In the Know with Olivia Ruello
Meet Business Chicks' one of a kind CEO and hear her inspiring story.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what gets you out of bed in the morning?
I grew up in Perth, we lost our Dad very young, so my Mum raised her 4 kids single-handedly and instilled in us curiosity to learn, to push ourselves to try things and a strong sense of equality for all, this was where my early interest in women’s issues was fostered. It’s been a lifelong journey of doing work that in some way works to create an even playing field for women. That gets me out of bed for sure!
We’d love to know more about your journey at Business Chicks, how did you get to where you are now?
I moved to Sydney at 21, to study social economic at the University of Sydney, I met Em Isaacs when I walked into her recruitment agency looking for some temp work! We spoke for 3 hours straight, and I started working for her the next day. So it’s been an 18 year relationship. Built on trust, respect and mutual vision of creating a better world for women. I had a stint in Banking, then Em asked me back as CEO 5 years ago when she moved her family to LA to grow Business Chicks in North America.
What’s your favourite memory and/or accomplishment from your time at Business Chicks?
Too many memories to mention, like we literally create memories for women as part of our mission at BC, so I’ve been lucky enough to lead a leadership immersion to India, sip cocktails with Richard Branson on Necker island, spend one on one time with women like Sarah Jessica Parker - you get it! But really my strongest memories are time spent with our members having conversations about everything and anything, about their lives, their businesses, what Business Chicks means to them. Real life women are my heroes. I think that comes from the level of admiration I have for my Mum, and everything women achieve every single day. My greatest accomplishment is definitely 2020! We managed to continue to serve our members and in fact serve them in a more meaningful way, whilst losing a lot of our income and pivoting our business to online. All done with smiles on our faces, grit, determination and a fierce culture of working together to get the job done - I am so proud of my team.
As we enter the new year and reflect upon 2020, what was the biggest learning for you both personally and professionally?
Definitely to not sweat the small stuff, life is fleeting, enjoy the divine ordinary, like the small moments of joy, the belly laughs, the moments of community and togetherness. I would say that applies to both my personal and professional life. Surrender to the uncertainty. Let things go.
2021 is set to be a fantastic year for you with baby number 2 arriving soon! What do you love most about motherhood?
Definitely the way kids teach us so much about being unfiltered and saying it how it is and finding so much joy in such small things! My 3 year old is a complete crack-up. She makes me laugh every day. We lose a lot of that as we grow. We get too guarded. Motherhood is such a beautiful gift but definitely the hardest job in the world.
At Aspect, we want to inspire our community to become the best version of themselves, whatever that may look like for each individual. When do you feel the #BestVersionofYOU and what are your top tips for those wanting to focus on personal and professional growth?
For me it is actually when I am doing work that is meaningful. Using my voice to elevate women, to speak truth to the realities of inequality in this country, listening to stories of women and their achievements and amplifying them - these things are when I am at my best. In terms of top tips, really think about what lights you up. And take action to create more of that every day. Never stop being curious and always challenge yourself to think that anything could be possible if you adjust your mindset!