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Building a franchising empire, family business and cultural diversity - with Sara Pantaleo

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Release Date: 03/11/2022

Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series show art Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

In this first episode of the new Women on Boards Honours Podcast Series - featuring the 12 WOB members recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours - WOB co-founder and Executive Director, , chats with . Lesley was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to tertiary education, and to the law. This is only the second year that the majority of honours were awarded to women since the national system formally began on 14 February 1975 – nearly 50 years ago. Lesley had a long and distinguished legal career, starting in Sydney at Allens before she headed overseas...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community show art Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Growing up in South Africa Lisa Carlin experienced apartheid in its truest form.  “I just felt this complete sense of unfairness of it all, and that's really carried with me today” she says.  Through this she has become extremely passionate about transformation to give a voice to those who don’t have one. Lisa is the cofounder and CEO of global advisory FutureBuilders Group and author of . Her portfolio includes mentoring founders and CEOs in the HRTech, EdTech and workplace talent sector, she is on the Advisory board for Rebelliuz and Chair of the University of Cape Town...

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Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same? show art Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same?

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Is there less of a tolerance for failure for women at the top than there is for men? In the wake of former Optus CEO’s Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation from the telco following a nationwide outage that took down phone and internet services for 14 hours, Women on Boards Executive Director Claire Braund spoke with ABC Canberra Radio’s  about the blame culture around CEOs following a crisis and asks, do we treat our male and female CEOs differently? Find out more about  Visit our   Women on Boards Follow us on 

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Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW show art Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Claire Braund spoke to 3AW Drive Host, Tom Elliot on 23 Sept 2023 about a decision by HESTA that they will vote against select director re-elections of ASX300 companies where the board has less than 30 per cent of female representation. Claire says HESTA and other investment firms are taking a stance on “merit”, “We like to think of merit as something objective … but it’s actually defined by culture, values and expectations … which means only some parts of merit are to do with how hard one works,” she told Tom Elliott. Read HESTA's four key expectations for ASX300 companies in...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

You may well think Dr Amber Tan has the world at her feet and job offers flowing in. A former Malaysian national who was born and raised in Ipoh (the gateway to the Cameron Highlands hill station), Amber migrated to Melbourne in 2011 with her partner and received an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship in 2013 to complete her PhD at Monash University. A feat she accomplished in 2017 with no amendments.  Her thesis critically examined national security and public order laws in Malaysia and their impact on constitutionalism and the rule of law and Amber has also conducted extensive...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Dr Monique Beedles was not your average teenager. At 15, as well as having posters of Murph Hughes and the Adelaide Oval on her bedroom wall, it was her dream to be CEO of Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche. To this end, she went on to study German and chemistry at school. “I was always interested in medical research from a very young age. But I didn’t know back then that to be the CEO of Roche, your name has to be Roche,” she tells Claire in this podcast. Undeterred, Monique went on to study pharmacy and gained her first board role with the Australasian College of Pharmacy....

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Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell show art Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

When it comes to getting the most out of your LinkedIn page, content is great but it’s no match for connection. That’s the message from LinkedIn expert Karen Tisdell, who talks to Claire Braund about how LinkedIn has changed over the years and the importance of content AND connection when it comes to directors putting themselves out there”.  As she says, “if you have a really great profile and you’re putting out content but you haven’t made the effort to connect with people to build your network, then you’re just shouting into the wind”. With a long background in the...

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Gorana Saula: International woman of innovation show art Gorana Saula: International woman of innovation

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Bosnian-born Gorana Saula speaks three languages, has three passports, four drivers’ licenses and loves to travel. And with her passion for gadgets and all things tech it’s no wonder friends of the former CEO and electronics engineer call her James Bond.  The Non Executive Director has had a wide range of executive leadership roles in defense, telecommunications, and electronics manufacturing. Attending university in Croatia she holds two master's degrees in electronics and business and is known as a woman who loves innovation - her first job out of uni was leading a project to...

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Fair game: Dr Catherine Ordway on gender equity, integrity and anti-corruption in sport show art Fair game: Dr Catherine Ordway on gender equity, integrity and anti-corruption in sport

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Dr Catherine Ordway is an academic in sports management, and a sports lawyer, who specialises in anti corruption and integrity.She's a sought after tribunal member, media commentator and consultant who's assisted sports including AFL, archery athletics, basketball, combat sports cricket, cycling, football, golf, handball, rowing, rugby, softball, swimming, and triathlon in governance, selection and anti-doping and code of conduct disputes.What is less well known is that Catherine played a central role in the establishment of Women on Boards shortly after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In this...

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Fostering culturally diverse leadership - with Karen Loon show art Fostering culturally diverse leadership - with Karen Loon

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Karen Loon is a Non-Executive Director, and a former senior Big 4 partner. She has worked with the world’s leading banks and is a recognised thought leader and speaker on workplace diversity and inclusion - inspired partly by her own experiences in Australia. “What really struck me was that I was sitting in boardrooms or sitting in meetings, where there was pretty much I was the only Asian in the room, let alone an Asian Australian woman in the room,” Karen tells Claire in this episode. She was formerly PwC’s Singapore and Asia-Pacific Diversity Leader and a member of its award-winning...

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Building a franchising empire, family business and cultural diversity

Sara Pantaleo is a businesswoman who has always loved working and mentoring people.

Migrating to Melbourne from Italy with her family as a teenager, Sara went on to work with mainframe systems in IT operations at NAB. In 1996 she joined La Porchetta as Distribution and Administration Manager – taking a major shift from the corporate environment into family business. Appointed as CEO in 2005 and to the board in 2010, after her brother was tragically killed in a road accident, Sara was instrumental in driving La Porchetta’s growth to become the largest, licensed, a-la-carte restaurant franchise in Australasia.

Her passion for franchising as a business model has been reflected in service on the boards of the Franchise Council of Australia and Family Business Australia - the peak body for a sector that accounts for almost half a million businesses and 50% of the Australian workforce.

Sara is an inaugural member of WOB’s Cultural Diversity Committee and in this podcast she talks to Claire about growing up in Italy, making the move from the corporate world into running a hugely-successful family business and dealing with systemic gender and cultural discrimination along the way.

Find out more

Sara Pantelao

Claire Braund (host)

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