The following is written by Eloise, the Campus Director at our Wakefield, Adelaide campus.
As with many others I, at times, have found it difficult to understand why we need to have a day to celebrate gender.
However, after some personal reflection, I have come to realise that International Women’s Day is so much more than celebrating Women and highlighting the struggles of females. To me, International Women’s Day marks a movement in equality, internationally and not just in gender equality but in people equality. It is not only embracing what makes us equal but also what makes us unique.
Work. Many of us do it. So, how can we create a unique, diverse and equal opportunity work place?
Now, I don’t have all the answers but, I think that if we all start off by looking at number one – ourselves – then that’s a great start. So often I hear such a lack of confidence, “I didn’t want to ask” or “I get so nervous talking to executives”. Even among my own professional development journey, I have noticed a difference in the way people have the confidence to present new ideas and solutions to me depending on my title.
Everyone has a unique perspective to offer and it’s so important to have the courage to speak out and put your ideas on the table no matter your background, ability or gender. If you keep voicing your ideas they will, over time, be heard.
Connect with each other on a personal and professional level. Get to know people’s stories and remember them. When you meet that ‘bright spark’ make the effort to stay connected. Working in a dynamic and fast paced environment, you never know when you may need the input from that individual in the future.
Encourage those around you, be that pillar of support and, most importantly, listen. When you listen, you encourage and when people feel valued because they know they have your support, you will always get the best out of them.
And lastly, as the old saying goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’. We’re all unique, we all have our story, and we all have something special to offer. So, let’s move forward with an even playing field and make sure we don’t let those ‘bright sparks’ go!
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