“We need approachable women as much as we need hard-edged, tough-as-nails ones. We need successful ones as well as flame-outs,” she said. “Every role model normalises the path and makes it clear that this actually isn’t a special ‘man thing’.
“By sheer force of will and numbers, in tandem with changes in attitude affecting the many steps in the path from pay to promotions, airtime to funding, we’ll see more and more successful women. And that in turn adds to the flywheel.”
Tech sector boom means fewer women
Gender diversity on the Young Rich List has reduced with the boom in venture capital-backed technology start-ups in recent years, which are overwhelmingly founded by men. There are 36 members of the tech sector on this year’s list, of whom just four are women.
When the Young Rich List started in 2003 it was filled with actors, models and performers including Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Kylie Minogue and Elle Macpherson. However the salaries of their younger cohorts have not kept pace with the tech sector; Margot Robbie, a debutant on this year’s list, is a notable exception.
And while women’s sport is capturing more headlines, it’s still less lucrative. Six of the 29 debutants this year are part of the Australian invasion of the men’s National Basketball Association in the US.
When it comes to entrepreneurs, Ms Ta’eed believes there will be a slow and steady shift towards gender parity. There’s some evidence in that from within the venture capital industry.
Of the 180 investments made in the past 12 months by Australia’s 13 largest venture capital funds, surveyed by the Financial Review, 35 per cent had a female co-founder, the same as the year before but an improvement on 26 per cent in 2017.
“The more girls and young women decide ‘I’ll give it a crack’, the better,” Ms Ta’eed said.