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Origins

HANKER started with Kate, the CEO and founder, who drew in an ambit of talented friends and supporters around her. In June 2010 the stars finally aligned and HANKER was born amidst the collective "at last" of professional women everywhere.

Kate grew up in the Australian desert where society and nature are tempered by instincts of survival and endurance. Family travels unveiled the culture and beauty of other places to Kate at a young age and she was strongly influenced by the social activism and creativity of her mother and her maternal grandmother. Her father's great adventures, industriousness and endless support were also an inspiration to "give things a go".

After graduating in economics and international relations, Kate began advising consumer businesses in Asia, the US and Europe. She also pursued an interest in international development, acting as an advisor to the United Nations and helping set up a new social venture capital fund. With an MBA from Harvard, Kate became an investor in the consumer, retail and luxury goods sectors; first with a large European private equity house and later with a boutique financier. In these roles, she acted as a director and advisor to a number of luxury and online companies, and met many of the talented managers and creative directors that are now the savoir faire behind HANKER.

In her career, Kate was struck by the frustrations (sometimes abject misery) experienced by capable and accomplished women. She watched them struggle to reconcile career expectations with home life, relationships, health, and a sense of personal integrity — observing many passively or overtly withdraw from "serious" work. She also saw that few social structures, be they political, commercial or at home, did much to understand or respond to this problem, much less see it as an opportunity.

This was precisely Kate's motivation. HANKER aims to help build respect for a feminine presence in the workplace, to make the practical challenge of balancing everyday life easier, and to bring joy and creativity to the workplace for both men and women. This makes good business sense, because it recognizes a large, invisible market; it also means better decisions informed by more diverse experiences for us all.