What Women Want in Business Now

By Lyn Hawkins

Business Women Australia recently asked our community to participate in a Leadership & Development Survey to determine the wants and needs of Australian women in business. First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. It was very informative feedback.

From the diverse survey responses, we have learned a little more about what businesswomen want and need from our collective. Our community has made it clear that women value skill sharing and collaboration, building relationships and have a commitment to up-skilling and expanding systems of knowledge.

Over 70% of respondents said they were willing and wanting to participate in knowledge-based masterclasses.

A third of respondents were interested in developing their Communicating and Influencing skills, closely followed by Innovation & Driving Growth, and Negotiation & Sales.

Our collective is a busy one, many of women are juggling multiple priorities in their lives, making flexibility and accessibility of learning and development programs, are a must. Over 96% of respondents said they preferred one- or two-hour classes over full or half days, to fit into their already busy schedules. However, human interaction was also seen as important, with only 17% said they preferred pre-recorded and self-paced learning, compared to 44% who want face-to-face interaction, and 39% preferring live online interaction.

Many respondents highlighted the importance of collaboration as the path forward, and this really was reflected in 40% of respondents seeing themselves as both the mentee and the mentor within a BWA mentoring program. Building those authentic, personal relationships is definitely important to the BWA community, with 41% of respondents saying they would prefer the same ongoing mentor.

More than half of the respondents like a locus of control and choice, with 56% indicating they preferred either diversity in their mentoring program through ongoing sessions with different mentors (27%) or the flexibility and control of single one-off sessions as they see fit (29%).

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Responses to the survey clearly indicated that the BWA collective values flexibility not only in the structure of a mentoring program, but also how mentees and mentors are placed. A clear majority of 65% of respondents said that they would prefer to have both options of either choosing a mentor or being assigned a mentor.

Results showed that business women in Australia are committed to personal and professional growth with a high level of interest in formal qualifications.

On a scale of one to five, with five being the most likely to take up a credentialed course or degree in the next two years; respondents, on average, placed themselves at 4.3.

It is acknowledged by the business women surveyed that there is a high level of commitment to expanding and developing skills and knowledge systems, particularly in the areas of Business, Development & Health.

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The mission of Business Women Australia is to help Australian women achieve their goals and dreams, and be successful in business and life.

As a community of supportive women, we collaborate to help build knowledge and networks of influence that help facilitate success.

In June 2020 we announced a partnership with Torrens University Australia (TUA). By joining forces we have bought together Australia’s leading businesswomen community and Australia’s fastest growing university. This partnership supports the learning and development, network connections and career goals of Australian women in business. To celebrate the launch of this partnership, we are offering a Fully Paid Scholarship for a Torrens University Diploma, Bachelor, Masters or Post-Graduate Course. We will also be awarding a range of mini-scholarships of 15% of the total cost towards your chosen TUA qualification for those who qualify but miss out on the fully paid scholarship.

To enter the SCHOLARSHIP PITCH business women in Australia must submit their proposal and pitch before Sunday, 16th August. Details and criteria can be found HERE.

As the National Director of Business Women Australia I am invigorated by the passion and dedication that shines through our community. I am reminded of how grateful I am to be surrounded by Australian business women who demonstrate leadership in the everyday pursuit of excellence, always pushing themselves to do better, learn more and never let the moss grow under their feet.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Business Women Australia or the partnership and scholarship opportunities with Torrens University Australia.

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