Consulting leaders back budding female entrepreneurs (and 'sisters')

14 November 2021 4 min. read
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More than two dozen CEO’s and leading business executives have partnered with aspiring female entrepreneurs for this year’s Sister Pitch, including a number of consulting industry heavyweights.

Hosted by non profit organisation Global Sisters, this year’s Sister Pitch 2021 has seen 30 budding female entrepreneurs deliver their business spiels with the backing of some of Australia’s biggest consulting heavyweights. Held under the title ‘Back Her Brilliance’, the campaign sees 30 leading business figures paired up with ‘Sisters’, with $2.6 million generated in corporate pro bono support and over 5,000 women supported to date.

The Global Sisters concept seeks to provide business development resources such as mentoring and education, incubation, sales & marketing, and fundraising and micro-financing to women who are unable to participate in mainstream employment or otherwise struggle to access stable work. According to the organisation, just $1,000 can help launch a new business, with the goal of establishing 17,000 new businesses over the next five years.

With consulting firms including Deloitte (Deloitte Creative partner Nick Garrett is a member of the Global Sisters’ board) and McKinsey & Company among those to have provided ‘speed coaching’ support over the years – helping participants to solve their most pressing business problems and overcome roadblocks in short, sharp sessions – this year’s Sister Pitch event has also attracted a number of leading consulting industry figures.

One of those figures is John Lydon, McKinsey’s former Australia & New Zealand managing partner who retired from the firm in September after more than 25 years. Lydon, who currently co-chairs the Australian Climate Leaders Coalition, has been paired up with Mununjali woman Rhiannon Mitchell, founder of Saltwater Sistas, which offers workshops and mentoring to Indigenous women focused on ocean conservation and well-being.

John Lydon (ex McKinsey) + Rhiannon Mitchell (founder of Saltwater Sistas)

Having only been launched this year, the co-founder of healthcare human resources matchmaking platform Xperitos Connect, Maria McManus, has now found herself with the backing of Boston Consulting Group ANZ managing partner and consulting veteran Anthony Roediger. In addition, Roediger is a member of BCG’s global Social Impact Leadership team, and a long-time board member of Indigenous development organisation Jawun.

Anthony Roediger (BCG) + Maria McManus (Xperitos Connect)

Accounting and consulting network Grant Thornton’s current Australian CEO Greg Keith is another participant, paired up with ‘sister’ Irene Mafara, a recent migrant from Zimbabze and one-time Deloitte employee in South Africa and Dubai who has founded financial literacy advocacy and consultancy Financial Legacy Evolve. On LinkedIn, Mafara noted Keith’s invaluable expertise – gained from a more than 25 year career at Grant Thornton.

Greg Keith (Grant Thornton) + Irene Mafara (Financial Legacy Evolve)

Elsewhere, Louise Capon, the General Counsel of KPMG Australia, has teamed up with sister Rachel Dal Zotto, the founder of Why Wonder?, a sexual education and body safety program tailored to primary school-aged kids.

Louise Capon (KPMG) + Rachel Dal Zotto (Why Wonder?)

Rounding off the consulting industry’s support, PwC partner and 25-year firm veteran Alice Kase has partnered with THISISWHOIAM founder Nelsa. TIWIA offers coaching and workshops for people who have suffered challenging or traumatic experiences.

Alice Kase (PwC) + Nelsa Clark Simmonds (THISISWHOIAM)

About Global Sisters
Founded in 2013 by Mandy Richards, Global Sisters has since inception supported more than 5,000 Australian women on their business journeys. The non-profit backs female entrepreneurs through a roadmap of programs, connected to business launch and development milestones.