5 minutes with Elladex founder, Shivani Gopal
She's a multi-award winning business leader and the founder of business tool for women, Elladex.
We spend 5 minutes with Shivani Gopal talking about what it takes to succeed and the importance of mentors in business.
Can you give us a brief summary of your career thus far
I’ve been quite ambitious ever since I was a young girl. I knew I wanted to earn my own money, so I became a financial advisor and worked my way up the corporate ladder within the financial services industry.
Along the way, I kept noticing that there were fewer women in power and more barriers to success that I just wasn’t seeing my male colleagues experience. As a woman, I had to work harder than all the men in the room in order to receive recognition for my skills and achievements.
This ignited a fire in my belly and led me to become the founder and CEO of The Remarkable Woman and, now, ELLADEX. For over six years I’ve put everything I have into these ventures, creating a space where women can access financial, personal, and professional development content, programs, mentorships, and a community where their ambition is encouraged rather than stifled.
ELLADEX is the next step in giving ambitious women the tools they deserve so they can reach their full potential.
You get great press for yourself! What are your tips for women wanting to boost their brand's profile?
My biggest piece of advice for women wanting to get their name out there is to be bold even when the world is telling you to be quiet. As women, there’s a certain societal push to dull down our opinions, knowledge, and expertise because we don’t want to come across too strong or be perceived as ‘arrogant’. But having a strong voice and confidence in who you are and what you do is something that you need in the business world.
No one is coming to hand you opportunities on a silver platter, so don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas and tell people that you have something to offer. This can feel really uncomfortable at first but it’s a great lesson in how we often need to unlearn certain behaviours in order to reach our full potential.
Tell us about Elladex
The idea for ELLADEX came to me when I grew tired of scrolling through five or six different apps every morning to get the insights, learning, and tools I wanted to develop my professional skills.
It was so tedious and exhausting, which made me think about how much more enjoyable and motivating it would be if women could access tools for learning, personal, and professional development all in one place.
The concept of ELLADEX is a success Rolodex for women, and I’ve fused my own success formula right into the app: always have a Rolodex of mentors on hand, a network you can count on, and develop a habit of daily learning - and that’s exactly what the app does.
That was the inspiration, and from that point on it’s been my goal to make it the ultimate app for ambitious women. We don’t just cover professional development and career advice, but financial wellbeing too. We also have content on how to care for your wellbeing overall, learning tools for personal growth, and the ability to connect with an amazing mentor who is dedicated to helping you grow.
Plus, we have some incredible female leaders like Jana Pitman, Catherine Fox AM, and Tracey Spicer AM creating content so people can learn from their rich industry experiences. I like to refer to it as a ‘digital Rolodex for women, because it has everything all in one place.
How can entrepreneurs and budding business women benefit from mentors?
Mentorship is one of the most valuable resources a woman can access when it comes to her career, but the truth is that the mentoring space is still largely a boys’ club. This was something that drove me to create The Remarkable Woman and now ELLADEX, as I was at one point told I was ‘too young and too pretty’ to be mentored by a successful advisor – only to find that he later mentored my male colleague who happened to be younger and far less experienced.
The business world can be so daunting, especially as a woman, so being able to connect, learn, and seek advice from someone who has walked that path before you is truly invaluable.
I’ve personally learned so much about dealing with imposter syndrome, lack of confidence, frustration, and how to practically succeed in the workplace from my past mentors. That’s why a big part of ELLADEX is connecting mentors with mentees, so we can nurture the next generation of incredible female leaders and entrepreneurs.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve received?
My parents always told me, ‘never rely on a man for your money.’ As I got older, I realised that this wasn’t just great financial advice, but it was great business advice, too – without financial independence, women can rarely make the decisions they need to chase their professional goals.
With your own money, you can start that side hustle, build a business, invest in your future, and give yourself space to make the business choices that will serve you. Financial freedom and independence have been the foundation for everything I achieved since I left an unhappy marriage in my early 20s. Without that advice from my parents being instilled in me from a young age, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s why financial wellness is a big pillar of the everyday learning within the ELLADEX app - financial independence is vital for women and I want to see it happen for all of us.