Sadhana Smiles is Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Group Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading, well respected and fastest growing real estate brands. She is one of only two female CEO’s in her sector which is commonly referred to as the “boy’s club”.
Starting her career as a receptionist Sadhana has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader, industry commentator, corporate activist and a contemporary feminist.
Under her leadership, Harcourts Victoria is:
With a focus on performance and satisfaction Sadhana has doubled their EBIT over the last two years and increased franchisee satisfaction, sitting at 96th percentile in the sector benchmark.
All this in an industry that has the 2nd worst pay gap and one where some of her male counterparts have labelled her just about everything a woman can be. “I am a coloured woman playing in a male dominated industry, earning my seat at the table through my results. Numbers never lie.” She is passionate about the issues of violence against women and diversity - “our workplaces must reflect the communities we work in.”
In 2012 Sadhana brought Walk a Mile in their Shoes to Victoria. This is now a national event for the Harcourts Group with over 1000 men and women walking in high heels, raising money for White Ribbon and making a clear statement that violence towards women is not OK. The group has raised over $300K for White Ribbon and funded over 100,000 students to participate in the award winning Breaking the Silence program teaching the youth about respectful relationships.
She is also working with various organisations in Australia to highlight the issue of dowry deaths of Indian women and the violence some of them face in Australia post their arranged marriages.
In 2013 Sadhana published her first book People Power did you have them @ hello, a step by step guide to developing and managing performance driven teams. In 2016 she published a personal development journal for women based on her own experiences – I want what she’s having.
In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the winner of the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
In 2016 Sadhana was named one of 100 women of Influence in Australia. AFR/WBC sponsored award.
Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji and reducing the incidence of cervical cancer.
A single mum to nine kids, Sadhana’ s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place. Sadhana has earned a reputation as a popular speaker and presenter, regularly asked to present at some of the industry’s most prestigious events, Women’s Conference and many franchise conferences.
Kate Jenkins, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner
Stan Grant, Indigenous Affairs Editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and special advisor to the Prime Minister on Indigenous constitutional recognition
Will Hodgman, Premier Tasmania
Professor Jane Long, Provost, University of Tasmania
Adam Mostogl, Founder / Inspirer of Illuminate Education
Tara Howell and Sam Haberle, Directors of S.Group
Trisha Squires, CEO AFL Tasmania
Lauren Jauncey, Founder and Director of Frankly Diversity