Sarah Harkness, RevOps Expert Wins Women in Leadership Award as One To Watch

Sarah Harkness, co-founder and director of Cattle Dog Digital, a Sydney-based RevOps company won the “One To Watch” Women in Leadership Award in the 2021 Australian Growth Company Awards.

“The Australian Growth Company Awards celebrate innovation and operational excellence across the mid-market,” – Daniel Hutchinson, awards ceremony host.

Hamilton Locke, Grant Thornton and others created a special category that recognises companies for resilience and growth during the pandemic. They reward growth and support businesses invested in diversity.

Cattledog Digital marketing team said “Congrats to our Sharky who passionately advocates for diversity and equality in our team and our customers. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the sponsors including Ansarada, Grant Thornton Australia, Hamilton Locke, MA Financial Group, Willis Towers Watson Australia, 2020 Exchange and Source. A special shoutout to all the esteemed nominees and our friends over at SILK Laser Clinics who were also winners this year!”

More About Sarah Harkness

sara harkness
Sara Harkness

“Winning an award is humbling and also timely for us as we’re constantly growing and striving to do better and building our team,” Sarah Harkness said.

Sarah Harkness is a mother of three, who has a brain condition with a shunt. She started her career at Pacific magazines in 2007 and then joined Salesforce. She worked at Salesforce for 10 years and then joined Marketo pre-IPO, Dropbox pre-IPO and Gitlab (which just IPO’d this week and jumped 40% to 10billion valuation.)

Sarah was Gitlab’s first APAC enterprise sales person and Marketo’s fourth APAC employee.

Sarah married Luke Orell in 2016 and they now have three children. Life has not been easy for Sarah, with 23 surgeries including 2 that were brain surgeries. Her intracranial hypertension disability has not stopped her doing what she loves. Sarah runs the company with her two co-founders, including husband Luke.

Sarah is a survivor of sexual assault and a really passionate advocate for women’s rights and equality. She says “With Luke’s support, cattle dog enabled me to create Project Lotus which was established to help companies create safe protocols making safe places to work that provide platforms for women and people with diverse backgrounds.”

About Cattle Dog Digital

Sarah Harkness co-founded Cattle Dog Digital with business partners Nashir Uddin and Luke Orell, in 2015. The full-stack, full-funnel digital consulting firm specialises in digital transformation, strategy, implementation, and continuous improvement.

The founders chose the name Cattle Dog Digital to represent the company’s values because Australian Cattle Dogs are hard-working, loyal companions, leaders, part of a collaborative pack, and intelligent.

The company specialises in RevOps-as-a-Service, and the team executes full funnel, end-to-end digital solutions. It developed three primary service areas: Marketing Automation, CRM & PSA, and ERP.

Cattledog Digital has 13 employees and they are all completely diverse.

sarah harkness, cattle dog digital winner
Sarah Harkness, Cattle Dog Digital Winner.

Growth Company Awards Virtual Ceremony

Due to the inability to hold in-person gatherings, the Australian Growth Company Awards were announced yesterday in a virtual awards ceremony. The finalists and winners were announced through a virtual video announcement hosted on the Australian Growth Company Awards LinkedIn page.

Launched in 2012, the awards celebrate excellence and recognise Australian companies that demonstrate high rates of sustainable growth, innovation, integrity and contribute to the community.

Nominations for the 2021 awards opened on Tuesday, 1 June, and the official gala function to announce the winners was set for Wednesday, 13 October at The Ivy, Sydney, but that was subsequently changed to a virtual event.

Acknowledging the impacts of COVID-19-related challenges in 2021, Nick Humphrey, Chairman of the Australian Growth Company Awards, recognised “the extraordinary resilience and success that our finalists have achieved in the most trying of circumstances and the exceptional dedication and resolve of the management teams that have delivered these results.”

Judges and Criteria

Eleven judges shortlisted 37 finalists across ten categories based on their “outstanding growth rates, industry-leading innovation, community support, integrity, and impressive resilience throughout the impacts of COVID-19.”

The independent panel of judges assessed and scored each submission across a range of criteria. Those scores are then collated and averaged and weightings are applied to achieve a final score.

Women in Leadership Awards Section Criteria

The criteria to enter the Women in Leadership awards section starts with being an Australian citizen or resident. Participants must also have been working in their field for more than two years, and a CEO, in the C-suite or an Executive director or equivalent position. The company must have an annual turnover in the range of $25 million to $600 million. This year, given the extenuating circumstances with COVID-19, historic turnover over the past two years could also have been considered, if necessary.

Women in Leadership Award Finalists

Sarah (sharky) Harkness was one of four finalists for the 2021 Women in Leadership Award

  • Jayne Pearson & Kacy Pearson, Plasdene
  • Karen Drewitt, Missing Link
  • Katherine McConnell, Brighte
  • Sarah Harkness, Cattle Dog Digital

The 2021 Judging Panel​

Sarah Harkness and the Cattledog Digital team thank all of the judges for their dedication to supporting Australian companies, and for working to show all Australian companies that they can succeed against all odds when they have a plan and stick to it.

Nick Humphrey, Chairman, Australian Growth Company Awards

Daniel Hutchinson, Managing Director, MA Moelis Australia

Ben Wong, Managing Director and Head of Technology, MA Moelis Australia

Paul Gooley, Partner & Head of Corporate Finance, Grant Thornton

Jannaya James, Partner – Corporate Finance Valuations, Grant Thornton

Sam Riley, Chief Executive Officer, Ansarada

Justin Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Ansarada

David Kelynack, Chief Executive, 2020 Exchange

Guy Miller, Director, Willis Towers Watson

Claire Wivell Plater, Chairman and Founder, The Fold Legal

Stanislav Roth, Founder & CEO, Source Legal

Alan Gray
Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it's head and makes him start hammering away on the keyboard.

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