Research reveals business women value teamwork ahead of achievements

Media Release, 09 November 2012

Australian business women are more inclined to attribute their business success to a team than themselves, according to a new survey¹.

The poll of 104 state and territory finalists of the 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Awards found that 92 per cent of respondents say women tend to talk about ‘we’ rather than ‘me’ when discussing their achievements.

The importance of the team extends beyond the immediate workplace with 87 per cent saying they engaged in networking outside work while 56 per cent networked inside their workplace.

Another way women are harnessing and sharing knowledge is through mentoring. Of those who have had a business mentor, 25 per cent said the experience was critical to their career success and a further 50 per cent said it was significant. Seventy-four per cent of those surveyed said they currently mentor other women.

The survey was undertaken in the lead-up to the national finals of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in Sydney on 21 November. The Awards are in their 18th year of celebrating the achievements of outstanding Australian business women.

Other survey findings indicate:

  • Global  innovation in products and services by Australian business women is reaping rewards with almost 30 per cent of those surveyed already doing business outside Australia and a further ten per cent  expecting to be trading internationally in the coming year;
  • Forty-eight per cent made significant career changes to seek challenges in new sectors or move to areas they were passionate about while 66 per cent engaged in continuing education; and
  • Strong communications, self-confidence, leadership, financial literacy and integrity were nominated as the top five skills women should have in business.

Inese Kingsmill, Director Corporate Marketing Telstra, said the Awards finalists in 2012 were an incredible group of women whose leadership and innovation was vital for Australia’s prosperity. “Their views provide valuable insights into how business women are advancing their careers through networking and professional development,” she said.

The eight women in the running for the title of 2012 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year² are:

  • Kylie Bishop, CEO of LBW Environment, South Australia
  • Katie Cooper, General Manager of Alice Springs Airport Pty Ltd, Northern Territory
  • Carolyn Creswell, Managing Director of Carman’s Fine Foods, Victoria
  • Audette Exel, Founder of ISIS (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd, NSW
  • Lucinda Mills, Equity Partner at Camerons, Tasmania
  • Thérèse Rein, Managing Director of Ingeus & Assure Programs, Queensland
  • Julie Shuttleworth, General Manager, Barrick Gold Corporation, Western Australia
  • Dr Helen Watchirs, ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, ACT.

Other awards presented on the night include the national Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award, Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award, White Pages® Community and Government Award, Nokia Business Innovation Award and marie claire Young Business Women’s Award.
More information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and past winners can be found at

1. The online survey of 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Awards finalists was undertaken for Telstra from 18-30 October.

2. Past winners include Catherine Burn (NSW Police Force 2011); Denise Goldsworthy (Rio Tinto 2010); Gina Rinehart (Hancock Prospecting 2009); Margot Spalding (Jimmy Possum 2006); Diana Williams (Fernwood 2005) and Janine Allis (Boost Juice 2004).