Glass Ceiling-logo

Glass Ceiling

Business & Economics Podcasts

Glass Ceiling is a fortnightly podcast from the team at Startup Daily that tackles the issues around diversity in the startup ecosystem in a way that inspires and educates the leaders of tomorrow. Hosts Gina and James explore everything from venture capital to gaming during their in-depth conversations with a range of high profile guests who despite their gender, race, disability, orientation have despite the many barriers against them, smashed through the proverbial glass ceiling paving the way for next to come.




Glass Ceiling is a fortnightly podcast from the team at Startup Daily that tackles the issues around diversity in the startup ecosystem in a way that inspires and educates the leaders of tomorrow. Hosts Gina and James explore everything from venture capital to gaming during their in-depth conversations with a range of high profile guests who despite their gender, race, disability, orientation have despite the many barriers against them, smashed through the proverbial glass ceiling paving the way for next to come.




Episode 16: Ainsley Johnstone and Natalie Firth/Think Talent

Ainsley Johnstone and Natalie Firth are cofounders and co-CEOs of Melbourne recruitment firm Think Talent. The pair founded the business in 2014, because they wanted to do something a little different in recruitment. They explain Think Talent as a marketing-led business, where they help employers develop strong brand recognition that will future-proof them as the battle for talent gets more intense. Having started the business when they had young children, the cofounders are also focused on helping people ‘find their nirvana’, or whatever blend of work/life balance they need to enjoy both. The business is now turning over $3 million, working with clients including Medibank, Aesop, David Jones, and Cricket Australia. Gina had a chat with Natalie and Ainsley about the launch and growth of the business, how they developed their approach, and how they are helping to prepare both employers and job seekers for the future of work. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 15: Valeria Ignatieva/WORK180

Valeria Ignatieva is cofounder of WORK180, a company which looks to connect women with roles at organisations that have a focus on gender equality. The startup has created a jobs board that filters listings to accept only those that have policies or programs in place to support women, with WORK180 clients going through a screening process before they are accepted. The screening process takes companies through 20 criteria, including pay equity, flexible working, women in leadership, and paid parental leave. This information is then included in listings, allowing candidates to see what is on offer at a company before applying. With clients including Atlassian, Microsoft, Boeing, and Accenture, Work180 raised two $1 million funding rounds this year, to push expansion into the UK and the US. Gina had a chat with Valeria about the genesis of Work180, how it works with clients, and how the conversation about equality in the workplace has evolved since the business first launched. See /listen


Episode 14 - Emily Tuteur/littleBits

Emily Tuteur is director of product design at New York-based edutech startup littleBits. Founded in 2011, littleBits created the electronic building block, full of magnetic ‘bits’ that snap together to turn ideas into inventions. Along with Disney and education provider Pearson, the startup also has partnerships with over 20,000 schools, while there are more than 300 littleBits ‘invention clubs’ around the world. Born with inclusivity in mind, littleBits has grown its community through a focus on STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths - and gender neutral product design. It’s paid off: around 40 percent of kids using littleBits kids are girls, which is four times the industry average. Gina sat down for a chat to Emily about the growth of littleBits, and how she incorporates STEAM and gender-neutral design principles into her work. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 13 - Cherie Diaz/OpenLearning

Now managing director for OpenLearning in Australia, Cherie Diaz has had an interesting career trajectory: after starting out as a classroom teacher, she made the move to the corporate world with Ernst & Young, before progressing through a series of roles and then taking on the OpenLearning gig this past July. It’s an interesting one: OpenLearning raised an $8.5 million Series A round led by two Malaysian companies earlier this year to help fund its further expansion across Australia and into Southeast Asia. The startup now has more than 1.3 million students on board learning through the massive open online courses created by its university and vocational education partners. Along with Australian clients including UNSW, the University of Melbourne, and the Federal Government, the startup also has Malaysia’s 20 public universities and 34 public polytechnics on board. Gina sat down for a chat with Cherie about her career path, the evolution of OpenLearning’s approach to education, and th


Episode 12 - Nicola Farrell/muru-d

Now program manager for the muru-D accelerator in Sydney, Nicola Farrell has been working with startups for almost a decade. Originally from Ireland, she led startup and accelerator engagement for the Web Summit conference before moving to Sydney and starting at early stage startup incubator Pollenizer. She then found her way to AGL Energy before taking on the role at muru-d. Gina sat down for a chat with Nicola about her experience with Pollenizer, how the Australian startup ecosystem has developed over her time down under, and her role with muru-d. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 11: Maria Halasz/Cellmid

Maria Halasz is the CEO of the ASX-listed life sciences & biotech company, Cellmid Limited. She has a fascinating background: she originally started in the science, working in executive positions in biotechnology firms, before moving to corporate finance and managing investment funds. Maria joined Cellmid in 2007 - and since her appointment, she has led a capital restructure, attracted a new international board of directors, and built a diverse portfolio of assets. Gina sat down for a chat with Maria about her career, what it’s like running a biotechnology company, and how attitudes to women in the corporate world have changed over her time in business. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 10: Ann Moffatt

A veteran of the tech industry, Ann Moffatt has long been ahead of her time, starting her career in IT in 1959 as a programmer for Kodak in the UK. After moving to Australia in 1974 Ann worked as an IT executive at AMP Society, and later as National Development Manager for the ASX, where she worked in a team of three to develop the National Strategic Plan for ICT, to take the ASX into the 21st Century. She retired to Hervey Bay in 2001 but didn’t actually stay retired for long - she’s been working to provide tech education to her community through a number of initiatives, including the Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School for students. Gina sat down for a chat with Ann to talk about her career in tech and why she’s still passionate about getting others into it. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 9: Emily Rich/Microsoft for Startups

Emily Rich is the managing director of Microsoft for Startups in Australia and partner at M8 Ventures. After starting her career in Adelaide with the Australian Tax Office, Emily then went on to study software engineering and in 2013 cofound Jemsoft, an artificial intelligence startup that was acquired by ASX-listed Xped last year. Emily is now working to help other founders in a variety of ways: she’s been an angel investor, is a partner with the Startmate accelerator, is working to raise a venture capital fund through M8 Ventures, and earlier this year took on the role at Microsoft. Here she’s been tasked with leading Microsoft's startup initiative within Australia - overseeing its startup and scaleup programs, and building partnerships within the wider startup ecosystem to help companies grow. Gina sat down for a chat with Emily, talking about getting into tech, her journey as a founder, and why she’s stayed in startup land to help other founders. See /listener for privacy informati


Episode 8: Ruth Hatherley/Moneycatcha

Ruth Hatherley is the founder and CEO of Moneycatcha, a regtech startup providing a real-time blockchain solution for regulatory and compliance reporting. After growing up on a farm, Ruth spent her career at Commonwealth Bank and Mortgage Choice in Western Australia before coming up with Moneycatcha and deciding to go all in on the startup, leaving all the corporate benefits and investing her life savings to make it happen. Gina had a chat with Ruth about her career in finance, the current financial services landscape and the understanding of blockchain within it, and the process of growing Moneycatcha. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 07 - Oksana Goncharova/Ansarada

Oksana Goncharova is the Managing Director of the Material Information Platform at Australian startup Ansarada. Originally from Russia, Oksana moved from Berlin to Australia in 2012 as part of the startup team created by Rocket Internet that launched The Iconic. Oksana and her team grew the business from zero a multi-million dollar company and more than 300 employees in less than four years. Gina had a chat with Oksana about joining Rocket Internet, her move to Australia, the experience of launching The Iconic, and the work she is now doing at Ansarada. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 06: Kate Morris/Adore Beauty

Kate Morris is the founder and CEO of Adore Beauty, an online cosmetics retailer. The business was founded in 1999, when Morris was working on the cosmetics counter part-time while attending university. While she loved this work, she realised that for many women, the experience of buying makeup at a department store wasn't exactly enjoyable. Rather, Morris saw that many felt intimidated instead of empowered as they approached the makeup counters. Gina had a chat with Kate before the Christmas break to talk about the birth and growth of Adore Beauty, the sale of a stake of the business to Woolworths and buying it back, and supporting women in the Australian startup space. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 05: Monica Wulff/Startup Muster

Monica Wulff is the cofounder and CEO of Startup Muster, the largest annual survey of the Australian startup ecosystem, conducted to showcase the opportunities, progress and challenges. Mat and Gina sat down to chat with Monica after the release of the 2017 survey report, looking at the story behind stats such as the percentage of foreign-born founders, female founders, and where the Australian startup ecosystem is headed in 2018. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 04: Benjamin Chong/Right Click Capital

Benjamin Chong has been building and investing in online businesses for 15 years now, and currently, holds a whole host of jobs. Among them, he is the cofounder and partner at Right Click Capital, and also the director of the Founder Institute. Ben sits down with Gina in this episode to talk about breaking through the glass ceiling of the Australian tech ecosystem and recounts what it was like to start a business within the dial-up era as well as the relationship between investors and founders. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 03: Cyan Ta'eed/Envato

Cyan Ta'eed is the cofounder of Envato one of Australia's most successful tech companies. The platform is a digital marketplace where people buy and sell creative digital goods like music, graphics, video, photos, website themes and other products you may need for a creative project. Envato has over 7 million members and is more profitable than the likes of Atlassian and Campaign Monitor. Cyan sits down with Gina in this episode to talk about breaking through the glass ceiling of the Australian tech ecosystem and reflects on what it has taken to build one of the worlds most successful digital companies. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 02: Julie Demsey/SBE Australia

In this episode James sits down and talks with Julie Demsey, General Manager of Springboard Enterprises in Australia. Making the move after almost two decades of working in Silicon Valley she now dedicates her days helping female-founded startups in Australia build successful startups. Julie talks about the importance of developing the right culture in a startup, leading high performing teams and why founders should aim to have a sustainable business. See /listener for privacy information.


Episode 01: Kara Frederick/Reinventure Group

In the premiere episode of Glass Ceiling Gina sits down with venture capitalist Kara Frederick, a Silicon Valley native who has spent her career at the intersection of innovation and technology. Among others, she has worked at goldman sachs and with Growthpoint Technology Partners, and joined investment firm Reinventure Group as its first General Partner back in March. See /listener for privacy information.