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Scrubbing up for success

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Scrubbing up for success

After a win at the 2021 Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Awards, Sally Doran reflects on her career success.

There is a little-known fact about one of the region’s most successful women in business that helped set the stage for her career. Before her role at Kunda Park-based Infectious Clothing Company, Sally Doran – named 2021’s Corporate Woman of the Year at the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network (SCBWN) Awards – spent 20 years touring the world managing live entertainment, spiegeltents and clowns.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in entertainment and I actually studied business and radio broadcasting after school,” Ms Doran says. “For the first 20 years of my career I was working in live entertainment touring with bands as a production assistant and then worked as a theatrical producer in New York for several years.”

Moving back to Australia in 2009, Ms Doran met her now-husband Pete, who at the time was an emergency nurse with a side business manufacturing scrubs.

“When we had our first child it became wildly apparent that a career in theatre wasn’t going to be. Pete had been running Infectious as a side business since 2001 and I had a business degree so it made sense to go in and do this together.”

Today, Infectious Clothing Company is Australia’s largest online scrubs supply store.

Ms Doran says the SCBWN award gave her an opportunity to reflect on her own successes.

“I’m very good at touting the success of the business so it was really good to look at myself as an individual,” she says.

“I enjoy lifting people up or mentoring them but to have someone see what you do as valuable and be nominated was just wonderful.”

The mother of two says her success does come from ‘luck’, a lot of hard work and juggling the “work/life swing”.

She says success also comes from being prepared to put in the hard yards and being aware that not everything goes to plan.

“I’m lucky I have great children, a great husband, great family, but I’m not lucky to be a successful business woman or to have the life that I lead. It’s women at my stage of life that have the knowledge and the wisdom but we’ve got a whole lot on our plates. We’ve got young children, ageing parents – there are so many moving parts.

“I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am today and I’ve had a lot of failures and I take a lot of risks. None of that’s luck. It’s being prepared to fall flat on you face and then show back up the next day and be prepared to have the hard conversations and do the hard work.”

Ms Doran’s advice to women in business is to allow time for critical thinking and future proofing. “You’ve got to make time to be planning ahead and thinking of what you need to do to future proof your business to ensure you grow.”

SCBWN president Min Swan says the network’s awards are a wonderful way to highlight the incredible work of women in the region.

“Being nominated in the [award] is about more than the business you are in,” she says. “It is about all of who you are. It is about how you find balance in life, about how you contribute to the community and about what you put into your business.”

The Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network is driven to empower and celebrate women to achieve in business. My Weekly Preview is a proud supporter of the organisation, and women in business. Visit scbwn.org.au

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