The female-led business challenging gender norms

The female-led business challenging gender norms

With na quarter of women permanently leaving their jobs before childbirth and only six per cent of mothers returning to fulltime work in the year post-giving birth, one Sydney woman decided to shake things up and fight back against inequality.

Film advertising manager Irene Falcon decided to hit back at businesses that fail to support working mums and started her own business powered by women.

Falcon’s skincare and beauty business, Nourished Life, took the issue head-on, and four years on, her thriving business now employs 15 working mums and is on track to turn over more than $20 million a year.

Falcon’s business has nabbed a slate of recognition, including the 2016 Telstra Women’s Business Awards NSW Entrepreneur of the Year. Nourished Life was also ranked number 9 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia and moved from position 89 in the BRW Fast Starter list 2015 to position 24 in 2016.

Falcon said, “The younger generation of women need to feel empowered and believe in a world that provides opportunities for all. Becoming a mother should not restrict your career opportunities.

“I wanted to create a workplace that embraced mums of all ages and championed flexible working hours for mums wanting to return to the workforce. Most of our customers are mums, I am a mum, and I know that if you want something done you give it to a busy mum!”

In Australia, women still earn considerably less men and only occupy 16.3 per cent of CEO positions and 28.5 per cent of key management positions.

As gender disparity remains persistent in society today, the challenge to create a gender inclusive world remains highly relevant, especially with Australia dropping a further 10 positions in the 2016 Global Equality Report.

While women typically earn 16.2 per cent less than their male counterparts, Nourished Life proves that implementing family friendly policies and employing mothers can lead to significant business growth. Driven by its ‘mum-force’, Nourished Life experienced a major 355 per cent increase in revenue year on year.

Falcon said, “As a busy mum of four children, I found the corporate world incredibly difficult and didn’t want to miss being able to spend time with my family. I knew that by creating an environment where women feel empowered would ultimately lead to success.

“It’s disappointing that Australia is falling in the Global Gender Equality rankings, however, I’m thrilled to be able to shed light onto women-run small businesses, as well as being able to set an example on flexible working hours and how going against the norm can prove successful.”

Falcon’s advice to other women concerned about managing a career or returning to work after childbirth would be to, “follow your gut and never be afraid of changing direction if it feels right.”

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