Gillian Franklin is a marketer with a passion and commitment to supporting women in business. She is managing director of her own company, The Heat Group Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading personal care companies. Gillian is on the Board of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association of Australia (CTFA), ACCORD, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and MTC (Melbourne Theatre Company). She has formerly held directorships on the Microsurgery Foundation, Neopec and CEDA.
Who do you regard as your mentor?
Hugh Morgan AC, Chairman of my company and Ron Walker AC CBE
If you could change another woman’s life, who would it be and why?
I would want the Prime Minister to be more of an inspiration to women and to legislate that Child Care was tax deductible. I consider this to be an important and necessary investment in the economic security for Australia and to sincerely respect the value of diversity in the workplace.
You are a role model for women, how do you think you can assist in their success?
By leading by example and supporting working mothers in their careers at Heat. Also promoting the benefits of this to businesses more generally and encouraging businesses to consider flexible works places and paid maternity leave as an “investment” rather than a “cost”.
What’s the key to successfully balancing work and life?
Accepting that you cannot be perfect in all roles all the time, communicating and negotiating with family and colleagues about priorities and choices.
If you had an afternoon to yourself, how would you spend it?
A long run or hard gym workout followed by a shower and watching a movie in my pjs.
What makes you happy?
When my family are happy and exceeding budgets at work
What personal attributes have you used to overcome adversity in your life?
I have had lots of adversity including three out of six in my family dying in tragic circumstances, cancer and two major lawsuits – both of which I won, so appreciate the value of this question. I have used courage and determination to find something positive in every negative experience to continue to strengthen my character.
What are your career goals from here?
Continue to build Heat to make it Australia’s best personal care company and deliver outstanding returns to shareholders and staff. Also to continue to develop my Board expertise and join a public Board.
What book/film/artist/soundtrack changed your life?
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
What’s your motto?
Don’t say “No”, say “How?”