Cherie Clonan 

Alice Williams on taking female pain seriously. 

Alice Williams is the Founder of Ovira, an Australian female tech startup that has created a wearable device that stops period pain. Alice is on a mission to make reproductive health a priority within healthcare and find innovative ways to support women with their reproductive wellbeing. 

“I was in agony and no one had the solutions I needed. I could see that I had to be my own hero, so I went on a journey of research into the technology that would later become the Noha device. Looking back now, I’m so angry to know that this solution was there all along (TENS technology has been around for decades), but no one ever thought to use it to treat the pain experienced by half of the global population. 

Our society is alarmingly comfortable with pain and suffering being an expected part of life for women. As women, we’re used to being told that ‘it’s all in your head’ or ‘just deal with it’. This is just not good enough. I have no doubt that if it was men experiencing this kind of pain, we would have had a device like Noha decades ago.” 

Alice Williams

Verity White on being a female in the male-dominated law industry 

Verity White is the Founder and Chief Contract Enthusiast of Checklist Legal, a digital law firm helping female founders and leaders simplify their legal documents, protect their business and attract their dream clients. 

“Most law firms are traditionally male, pale, and stale, built around a sense of prestige and fear and aggression. That is not how I want to deliver legal services. One of the reasons I started my law firm was specifically because I think the law can be used to intimidate and confuse people. I’m motivated to push against biases that many people hold about women in business because these kinds of stereotypes often hold us back.” 

Verity White

Mandy Richards on becoming a social entrepreneur

Mandy Richards is the CEO and Founder of Global Sisters who established Global Sisters with the goal of supporting women to create income through self-employment when there wasn’t access to mainstream employment. 

“I wanted to help women in a real way that would create lasting economic and social change, rather than just a temporary band-aid, and I knew the highest-impact ways to do this was through education and employment. My interest and experience were around the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, social enterprise and micro business and I knew there was a big need and an equally big gap in supporting women with inadequate incomes to become self-employed. ” 

Mandy Richards

Stay tuned: the Stella Women Series will be back in January 2023 with a whole new line-up of inspiring female founders, innovators and changemakers. 

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