Thought leader, industry commentator, corporate activist and contemporary feminist, Sadhana Smiles is the 6th IEC Awards keynote speaker
Sadhana Smiles is Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Group Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading, well respected and fastest growing real estate brands.
She is one of only two female CEOs in her sector, which is commonly referred to as the “boy’s club”.
Starting her career as a receptionist Sadhana has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader, industry commentator, corporate activist and a contemporary feminist.
She will be delivering the keynote address at the 6th Indian Executive Club Awards on Saturday, 19 November at Sofitel Melbourne.
“I am a coloured woman playing in a male dominated industry, earning my seat at the table through my results. Numbers never lie,” says Sadhana.
She is passionate about the issues of violence against women and diversity. “Our workplaces must reflect the communities we work in,” she adds.
In 2012 she brought ‘Walk a mile in their shoes’ to Victoria, which is now a national event for the Harcourts Group with over 1,000 men and women walking in high heels, raising money for White Ribbon and making a clear statement that violence towards women is not OK.
The group has raised over $300K for White Ribbon and funded over 100,000 students to participate in the award winning ‘breaking the silence program’ teaching the youth about respectful relationships.
She also works with various organisations in Australia to highlight the issue of dowry deaths of Indian women and the violence some of them face in Australia post their arranged marriages. Sadhana is also the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji and reducing the incidence of cervical cancer.
In 2013 Sadhana self-published her first book—People Power: did you have them @ hello, a step by step guide to developing and managing performance driven teams. In the same year, she was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the winner of the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
At her speech on receiving the award, Sadhana had said, “Having begun my career as a receptionist, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be standing on a stage in front of females that I consider incredibly successful and talented, and have them look upon me in the same way as the winner of this coveted award.”
She called her award not just recognition of the work she does for Harcourts but the people she has around her professionally and personally.
The judges commented that as part of Sadhana’s awards submission, “she demonstrated a series of ways in which she has influenced the business community, having created freshness in the industry with her progressive, bold and strategic approach to traditional real estate arenas as well as those that are traditionally ‘outside the box’ for Harcourts Victoria and the industry as a whole”.
Earlier this year, she self-published a journal for women based on her own experiences titled ‘I want what she’s having’. In 2016, she was named one of 100 women of Influence in Australia. AFR/WBC sponsored award.
Sadhana has earned a reputation as a popular speaker and presenter, regularly asked to present at some of the industry’s most prestigious events, Women’s Conference and many franchise conferences.