Sally Illingworth | Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar Darwin

What drives you to succeed? Have you ever been told “you can’t”? The existence of opportunity drives me to succeed! There are so many opportunities, some obvious and some not, and we as individuals need to continuously train ourselves to seek the opportunities that exist and leverage them to create value.

I’ve been told ample times that I won’t be able to achieve something and in most cases it’s been in reference to my age. Just quietly, when someone tells me I won’t be able to achieve something – I’m more motivated to make it happen!

What are the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in the Top End? The Darwin economy is dominated by male businessmen which isn’t a bad thing albeit it presents a challenge to women who are eager to get into business.

Particularly in certain industry’s whereby the longstanding businessmen have significant political influence from ‘behind the scenes’.

Who are some of the females that have inspired you? Sheryl Sandberg has recently become a large source of inspiration to me as a result of her Ted talk. She speaks a lot about the common theme amongst women in terms of ‘systematically underestimating themselves’ and encourages women to ‘lean in’ professionally. Inherently as women we are wired to lean in when it comes to personal scenarios albeit professionally we hold back. This needs to change.

What would you say to young females looking to make their mark? All aspiring females should be continuously investing in themselves. The world demands more female leaders which means a profound opportunity exists. A great first step for young females is to identify what they’re good at understanding and what they’re passionate about. Business is simply about understanding pain points and providing valuable solutions. The passion component is necessary to live a meaningful life.

How do you feel about the term #girlboss? I’m not a huge fan. Conversely I am a fan of the hashtag ‘#leadingladies’. From a definition perspective, the word ‘boss’ is quite constraining where as the word ‘leading’ encompasses the true purpose of making a difference in this world. And the word ‘lady’ is more powerful than ‘girl’. I refer to women of all ages as ladies.

Why is it important for females to support each other in business? Business has largely been dominated by males in which respect impacts collaboration and cooperation between women across the globe, and particularly within the Darwin community, we’ll strengthen our collective gender efforts to drive positive social and economical change and lead the way for younger females who aspire to make a profound impact throughout their life.