Listened to our first stories of women leading
Our first connections were made to ask if women would be willing to share their stories of courage and resource other women in their journeys. To our delight women were lining up to share. We developed systems and processes to collect these stories and learned how to ask the right questions.
Tested the ideas with whoever would listen and feedback
It was a solid year of pitching this concept to any one who asked (and even some who didn’t, but they wished they had). The team learned how to pitch efficiently and authentically. We all felt the love of a market that was ready to hear stories of women and leadership.
Grew our team of volunteers and interns
Janine made her way through study halls and networking events pitching this idea to found others willing to offer their effort and intelligence to a project this size. Over the year we had MBA, Business, Psychology and Creative Arts students as well as designers, photographers, researchers and leaders from all fields sign up to produce work for the project. The beginning of this startup journey was supported by many good hearts and heads.
MBA Research and UQ incubation
When Janine had completed a data assignment asking the question “With the national rollout of an awareness campaign about Domestic Violence here in Australia, where will women go for safety?” it became obvious that there was a problem developing. Though an investment of $120mil was made into the public awareness campaign at the same time $360mil was cut from front line funding. So her new question became “What can I do to help women find resources and services to flee domestic violence?” This question led to incubator support and thousands more questions about the problem. We hit road-blocks but through this stage came through with better understanding and resolve around our mission and plenty of ideas to pilot.
Had an idea to showcase female leadership
Being 1 of 3 women in a full time cohort of 26 future leaders left Janine wondering Why and where was the female voice and experience. Research at the time suggested women in the CSuite had three things in common, had their children older or younger, had a parent that was entrepreneurial and had experienced a significant trauma in their lives. It was the third commonality that was intriguing and set the path to find out what leadership capability is built from crisis or trauma and how women specifically manage this time of their lives.