Kate Morris, the CEO and founder of Adore Beauty, Australia’s leading online shopping destination for beauty and cosmetics, has become the first woman to win the ‘Industry Recognition Award’ at the Startrack ORIAS in its nine year history, for being a pioneer and active campaigner for women in leadership roles and technology. “I’m honoured to be the first woman to win the award and hope this will pave the way for other female leaders. It’s difficult for women to succeed in male dominated industries that can be characterised by bias and harassment. I hope to inspire change by helping industries look at the cultural problems that are discouraging and limiting women’s careers,” says Kate.

The award recognises Ms Morris’ endeavours, including the recent launch of the Adore Beauty Women in Tech scholarship aimed at female final year university students looking to embark on careers in computer science and technology. The $2000 scholarship also includes a one month’s paid internship at Adore Beauty. “Many people wouldn’t think science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) can lead to a career in beauty, however without these skills Adore Beauty wouldn’t exist. Programming is a creative field and very exciting, but many tech companies have cultures that are not supportive of women. I want to demonstrate that women don’t have to fit themselves into these ‘blokey’ environments when pursuing a tech career”.

The accolade also includes Kate Morris being recognised for her ground-breaking innovation ‘Findation’, a software tool to assist women all over the world in finding their perfect foundation match online, without needing to try the product first. Findation currently returns results based on over 1200 global brands, 7866 products, 40,206 shades and nearly 2 million shade matches.

Kate Morris made a hearty speech on awards night reflecting on her 17 years as an online beauty retailer. Also with Amazon’s pending arrival, Ms Morris showed support for other Australian retailers, finishing her speech by paraphrasing a quote from Sir Winston Churchill: “We shall fight in content marketing and social media, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in data, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be… and we shall never surrender – so Amazon, come and get us!” ended Ms Morris.

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