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Leadership by Design with Colleen Callander


“Work hard, love what you do, be passionate, and never give up.” – Colleen Callander

These words have been the sounding board for Colleen Callander’s life. Colleen is the
former Sportsgirl CEO, Founder of Mentor Me Women, Author of Leader By Design, Inspirational Speaker, Business and Leadership Coach and she joins me to share her story of bravery in leadership.

Colleen knew at a very young age that she wanted to work in the fashion industry. Her first summer job resulted in her having a decades long career in fashion and sales. Towards the end of that first, fateful summer, one of her bosses offered her a full-time position and she hasn’t looked back since.

In fact, by the age of 24, she was running an entire region of stores. That was over 50 locations who looked directly to her for leadership and guidance. Looking back, she realizes that 24 was a very young age to have that kind of responsibility.

We chat about her definition of bravery, why confidence is a skill, and what it takes to build women into confident and capable leaders. Colleen’s experience in the corporate world gives her a unique perspective on the needs of women in business. Listen in to hear all of her thoughts about bravery.


Colleen Callander

Colleen Callander is an award-winning CEO with a proven track record in building brands, creating winning cultures and building environments that allow people to be inspired and empowered, and organisations to grow and flourish.

Her fashion retail career spanned over 30 years with 13 of those years at the helm of two of Australia’s iconic fashion brands – Sportsgirl and Sussan. Colleen has shared her journey as a guest speaker at multiple conferences and events, including the Sportsgirl Fashion launches, Business Chicks Australia, Inside Retail, The Agency Leaders Symposium, National Retail Association and Conversation With Thought Leaders.

Most recently, Colleen has been listed as one of the top 10 Influential Business Leaders Making a Difference in 2021 by World’s Leaders and in 2014 was awarded the highly commended CEO of the Year Award, The CEO Magazine – ANZ. In May 2021, Colleen launched her book ‘LEADER BY DESIGN’ which has been met with rave reviews and immense success, including being nominated as a finalist in the 2021 Australian Business Book Awards.


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