Now, two decades later, the wellness industry is firmly entrenched in Australia and Gleeson is still at the forefront of the movement - overseeing her Endota empire which now spans the nation's biggest day spa network, a booming beauty and wellness product line, and even a training school for beauty therapists. But at the heart of all that she does is the notion of self-care: that women need to look after themselves in order to be amazing friends, mothers, daughters and wives.
''Self-care is about respect for yourself and not losing yourself," she told marie claire editor Nicky Briger in a far-reaching Finding Fearless podcast. "As women, we take on so much of everything that we often lose connection with who we are.''
“But if you don’t look after yourself, you get sick. It’s that simple.”
As one of Australia's most innovative entrepreneurs and employers, she is also quick to say that women can't do it alone - they need their employers, government and the men in their lives to step up.
''There is nothing else women can do to achieve work-life balance - we're already doing it all. But we need governments, employers and husbands who understand that we need help."
A constant advocate for women, Mel Gleeson has plenty to say on how women work - especially about the relentless curse of mother guilt and the expectations we place on ourselves to be everything to everyone. Apart from being a wellness guru, she is the sane, funny, inspiring voice that women need right now.
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