International Women’s Day 2023: Innovation for a gender-equal future | Westpac

“The novelty of ‘Best Female Innovation’-type grants has worn off, in my opinion,” she says. “It’s time for funders to start using a gender lens to distribute their capital. This will ensure all innovators have equitable access to opportunities to launch their ideas, without having to be seen as only the ‘Best Female Innovator’ as opposed to ‘Best Innovator’.”

Taking risks to effect real change

As successful business leaders in their own fields, both Bronwyn and Lucinda have advice for budding innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking to make their mark in 2023 and beyond.

“I think if anyone tells you what it’s actually like, you’d never start!” Lucinda says. “But my advice is always that you’re a parked car right now. If you want to get going, the best way to do that is to not overthink it – just start!”

One of the most supportive tools along Lucinda’s journey was being selected as a Westpac Scholar.

“I was fortunate to become a Westpac Scholar Fellow at the same time we were starting Neighbourlytics, and that was a sort of career transition for me,” she says. “Even though I had a lot of experience in cities and city-making, I didn’t really know anything about tech. So it offered me an amazing opportunity to speak with city leaders around the world to understand how they’re using technology for social good.

“Probably the most important part of the Scholars Network was that I could connect with a cohort of people who I’m still actively connected to. That peer network has been a huge source of encouragement over the years.”

For Bronwyn, her advice is to stick to what you believe in and don’t feel like you always need to be the loudest to get noticed.

“I don’t think the onus falls on women to change the way they do things,” she says. “The world needs to start listening to voices that aren’t necessarily the loudest. Just because someone asserts that their idea is the best in a loud voice, that doesn’t mean it actually is. We need to take notice of humble ideas being conveyed gently.”