Gillian Stapleton is the CEO of Direct Selling Australia. She leads the Association working alongside its members and has transformed the 50-year old traditional business model into an innovative and modern Australian success story.
As the first female Director of Direct Selling Australia (DSA), Gillian is steering a team of members that are grounded in female entrepreneurship. Data shows that in 2019, 79 per cent of the sales team were women*. She is also pioneering the re-invention of direct selling, and her leadership is inspired by her own quest for a more flexible and accessible career.
Direct selling is a major player in the retail industry, contributing to the benefit of the Australian community and economy. Over the past 50 years, the industry has been largely driven by in-person experiences and engagement via strategies such as party plan and network marketing, which were once a mainstay in households. But fast forward to 2020 when the coronavirus struck – and all legacy tools and systems were put to the test. The industry saw this challenge as an opportunity to work with its entrepreneurs to re-invent the existing direct selling model to suit a digital world.
Gillian said, “Due to the shift in consumer shopping behaviour because of the pandemic, the opportunity for direct selling to innovate has never been greater. Direct Selling Australia has been the leading representative body for the direct selling industry for over 50+ years and 2020 provided the opportunity for us as an association to encourage our members to evolve their businesses and adapt to the modern trends of the retail industry,” said Gillian.
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