International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women from around the world. The day also aims to call out gender parity and calls for positive change for advancing women in society.
For 2023 the IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity, which is all about challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias and seeking out inclusion for all.
At Torrens University Australia women make up 67% of our student community and from our cohort of 11,000 international students we champion all, striving to create an inclusive environment, free of bias and where everyone has equal access to education and opportunities.
We believe in empowering and championing women's voices everywhere and reflecting on their progress. We are putting a spotlight on the achievements of four women, all of whom are from different walks of life but are studying with us to build a better future not only for themselves but for others.
Meet Anastasja Sen from India
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
Women are the source of human life and it’s wonderful that we have a day just to honour women. Women’s rights and values have historically suffered greatly, and although we can’t undo the past we can at least be reassured that those women didn’t toil away for nothing. By celebrating women in the present, we also pay tribute to women in the past and future. It’s a great way to depict the power women have.
Why do you think diversity in the university/workplace is so important?
I love the concept of diversity and it is one of the reasons I came to Australia to study. Instead of focusing on races and cultures, I perceive diversity as each individual being unique. There is so much to learn from others and by exposing ourselves to different perspectives, we enable ourselves to learn in unconventional ways.
Meet Yvette Mildenberger from Germany
Master in International Hotel Management at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS)
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being awarded the 2022 AICR Australia Hotel Receptionist of the Year Award. I was fortunate enough to have been nominated for the award by my Assistant Front Office Manager. My former Duty Manager was runner-up the year prior and having heard her stories and experience made me curious and confident enough to give it a try.
What does the future look like for you?
I plan to go to Doha, Qatar this year to represent Australia at the AICR Global Receptionist of the Year Awards. I am extremely honoured to represent The Langham Melbourne, BMIHMS and of course Australia at the awards. These experiences have moulded me into the person I am today, from the theory at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) to the actual experience at The Langham Melbourne, and all the different cultures I’ve come across in Melbourne.
Meet Nilay Altinay from Turkey
What advice do you have for women entering the design industry?
The STEM industry is like the deep sea. There is so much to discover, learn, produce and design to make people’s lives easier. It is never-ending with the research and productivity that can change not only yourself and how you approach life, but also change others for the better.
What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
Discover yourself first! Realise how strong, smart, creative and productive you are. Do not forget that these are the most important teachings from our past as women. Step into yourself and your career, it is never too late!
Meet Christiane Teixeira Vasconcellos from Brazil
What achievements are you most proud of?
The confidence I gained from studying General English (Elementary to Advanced) encouraged me to improve myself and pursue further education in Australia. Realising it was possible for me to study at university in Australia and potentially achieve my aspiration of becoming a doctor in Australia makes me so proud of how far I’ve come.
What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their goals?
That it is never too late to achieve your goals. I wanted to join my family in Australia and become a doctor here and as a 47-year-old I was able to achieve this goal and became more confident through my pursuit.