Our annual Women in Business Lunch is one of the key networking events in the City of Banyule.
The event is held to celebrate great business minds, up and coming entrepreneurs and the important role women play in our business community.
It also provides an opportunity for like-minded individuals to engage and establish valuable connections, as well as hearing from dynamic and successful guest speakers.
The 2018 Banyule Business lunch featured guest speaker Shaynna Blaze an award-winning Interior Designer, best known for her role on The Block and Selling Houses Australia.
With over 400 guests, the 2018 Women in Business lunch was a great afternoon of networking and celebrating our local business women.
If you missed this years event read Gianna’s reflective piece summarising the Banyule Women in Business Lunch held at The Centre Ivanhoe on International Women’s Day 2018.
Be You in Business
By Gianna Lucas – Podcast Host, Motivational Speaker & Entrepreneur | giannalucas.com
Challenging, empowering and galvanising. These are a few of the words that can be used to describe life as a woman in the past year. But at a recent annual Women in Business Lunch, 420 women along with one phrase stood tall: “just be you.”
Fitting words from stoic mum and interior designer Shaynna Blaze who, after deafening applause, shared her rise to fame as TV personality on hit property shows, Selling Houses Australia and The Block.
With the day to match, International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, women across the community gathered in the heart of Ivanhoe to enjoy the Banyule City Council’s annual Women in Business Lunch.
For the last nine years, the luncheon acknowledges the significance of the day by celebrating the very women contributing to the local community – from business owners, to secondary school students and many others in between.
As per tradition, this grand event was held at The Centre, Ivanhoe. And just like previous years, the venue’s Great Hall was turned into a sea of pink and purple. Beautiful bouquets were each table’s centre of attention, while bright streams of light bloomed above, covering the ceiling in splendorous colour.
The room was buzzing with women, albeit a few men too. New friendships were also formed and countless collaborations brainstormed. The energy was palpable.
Councillors, Alison Zandegu and Mark Di Pasquale officially opened the event. Mirroring the previous year, Alison captured every eye as she summarised her career journey.
Alison iterated that no matter the industry, she’s always felt “respected, supported, congratulated and included”, concluding that “in business, accept your critics and align yourself with your fans.”
It wasn’t long ‘til keynote speaker, Shaynna Blaze took to the stage. Nothing was off the cards, opening up about her humble childhood and raising two kids as a young single mum. She also shared her favourite career highlights and her greatest influencers. It was most certainly one heartfelt and empowering interview.
According to Shaynna, she grew up in an “ugly home”. But as she looks back on her childhood, “the love of her parents” made her home beautiful, insisting “you don’t need to have money to be happy”.
Shaynna insisted that the key to happiness is found once your passions take flight.
“We’re so afraid of being judged. Find your joy. Do what makes you happy and just begin. Be you. If I was never ‘me’, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today. It all comes down to integrity.”
Many of you no doubt would agree that Instagram is one very popular platform for women in business. Shaynna adores the channel, however knows it comes with its difficulties.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the picture-perfect images on Instagram. I’m open about my life, but there’s a part of me people will never know – just my family and friends. If I revealed everything, I’d feel like I’m giving my soul away. I do social media for business, but with integrity.”
A diverse range of women have inspired Shaynna throughout her life. As a child her “out-there bohemian aunty” was her greatest inspiration. As a Jazz singer [yes she can sing!], she adores Aretha Franklin. From an interior design aspect, she admires Kelly Hoppen. But she also appreciates the great work and mission behind Hollywood greats including Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Emma Watson and Reece Witherspoon.
Having witnessed the benefits first-hand, Shaynna is a big believer in collaboration, not competition in business concluding that, “As businesswomen we should delegate, network and work together. We should be reaching out and asking ‘How can I help you?’ ‘How can we collaborate to help each other out?”
“Work-life balance doesn’t exist. We’ve all got to juggle 10 million things. [There’s so much to be gained] by working together with other people rather than doing something all by yourself. Be open. Be you.”