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Top Brisbane businesswoman Sonia McDonald has been named among the top 250 female leaders in the world


Prominent Brisbane-based leadership expert Sonia McDonald has been named in digital business magazine Richtopia’s 250 Most Influential Women Leaders of the world.

Ms McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of LeadershipHQ and keynote speaker, was ranked at 237 in the final week of listings for 2015.

Richtopia – a digital platform that collates and offers broad business, economics and arts content – uses Klout scores to rank influencers by assessing social media activity and engagement across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

This is a great honour for Sonia McDonald

Other significant names on the list included US First Lady Michelle Obama, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Emma Watson, and author J.K. Rowling, with 2016 US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton topping the chart.

Ms McDonald said she was proud of the acknowledgment and excited by what the ranking represented for women in business, “I am thrilled to be named in Richtopia’s Top 250 Most Influential Women Leaders, a list that illustrates just how much leadership influence women can have.”

“Studies have shown women have high-level capabilities in terms of empathy, intuition and collaboration, so the potential for high-impact leadership and high-performance teamwork is quite apparent.

“Forward-thinking organisations see the value of gender balance in leadership because integrating the best elements of the diversity between men and women can bring so much more to the boardroom table.”

Who is Sonia McDonald?

Ms McDonald started LeadershipHQ in 2009 as a blog that aimed to provide specialist leadership solutions in areas such as people and culture, diversity and engagement.

Since then, the entrepreneur and full-time single mother has single-handedly grown the company into a national entity and expects 2016 to be another busy year with several exciting projects in the pipeline.

“We have just launched a crowd-funding campaign via readyfundgo.com to help roll out our ‘#Leadership Is An Attitude’ online learning program that provides videos, tools and supporting material for leadership development,” she said. “It is designed to offer specialist leadership advice that will be available to any person, anywhere, at any time.”

“I have also started a 20-week campaign to get Richard Branson as my mentor, an initiative I’m carrying out not only to hopefully learn from one of the world’s most successful and charismatic leaders and entrepreneurs, but also to inspire those around me to take a risk and pursue their goals and wildest dreams.”

Ms McDonald regularly contributes to The Australian, Business Insider and Richtopia, and said demand for expert leadership skills in the workplace was ever-increasing.

“There is an enormous appetite within the business world for leadership expertise and for programs that help organisations understand how to create inspirational, high-impact leaders,” she said.

“Aside from the services we provide for our clients, our e-magazine has a global database of more than 12,000 registered readers and we are connected with over 15,000 people on LinkedIn.

“So there is certainly a strong desire for both individuals and businesses to improve their leadership skills and better grasp workplace diversity, change and engagement.”