Published in the Geelong Advertiser - June 12, 2017
Written by Claire Martin
A HOMEGROWN entrepreneur is encouraging young women to tackle the workforce gender gap with her start-up company GirledWorld.
Geelong Grammar alumni Edwina Kolomanski co-founded the organisation with marketing guru Madeleine Grummet and they are aiming to equip young women with the skills needed to step into the workforce “skilled, confident and ready to lead”.
They have put together the 2017 GirledWorld Summit, which will see hundreds of secondary school girls take leadership workshops, hear stories of start-up success and gain career advice from local and international female leaders.
Ms Kolomanski grew up on the Bellarine Peninsula and worked at Geelong Football Club before receiving a scholarship to study at Melbourne University’s Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship.
“It was there I met co-founder Madeleine, she’s a mother of four daughters and is really passionate about making a change for them,” she said.
“I started looking at the statistics of female CEOs and managers, and looked at some of them within emerging industries and found out that they’re all still really dominated by men.”
She said statistics on the representation of women in traditionally male-dominated industries such as STEM, start-ups and in leadership was worse in rural areas.
“We looked at the opportunities for women in metro areas versus regional — when you branch out in regional areas the stats just get worse,” Ms Kolomanski said.
“These are areas that hold excellent opportunities for impact, though.”
The GirledWorld Leadership Summit 2017 is for girls in years 7 to 12 and will explore automation, digital disruption and teach girls Design Thinking, teamwork, coding and virtual reality.
The event will also feature keynote addresses from global leaders and homegrown start-up founders, including Airbnb, IBM, StartupVic, Frank Body, LaunchVic, Atlassian, Girl Geek Academy, The Hacker Exchange, TOM Organic and more.
Ms Kolomanski said they had more projects in the pipeline for GirledWorld and encouraged Geelong girls to attend the summit at the University of Melbourne's Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship from June 24-25 2017.