I’m excited to announce that Melbourne-based Michelle Gallaher, from The Social Science, was last night named the 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year, after also receiving the Entrepreneur Award.

Having spent 25 years in biopharmaceutical and medical research, Michelle founded The Social Science, a marketing and communications consultancy specialising in digital content creation for clients within the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) innovation industries.

Her second start-up, Women in STEMM Australia, looks to reduce barriers to entry for women looking to enter the industries and, ultimately, close the gender pay gap.

The two businesses are powered by Michelle’s belief that Australia cannot reach its full ‘innovation potential’ if a significant proportion of STEMM-qualified females opt out mid-career or fail to enter into the workforce at all.

Robin Denholm (Telstra), Natalie Hutchins MP, Michelle Gallaher and Jennifer Fitzgerald
Robyn Denholm (Telstra), Natalie Hutchins MP, Michelle Gallaher and Jennifer Fitzgerald

“Social and professional networks are enormously powerful in accelerating careers and building innovation ecosystems,” she said. “Women know this, yet many of us hold back from investing and leveraging networks in the same way that men do.”

Michelle’s deep passion to encourage more women and girls in STEMM is helping to transform the industries and create opportunities for other women. Her disruptive thinking, as a serial entrepreneur, is highly commendable.

The five Victorian winners: Gemma Fordham, Linda Monique, Michelle Gallaher, Katy Barfield, Associate Professor Kate Hoy
The five Victorian winners: Gemma Fordham, Linda Monique, Michelle Gallaher, Katy Barfield, Associate Professor Kate Hoy

Other category winners recognised at the 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Women’s Awards were:

  • For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award winner: Katy Barfield, Founder / Director, Yume
  • Public Sector and Academia Award winner: Associate Professor Kate Hoy, Monash University
  • Corporate and Private Award winner: Gemma Fordham, Head of Content, Hit Network, Southern Cross Austereo
  • Young Business Women’s Award winner: Linda Monique, Founder and CEO, Almo Milk

State and Territory winners will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating in a Gala Dinner on the night of Tuesday 21 November.

If you, or a brilliant business woman you know, deserve recognition, nominate today:

telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/nominate/