How women are changing the way we do business

Monday, 22 February 2016

Pippa Hellas

This article is part of a series celebrating International Women’s Day and the difference that women make. As part of this celebration, ACU will be hosting five free events across our campuses on 8 March.

Pippa Hallas, CEO of Ella Baché, is part of a growing number of women changing Australian business.

Her story is a testament to the crucial role women play in boardrooms and the c-suite across the country.

“Gender diversity at a strategic level, offering different perspectives on different situations and problem solving, is a great thing,” says Pippa, a graduate in Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from ACU.

“Women from my experience bring a more emotive, intuitive approach to business. Women bring more compassion and sensitivity to issues.”

Blending family and business

The challenge for all successful and hardworking parents is balancing vocational and parenting responsibilities.

For Pippa, there’s no such thing as striking a perfect balance between being a CEO and a mother. She takes every day as it comes and says being able to adjust and adapt is key to success.

“The only certain thing in life is change, so you’ve got to go with change.”

Pippa has been fortunate to have fantastic female role models throughout her life, especially in her family business Ella Baché. She’s seen firsthand how females can innovate and build a successful business.

The key, Pippa say, is passion: “I don’t work for financial gain only. Working is something I choose to do because I love doing it.

“If you believe in yourself as a woman and follow your passion, then success follows.”

Social responsibility at the core

Pippa says social responsibility is central to business today. Ella Baché remains focused on community education and giving women self-confidence through healthy skin.

“Our company vision is all around creating results that last,” says Pippa.

“If a customer walks into one of our stores and they have a problem with their skin, we don’t just sell them a product as such, we educate them on what is going on in their skin and how they can achieve skin health. A lot of brands out there don’t do that because they’re all about products.”

Ella Baché also partners with Look Good Feel Better, a community program dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“We run a college in northern Sydney and a couple of times a year [Look Good Feel Better] patients come in and our students provide them with a day of pampering and treatments. Afterwards they feel fantastic,” she says.

“Community is at the top of everything we do.”

“Gone are the days where brands speak to consumers on one level using traditional advertising. You have to build a community around your brand today.”

While Ella Baché remains a premium brand, Pippa has made a conscious effort to ensure the brand remains relatable to everyone and a household name for many Australians.

“We’ve deliberately taken some aspects of our brand – such as our sun range and our tanning range – and participated in summer sports and the beach Aussie lifestyle, and engaged on that level.”

While we should take stock and celebrate the recent success women have had in the workforce, Pippa believes it’s important we keep raising awareness because business can still be a lonely place for women in Australia.

“It’s still very much a boys’ club,” explains Pippa.

“I don’t understand it because I think there are so many amazing women out there.”

Celebrations for International Women’s Day are gearing up across ACU on a national scale with major events planned for 8 March in Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. This is a great opportunity for ACU alumni to reconnect and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Register for these events