A Sydney pioneer in the experience design industry Katja Forbes has just been recognised as one of the Top 10 Australian Women Entrepreneurs of the Year by My Entrepreneur Magazine, a publication that acknowledges the many women who have risen to become leaders and influential figures in their respective areas.

Katja said she honoured to be identified for her contribution in business, and she hopes the announcement will inspire other women, especially in her industry, to reach toward their definition of professional success. Alongside the founder of syfte, a specialist business in research and experience design, Katja is an Australian pioneer in the concept of experience design. She was also as International Director for the global organisation Interaction Design Association Board (IXDA).

Katja says she is especially passionate about helping to empower women to really back themselves. “I can identify many exciting opportunities for women to create satisfying professional outcomes for themselves and their peers in the user experience and design industry, and am actively involved in helping to create a better, more profitable and satisfying industry for clients and practitioners alike.” Katja believes that success in this business is dependent on creating positive relationships with co-workers, industry and other change makers. “Women who believe in themselves find that they can achieve these relationships relatively effectively, despite an environment in which gender bias, pay gaps and sexism often exist.”

As well as being selected as the International Director for the IXDA this year, Katja is proud to be a co-founding member of IXDA Sydney. Together with Joe Ortenzi, she has built a community of morte than 1600 designers in Sydney, providing them with learning opportunities via lecture based meetups that draw a crowd of 150 people each time, a mentoring program and workshops. When it comes to empowering other women in business, Katja has given presentations at Women In Design, Leaders in Heels, Women In Commerce, Code like a Girl and at multiple organisations including Telstra and Macquarie Bank.

Katja was also a contributing author in business book Successful Women In Business Coral Editionoffering insightful and thought-provoking contributions from women entrepreneurs who have excelled in the fields of technology, education, retail, real estate and more. Through perseverance, determination and a refusal to accept second best, the women showcased in this book have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become an inspiration to countless women across the world.

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