Women opening businesses at twice the rate of men

Man and woman standing back to back

Women are becoming key influencers in non-traditional industries such as building, construction, and agriculture, according to new research released in the lead up to the 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

The research, released by the Commonwealth Bank, found the top industry sectors in which women are more likely to control the financial aspect of the business include retail trade, construction, agriculture, and forestry and fishing.

“Women are increasingly taking the lead in business, whether it be through their own commercial ventures or within the sector. That’s testament to the drive and innovation they bring to the business community,” awards ambassador Kate McKenzie said.

The research also found that women are playing a growing role in managing a company’s finances across businesses of different sizes.

More women are also starting their own businesses, with statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that the number of women starting their own business is growing at twice the rate of men.

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards recognise these achievements and celebrate women in business, whether from the private or corporate sector, or community or government organisations.

“For 18 years, the awards have publicly recognised innovative business women who are leading the way in, and shaping, the business landscape,” McKenzie said.

Recent winners have come from a diverse range of industries and non-traditional sectors. The 2010 national winner was traffic engineer Melissa Mellen, CSIRO chief research scientist Dr Cathy Foley was 2009 winner, while director of Australia Zoo, Terri Irwin, took out the 2007 award.

State finals will be held around the country throughout September and October before the Telstra Australian Business Awards in Sydney on 21 November.

There are five award categories, including the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award, the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Awards, and the White Pages Community and Government Award. The two specialist categories are the Nokia Business Innovation Award and the Marie Claire Young Business Women’s Award.

As well as the chance to take their share of more than $200,000 in cash and prizes, finalists and winners are rewarded with an increased public profile and wide networking opportunities.

Entries close on 19 June.