The Minority Report: Women Who Work in a Man’s World.
Thanks to Smith’s Lawyers for sharing the stories of AIS CEO, Elena Gosse and other successful women working in male dominated industries. 8 March, International Women’s Day.
– The Manufacturing CEO – Elena Gosse
“Some of our staff, even my husband to some degree, doubted my capabilities and vision for the company”
I am the proud owner and CEO of Australian Innovative Systems (AIS), a company that designs and manufactures water disinfection technology and chlorine generators for commercial and residential swimming pools. The water disinfection industry is a traditionally male dominated one but I’m changing that, one woman at a time!
I have worked hard to be recognised for my contribution to the company and our industry. I first arrived in Australia as a university educated Russian immigrant who previously worked in the entertainment industry.
After my husband and I bought AIS, I immediately saw opportunities to grow the business however my limited English language skills and technical knowledge about the business meant that it was difficult to put them into action. I decided to embark on further studies, learning advanced English, gaining a Diploma in Business at TAFE and then a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at QUT. I then immersed myself in understanding the science of water disinfection.
When I first started at AIS some of our customers would assume I was simply ‘the boss’s wife’ or the receptionist. Some of our staff, even my husband to some degree, doubted my capabilities and vision for the company. Many found it hard to believe that an immigrant could successfully swap a career in the ‘arts’ for ‘smarts’ and lead our company from the 3-staff operation it was to the 50+ staff multi-million-dollar success story it is today.
As a female CEO, I want to help other women succeed. I network and collaborate with women, champion gender equality, speak at events, mentor others and give back to my community through various board and not-for-profit roles. In 2016 I raised over $23,000 for Women’s Legal Service Queensland, as part of Dancing CEOs, to help women and their children escape domestic and family violence. I want to inspire other women to achieve their dreams.