The power of business awards for your career

At Leaders in Heels, we love sharing the stories of brilliant women, who have worked hard to achieve success in business and life.

From women who have built their own businesses, through to game changing corporates and everyone in between, a common factor amongst these leaders is that they are humble, and prefer to work hard with little expectation of personal recognition for their achievements.

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While it may be easy to think “why me?” when an opportunity to nominate for a business award comes up, the benefits of putting yourself forward are extensive.

From building confidence, right through to promoting your business, with the Telstra Women’s Business Awards just around the corner, now is a great time to take the next step. In case you need more convincing, we have shared some great insights from past winners to get you on the way.

1. Building confidence

It’s well known that many women often focus on getting the job done with as little fanfare as possible. While dedication is key, it’s also critical to build your confidence as an individual – and leader – of your business.

Having the confidence to “have a go”, can be easier said than done. Sharon Warburton, 2014 WA Business Woman of the Year, believes that confidence is the key for successful women; no matter what industry they are in.

I suspect many of you are familiar with the case studies that suggest that if a male can do 10% of a job description they’ll apply, whereas if a woman can’t do at least 90 per cent they won’t.

A leader in her industry, Sharon combined her experience with the confidence boost from the awards to start Steel Heels. Having the confidence to put herself forward as a leader has benefitted many women, particularly those working in male-dominated industries as Sharon shares her experiences freely to help other women.

2. Intimately knowing your value

Busy women are often put off by the time it takes to go through the entry process for many awards.

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Life can be a delicate juggling act, particularly when you are juggling a busy work life with personal commitments – one extra task can feel like it will throw your entire routine out!

Don’t overlook this key stage, as the personal learnings can be incredibly valuable… no matter how far through the process you ultimately go.

Going through the entry requirements is much more than an administrative burden: it’s a great way to measure your career and personal growth, and forces you to take the time to reflect on how far you have come. Intimately knowing your value, and the value of your work, is a fantastic tool moving forward.

Skye Anderton, winner of the 2014 QLD Young Business Woman of the Year award and founder of Ruby Olive notes:

It suddenly occurred to me through this process, that business that I started in my living room only 4 years ago had in fact come along way and every little step on that journey had contributed to the huge amount I now realised I knew.

3. Great PR for your business

It’s a competitive market, and sometimes it feels impossible to cut through the noise, online and offline! Building an association between you and your business and well-known industry awards builds your profile, and is great PR for your business.

For Kate Morris, founder and CEO of Adore Beauty, entering the business awards also signified a change from working in the business, to working on the business. As CEO, she is able to add value to Adore Beauty and promote the brand by building her profile and focusing on key areas of the business where she can add significant value.

4. Networking

In addition to the personal benefits, putting yourself forward for awards opens significant doors. From making friends who understand the highs and lows of business, through to potential mentors and champions for your business, don’t overlook the power of growing your networks of like-minded women.

For Mia Klitsas, 2014 Victorian Young Businesswoman of the Year, this was a highlight of the awards process.

It’s not something that I thought about when I entered the awards, but being able to connect with other like-minded, passionate, driven and successful women has probably been my personal highlight of the entire process.

5. Feedback from influential business leaders and the community

In addition to increasing your networks, entering awards provides your business and personal brand with credibility that attracts business leaders – providing you with further opportunities to grow and learn.

Mia further reflected that,

The opportunities and possibilities that result from participating in the awards are endless; you never know who you will meet and where opportunities will take you. Whether or not you are successful, each stage of the awards offers new learnings and experiences.

As your business moves forward, support networks from a cross-section of society and business are invaluable.

Entries for the Telstra Business Women Awards are open until midnight June 29. Entries and nominations can be made at or by calling 1800 817 536.