Women and Management - How Women Can Change the World
20 August 2009 at 3:18 pm
When co-founder and CEO of the social enterprise organisation, ISIS (Asia Pacific) group, Audette Exel took the stage at a recent Women and Management Dinner to speak as someone who is supposed to have changed the world, she told her audience that she felt a bit of an imposter.
She told the dinner guests that the title of “luckiest woman in the world” is one she is far more comfortable with.
Hosted by the Melbourne Business School, the dinner featured Exel and the chair of the Reichstein Foundation, Jill Reichstein.
Exel established the ISIS Group 12 years ago and it is one of the earliest examples of social entrepreneurship. The ISIS Group consists of a financial services firm set up for the principle purpose of generating revenue for its own charitable foundation.
The Foundation provides health and education services to mothers and children in extreme poverty in the developing world and now provides services to over 10,000 people a year.
A lawyer by training, her career began in Australia with law firm Allen Allen & Hemsley. Exel is Vice Chairman of the Trust of one of the world’s largest shipping mutual insurance companies. She was elected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World economic Forum in 1995.
Exel has just returned to Australia after a visit to Nepal where she visited with 136 kids that ISIS took from the hands of child traffickers out of abysmal conditions in Kathmandu 3 years ago. They now live in 10 beautiful ISIS homes.
She says that when they first gained custody of the children, they were wild, unruly aggressive little nightmares. Now they were so happy, full of life and laughter and naughtiness that taught her the redemptive power of loving.
Audette Exel says her main message that it is confidence that has been her main advantage rather than the issue of gender and her confidence has improved as she has got older helped along by great support from various mentors.
She says the great challenge for older women is to mentor and support younger women to help them unlock their confidence and change the world.
The Melbourne Business School’s 2009 Women and Management Dinner is now in it’s 16th year attracting an audience of up to 600 women and men. For more information go to www.mbs.edu