The female who’s who of the Italian business community gathered Wednesday evening 23 October for the launch of the Italian Business Women’s Network, hosted at Ferrari Brisbane. Attended by over 130 guests from across the Australian corporate sector, the glamourous Newstead showroom for Italy’s most iconic supercar, was a hive of networking and celebration. Founder of the Italian Business Women’s Network, Mariangela Stagnitti, said the launch of the Network was a project two years in the making. “From the very beginning in 2017 when I started workshopping the concept, everyone I spoke to was incredibly supportive, and saw a real need for an initiative like this.” said Stagnitti. “The aim of the Italian Business Women’s Network is to provide a channel to link and empower Italian career women and women working within the Italian business space, in order to facilitate vital connections and mentorships.”
Stagnitti highlighted how Italian businesses have long been global leaders in various industries, from automotive, fashion, hospitality, property development, arts, design and more. “It’s very apt that we’re holding this launch at Ferrari Brisbane,” she said. “Italian professionals and businesses, locally and in Italy, are renowned for excellence, so engaging with the Italian cultural and corporate space is simply good for business and professional development. I envisage this project as a converging point for Australian and Italian organisations and individual professionals, to collaborate and mentor one another.”
Stagnitti, who was born in Australia of Sicilian parents and has worked for 30 years in the banking sector said that her immigrant background has given her a unique perspective on the need to foster supportive, female-driven business communities. “We all stand on the shoulders of amazing, courageous women who have come before us, who sacrificed and worked hard to provide the best opportunities they could, so we can succeed and have choices in life – including to have fruitful careers. “The Network continues that legacy.”
In addition to her contributions to the banking sector, Stagnitti has served the Italian community for 12 years as the President of COM.IT.ES Queensland and Northern Territory – a publicly elected role to provide community initiatives and diplomatic support, in collaboration with the Consulate of Italy and with funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The event was MC’d by local television and radio host Olympia Kwitowski and included inspirational speeches from The Hon. Teresa Gambaro, the first woman of Italian origin to enter the House of Representatives, renowned Italo-Australian Executive Coach and two-time cancer survivor Josie Thomson, and the Consul for Italy in Queensland, Salvatore Napoletano. In addition to Ferrari Brisbane, sponsors for the evening included prosecco provided by Italiquore, premium sparking water and iced tea by San Pellegrino, Swiss Deli West End (Marinelli Catering) and luxurious furnishings by Ideare.
Based currently in Brisbane and open to members nationwide, the Network aims to expand chapters and events to other major Australian cities.
To find out more about the network and how to get involved, like and follow the Italian Business Women’s Network on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.