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Shivani Gopal: On Independence, Ambition & Redefining Leadership

When faced with challenges, some people rise up. The best of us take it one step further and lift others with us. Elladex founder and CEO Shivani Gopal is one of the best, having overcome numerous barriers to create an inclusive learning network and mentor platform for women. With her previous experience as an award-winning Financial Advisor, Business Development Manager and Senior People Leader, the Sydney-based founder corresponded with Mavens to share how Elladex is expanding into a global platform that champions ambition and redefines leadership.

Tell us about your career. How did you end up where you are?

My passion for inspiring women comes from a personal place. Cultural pressures meant I married my high school boyfriend early in life and, a few years in, I was desperately unhappy. Divorce is still very much a taboo in Indian culture but the thing that made the transition easier was my financial independence – I had a Masters in Commerce and a job as a financial industry executive. My career gave me the financial independence I needed to start another life – something that not all women are lucky enough to have.

How did Elladex come about?

I started The Remarkable Woman (now Elladex) after a culmination of life circumstances made me realise how unsupported women are in reaching their peak potential. I was harassed at work, and I found it difficult to get the leadership, mentorship and support I needed. The overt sexisim and cultural barriers led me to startup life as a founder. Enabling women to realise their full potential has now become my life’s work, championing ambition and redefining leadership.

I raised more than $1 million in venture capital – while I was heavily pregnant – and I continue to serve my passion which is helping women achieve more.

Why is mentoring so important for women?

I struggled to find the quality mentoring I needed to get further, even once being rejected by a mentor for being “too young and pretty” to be taken seriously. But I knew we needed mentoring to climb the ladder and attain senior and executive roles. We’re creating the technology for women to connect with mentors based on values, industry and experience. We only work with mentors who have extensive leadership experience and who are ready to help our members level up and take the next big steps. Mentoring is building relationships and professional support networks that grow you, personally, financially and take your career higher. Everyone needs mentorship, and everyone has the ability to provide great mentoring at some point in their life, it’s an ecosystem.

In your experience, what are some of the biggest barriers that women face in the workplace?

You can’t be what you can’t see. That’s a big barrier for all women because women are underrepresented in power positions including politics and business in Australia.

That is improving, but we still have work to do, especially in ensuring women and minorities are recognised financially for the work they do. Addressing the gender pay gap – currently 13.8% nationally – is crucial. We need to shatter every glass ceiling in our way and do it one woman at a time.

How does Elladex work and how can Mavens’ audience get involved?

Our members matter, so we’ve listened. A new brand, new products and big plans. We want to reach more people than ever before and make change. We’re building new technology to support your everyday success, in ways that matter personally, professionally and financially. New content daily, Celebrity Powerclass, mentor matching and more. We’re inviting all Maven’s readers to come experience the Elladex effect. And join the waitlist for our upcoming product launch!

Whether you’re new to the boardroom or an experienced exec, our 12-month power program for executive leaders is designed to walk side by side with you until you achieve ambitions. An executive level education across strategy risk and finance; organisational psychology and psychometric testing; and build your executive network.

We’re also launching the findings of our landmark diversity and inclusion research. It investigates the impact of current diversity and inclusion programs on the Australian workforce. So, if you’re looking to find new ways to build impactful, inclusive business initiatives or would like a consultation on building your gender equity and inclusion program, visit

About Shivani Gopal

Recognised as a women’s rights commentator, business thought leader and finance expert, Shivani is on mission to create equality in our world. Giving women the tools and support to achieve success in career, money and life is her ultimate goal.

A financial services leader and an expert in people, corporation and change management who has experienced gender, cultural and workplace inequality, Shivani is determined to help women avoid similar issues, while actively helping those who currently experience it.

After fighting for her own freedom after leaving an early-adult arranged marriage, Shivani forged a hugely successful career in financial services, but not without facing gender-based discrimination along the way. She felt she had no option other than to be ‘self-taught’, with her requests for mentoring whilst climbing the ranks rejected because she was “too young" to be taken seriously.

As an ex-financial planner, Shivani has observed the gender pay gap at the very coal face, seeing her female clients earn less than their male colleagues - sometimes by as much as $150,000 a year. Bound by client confidentiality, Shivani grew frustrated not being able to help her clients earn their worth.

Winning industry awards as a financial adviser and business development manager and earning her MBA from Sydney University and a Masters in Commerce (Financial Planning), Shivani's success and profile continues to grow.


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