Interview: Carol Schwartz

Celebrating the first ever Global Women's Entrepreneurship Day
"Entrepreneurship needs a global voice of importance"

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“At the moment there’s a global war for market. Everyone’s talking about human capital, investing in human capital, the growth of human capital.”

Carol Schwartz is a powerful luminary in the Rare Birds community. As an AM, Carol has extensive experience in business, property, the arts, community organisations and has been a director on a large number of public and government boards.

Her current appointments include Chairman of Our Community, Non Executive Director of the Bank of Melbourne and Stockland, Founding Chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and Founding Director of Scale Investors. Here she speaks to Rare Birds about her thoughts on the entrepreneurial landscape for women in Australia.

Women tend to be risk adverse because they’re not the traditional owners of risk capital. A by-product from that was access to more capital for women entrepreneurs and for me the focus was women as investors. At the moment there’s a global war for market. Everyone’s talking about human capital, investing in human capital, the growth of human capital.

We have one of the most highly educated group of women in the OECD and yet we have the lowest participation in the workforce. I’m constantly reminding Australian society that we have fabulous women in this country and let’s not let them fall to the wayside because these women make great contribution.

Women need to be given equal opportunity for leadership roles. That takes place in the form of corporations putting women as there spokes people, there being equal numbers of women represented at conferences, equal numbers of women represented in the media as thought leaders and opinion makers.

We all know that the business you start out with isn’t the one you end up with. That’s what I look for, the passion, vision, energy and flexibility. That’s what I am looking at because I’ve read the business plan, you’re not going to meet with them if you don’t think the business plan stacks up, you’re only going to meet with them if you think the business plan is investable. Then the decision for me, rests on the person.

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Celebrating the first ever Global Women's Entrepreneurship Day
"Entrepreneurship needs a global voice of importance"

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