When Mary Brell left her position at a government organisation to begin a new career she grew accustomed to a common response from female colleagues.
"So many people told me 'I could never do what you did'," Ms Brell said.
The Order of Australia medal recipient says it is a lack of confidence preventing women from taking risks to further their career, not a lack of ability.
Alongside three prominent Orange business owners, Cheryl Pope, Amanda Spalding and Geraldine Colless, Ms Brell wants to challenge the style of thinking she says stops women from stepping up.
We certainly believe that for an organisation to be successful you need both styles of thinking and skills that men and women bring,Mary Brell
The four women have formed the Central West Women's Forum, a group created to provide support to women to move into positions of leadership.
Ms Brell said it's not about 'man bashing' and males are encouraged to join the men who've already expressed an interest in signing up.
She said it is about leveling the playing field when it comes to females in positions of power.
"We certainly believe that for an organisation to be successful you need both styles of thinking and skills that men and women bring," she said.
Once formed, the Central West Women's Forum will work together to provide mentorship to its fellow members.
She said an example of support the forum could provide would be to assist a member's bid for election onto boards or Orange City Council.
She said 'old boys clubs' aren't limited to regional areas.
"It's all over the place and each of the women in this group have experienced that," she said.
Its founders have invited the public to join them for their first event, Inaugural Canape Evening, this Saturday at Kate Jones 119.
The Minister for Health, Regional Youth and Women, the Honorable Bronwyn Taylor, will address the crowd as guest speaker.
The Nationals member will speak about her experience in local government and rising to the ranks of minister.
Ms Brell said from the event the group hope to form a committee which will be eligible for government funding to help advance their cause through leadership courses and programs for women.
Tickets are available at www.trybooking.com
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