Path to the top: After four years at Seek.com.au in Melbourne, Hicks decided it was time to blend business with pleasure. Taking the role at eBay in 2009 was a risk (it was a maternity leave cover based in Sydney) but she took a leap of faith. Within three months, she was offered a permanent position. Her most recent achievement was launching Fashion Gallery—a site within eBay where consumers can access new and in-season product for their favourite brands. After going live in 2011, Fashion Gallery has been a huge success, with eBay UK creating their own site based on Hicks’s idea.
The defining moment: “Creating the eBay Fashion Gallery. We were seeing huge demand for fashion, and retailers wanted an area on eBay to showcase their brands in the best possible way. Fashion Gallery has over seven million Australians visit every month, which is 70 per cent of the Australian online population.”
Career tip: “Realise that you own your own career development. It’s not your boss’s job or your mentor’s job to advance your career—it’s yours.”
The #1 thing I’ve learnt: “Take risks, there’s no set playbook. You can shape the career you want, however you want it. There’s no set path or structure, it’s what you make of it.”
If I had my time again I would... “Say to my younger self, ‘have the confidence to take more risks. Take on more projects, get out there more, network more’. Try more things and do more things. I should’ve taken that exchange program at uni that I turned down.”
Beam me up: “I’m a huge sci-fi geek! My favourite show in the world is Stargate and I’ve watched every episode of the ten seasons as well as the three movies. I go to Stargate conventions, I follow the actors on Twitter and I have signed copies of Stargate DVDs. I watch an episode every night—even when I travel.”
Why she’s on our list: “Jo-Ann Hicks is the woman who brought smart luxury shopping to the keyboards of seven million Australian visitors every month, and also opened an avenue to designers, such as myself, into a market and on a platform like no other Australian website could ever achieve.” - Michael Lo Sordo, Australian Fashion Designer.