Unlinked blog

The Femeconomy Effect: shop your way to gender equality

Jade Collins (left) and Alanna Bastin-Byrne - Founders, Femeconomy

Jade Collins (left) and Alanna Bastin-Byrne - Founders, Femeconomy

It's no secret now that we are practically besties with Alanna and Jade from Femeconomy who live and breathe our message about how much your purchasing decisions matter. They've taken the fact that women are making 85% of the consumer purchasing decisions and gathered together the best of the best female lead brands so that ladies (and men) can shop in a place that supports the accelerated growth of gender equality. How clever clogs is that?!

Further to this, they go about their business with such heart and authenticity, we wanted to hear about their business REAL journey so far. Jade so kindly shared her real with us below. 

Get shopping with Femeconomy here.

1.      Please tell us a bit about your company and your background

At Femeconomy we want women to shop brands with female leaders to create gender equality. With 2000 consumer brands on the site, our goal is to help the Australian Institute of Company Directors reach its goal of 30% of women on boards by 2018. We aim to use the economic lever of women making 85% of consumer purchase decisions to advance gender equality at a faster rate. We call it The Femeconomy Effect. The criteria to be a Femeconomy approved brand is to have at least 30% of women on the Board of Directors or be 50% female owned. So far over 700 brands meet our criteria.

Our goal is to map women lead businesses so that other women can find and support them. Any business who meets our criteria can choose to submit their brand.

I have over 19 years of global experience in corporate executive human resources and management consulting roles in the mining, energy and aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex change management programs. I have HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications. I’ve found that my leadership experience in large corporates is invaluable for creating networks and engaging others to increase gender equality in leadership across industries. I am currently a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative.

2.    What are some epic achievement highlights in your career?

Being promoted and moved geographically quite rapidly within one company was a highlight. It was a challenging and rewarding time in my life, during which I moved 14 times in 11 years. This was a time of amazing personal and professional growth.

Launching Femeconomy in September 2016, and the recognition that has occurred since then has been a wonderful highlight. Something amazing happens to us every single day right now. I firmly believe the best is yet to come though.

3.    Who do you look up to in the business world?

Leaders who genuinely show their care for people who they lead, and who are inclusive.

4.    What is your business REAL moment? Because, let’s face it, business is not glamourous all the time – we want to know your real stories and how you overcame your struggles.

 Realising we had wasted almost 2 months of our start up journey waiting on the outcome of a grant application before we commenced our website build was a very valuable early learning. Painful at the time, but it taught us to keep moving forward under our own steam, and it also helped push us over the edge of our decision to bootstrap. We are very content with that decision now 12 months in, and I recommend it as a necessary mindset for business owners. We treat every cent as precious, have a clearly agreed budget and plan and we are genuinely not comfortable to spend money that isn’t ours, until we have proven our minimum viable product.

5.    What is the best advice you’ve ever received and how do you apply this every day, month or year?

Be present in the moment. I believe that true connection with other people is the meaning of life. I try to be fully present, curious about others, willing to participate in life and to give back.

Also, greet life with a sense of humour. Laughter is the best thing. Most of my close friends and family will attest to the fact that I am irreverent.

Best networking tip ever – go into all networking situations with the mindset you are there to meet a new friend. It helps you to relax and show up as yourself rather than your position title or your company representative.

6.    What is the one mobile app you can’t live without?

Maps. I’m known for having a shocking sense of direction. GPS has revolutionised my life. I still allow a 30 minute travel buffer as ‘getting lost time’ though. It generally means I habitually arrive early.

7.    What is your best tip for time management?

Read Eat That Frog. Tackle the largest, most important task on your list first every day. Just start. Develop mastery of your email, messages and social media. Don’t let them control you and steal your productive time. Put your phone away and onto silent while you work on the things that will have the most impact.

8.    What are your favourite things on your work desk RIGHT now and WHY?

My To Do list. Because I’d be lost without it. I love the sense of achievement and progress from moving things forward, and I admit to writing things in I just did so I can check them off.

9.    What are your growth plans for your business?

Go global. We want to expand Femeconomy to the USA and UK, once we have an established brand presence in Australia.

10. How do you ‘work-life balance’?

With extreme discipline. It’s hard because I love working, and I derive immense intrinsic satisfaction from it. But I love my family and friends more. So I need to be ruthless about carving out time, booking holidays and silencing my inner dialogue around work. And I am.

11.    Let’s future gaze – if you could see yourself in the next 10 years, what would your life look like?

More holidays. Still working flexibly, perhaps from different international locations. Travel is life.

12.  Lastly, what is your favourite thing to do in your downtime?

Read. Swim. Spend time with friends and family. Appreciate wine and food. Travel.