With this special newsletter today, we want to acknowledge, honour and celebrate all the incredible ‘Women of Tattersalls’,

We interviewed Michelle to showcase her remarkable journey.

Michelle Deaker

Q1. Please share your current occupation and industry.

Managing Director and Founding Partner of venture capital firm OneVentures.

Q2. Would you consider your current role your biggest achievement? If not then please share what you are most proud of achieving.

I am a mother of two beautiful accomplished daughters – one has completed her PhD in marine biology and the other is undertaking a PhD in biomedical engineering – robotics.  I hope I have been a good role model for my daughters.

I’m very proud to be acknowledged as one of the first women to build a VC firm in Australia which has become Australia’s leading multi-strategy venture manager with $700M in FUM.  We invest in technology and healthcare companies transforming global markets.  We like our investments to have a strong positive benefit for society as well as providing strong returns for our investors – the game changers for lasting gains.

I’m also proud to now be mentoring up-and-coming women developing their own venture capital firms.

Q3. What does the idea of gender equity mean to you?

Ensuring fairness and having in place strategies and frameworks to create a level playing field for both women and men whether that is around compensation, promotion, access or inclusion.  Personally, I’m mentoring up-and-coming women in our industry to help create the next women-led VC firms in Australia.  We’ve created an organisation called Win-VC to help foster women from under-represented backgrounds to become successful investors and ultimately to reverse some of the statistics not only around women in senior roles within VC fund managers but also to ensure women-founded businesses can have greater access to capital.

Q4. Is there a time when you were overlooked, disadvantaged or deprived of an opportunity (in your personal life or in your career) because of your gender?

I recall my third business which was one of Australia’s first fintech companies. We appointed advisors to support us in raising capital. As the founder, then a young woman and the CEO, it was embarrassing to be treated as the note taker on arrival at some meetings.  The meetings invariably never got off to a good start. I think we’ve come a long way since then but we still have a long way to go.

Q5. Which women do you admire the most and why?

Shemara Wikramanayake: she has succeeded with integrity and commitment in a finance world previously largely dominated by men.  She is really resilient coming from what some would see as a disadvantaged background which she would say created her strengths.  I’ve always been taken by her ability to hear what others have to say and to assimilate that and communicate in a way that takes people with her.  She has great leadership qualities.  She also has strong self-belief and so is a great role model for other women.

Q6. Could you please tell us a bit about your journey at Tattersalls (how you joined the Club, your experience at the Club in terms of gender equity etc.)?

OneVentures offices moved into the building next door about 4 years ago and it was my brother who said “did I realise that Tattersalls was next door”.  My only knowledge of a Tattersalls club was having heard of city tatts so I was relieved that this wasn’t the same place.  He suggested I have a look and I took a tour and trial. The staff were so welcoming, they know your name when you come in and remember what you usually have or do. They even remember some of my regular quests in the restaurant and bar.

They have really worked hard over the time I’ve been in the club to create an environment of safety and respect for women and I’ve seen the numbers of women members increase over time.  I’ve always been treated with courtesy and respect and feel that I am equally treated at all times.  Tattersalls is my haven from work providing some balance from the busy meeting schedules.  It supports my wellness and access to classes like yoga and a relaxing swim in the pool are just perfect after a big day at work.

Thank you to the team at Tattersalls for the care you give to all your members!