Nicola Hazell is our Head of Diversity and Impact Programs & SheStarts Director, leading BlueChilli's efforts to improve gender equality, inclusivity and social impact in the startup sector. With more than a decade of experience in the media, government and not-for-profit sectors, Nicola has strong capability in developing and delivering cross-sector collaborations, leading national campaigns, and informing public policy and debate.

Nicola is one of Australia’s leading voices on gender equality and social innovation.

After more than ten years working in media and public affairs in the community sector, politics and television news, in 2016 Nicola joined startup and innovation group BlueChilli, to lead the development of a new open innovation program turbocharging female leadership in the growing startup economy.

The SheStarts program has now invested $1 million in ten female-led startups, kicked off a world-class accelerator program and launched a documentary series to redefine what it means to be a tech entrepreneur.

Nicola is a sought-after keynote speaker and social policy commentator, having presented at the Global OECD Forum in Paris, the inaugural Myriad Festival in Australia and Melbourne Knowledge Week. She is also a regular mentor, coach and judge for various programs and awards including the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, Telstra Business Awards, UTS Hatchery program for student startups, Springboard Enterprises Australia accelerator for later-stage female founders, and refugee and migrant business accelerator program Catalysr.

Nicola is a non-executive director of national campaigning and advocacy organisation, The Parenthood; and an Advisory Board member for AngelHack’s LadyProblems global hackathon series.