Why this founder sought out a woman to run his startup and you should too
Thursday, January 28, 2016/
I started MoneyBrilliant because I had a dream.
The roots of this were formed watching my mum struggle financially after the breakdown of her marriage. I wanted to offer a solution to firstly help women in my mother’s situation, and secondly wanting to influence all women to become financially educated and freer.
I knew I couldn’t achieve this alone. I knew I needed somebody to be yin to my yang. Lucky for me I knew the perfect somebody. So I chased her, encouraged her and annoyed her to join in business with me and be the driving force of realism behind my dreams to build something out of a desire to make a difference.
Women make better leaders
Jemma Enright is an amazing leader – she is dedicated, hardworking, compassionate, strong, empathic, open and in my unbiased opinion one of the best CEOs in Australia. What I love about working with a strong female leader is that the little things matter. Our product is beautifully designed, we have a great working space and our team are all engaged, driven to succeed and do their part.
In my eyes Jemma and I have nearly the perfect working relationship. We share a common vision and values for the business. I had a dream, and Jemma had the know-how and guts to turn it in to a growing and thriving startup.
It’s not all roses – at times we have disagreements. This is real and the tension drives better outcomes for the business. Jemma has a business head and I don’t. Jemma is able to have the tough conversation that I can’t. I prefer being spontaneous, Jemma loves to prepare. We trust and respect each other’s strengths and in a very real sense bring out the best in each other.
Letting go and thriving
Some people find it difficult to relinquish control, particularly for something you have started. For some men it may even be harder to consider handing the reins to a woman. I want to challenge this way of thinking, because this is just letting ego get in the way of what could be a truly amazing partnership.
In the MoneyBrilliant story I think of myself as the screenplay writer and Jemma as the director. I don’t get always get what I want but our director not only brings the best out of my ideas, she brings new ones and a fresh perspective and approach.
If I was the writer and director of the MoneyBrilliant story I would have more control but the outcome would be worse for everyone involved, including me.
The need for gender diversity in tech
There aren’t enough women in tech and startups.
I would like to see more women getting involved in the early stages of new businesses. I encourage male entrepreneurs to find a woman to run their business.
I needed to give up control so I could see my vision become a reality. It was tough at first but not anymore. With Jemma’s leadership and encouragement I have become a better employee, leader, and person.
For the longest time I wanted to find my Steve Wozniak, but it turns out I found someone better. I found my Jemma Enright and I encourage my fellow founders to do the same.
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