This article was originally published on Whimm.com.au
Audrey Khaing-Jones, Kate Morris, Vera Yan, Katia Santilli and more share the inroads they’re making for women in Australia and abroad.
This International Women’s Day, we’re throwing the mic to some of the Australian women committed to empowering, galvanising, championing, aiding and celebrating other women. While we’ve made incredible inroads, there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to gender equality in Australia – and abroad – but with the tireless, enthusiastic strategies, care and action being taken by these 13 inimitable women, we’re leaps and bounds closer.
Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty
“I believe that women’s careers shouldn’t be limited by family responsibilities. To make that happen, we need to support and encourage both men and women to be able to combine work and family. We’re paying it forward to women by offering paid parental leave for both men and women on our team, as well as two weeks of paid domestic violence leave. We’re also offering flexible work, which allows both male and female team members to be able to share family responsibilities. We’re also paying it forward to our customers with the launch of our new Sex category, which is normalising the conversation about women’s pleasure and offers a safe, tasteful and inclusive experience that’s curated by women, for women.”
Courtney Bowie, founder and CEO of Her Lawyer
“I set up my company, Her Lawyer, to offer a unique service dedicated to empowering ambitious women in business. Law has not always been a space that welcomes women with open arms. Everything about the work I do is geared towards women, from the way we communicate to the services we offer. I’m so passionate about contributing to the overall lifting up of women and getting us closer to gender equality in Australia. It’s a ripple effect. The smallest things I do for one client, ripples outwards, hopefully impacting many more women achieve financial empowerment and true work-life satisfaction by running their own successful businesses. This International Women’s Day, I’ll be catching up with some business buddies over bubbles and learning more from them about the wins and challenges the last year has brought, and what they’re looking forward to for the year ahead.”
Krystal Barter, founder of Pink Hope
“At Pink Hope we believe in the value and contribution that women make every single day. Our mission to empower, educate and advocate for women at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer means I have the honour of connecting with the most inspiring and courageous women, day in and day out. These women are not only making life-changing and saving decisions for their families futures, but also use their experiences to lift one another up when things don’t go to plan. As a result of this incredible community spirit, I have the privilege of sharing their stories, and creating a platform for their voices to be heard so real change can be made. Pink Hope is comprised of a team of women, for women, a majority female-lead board and with our community behind us, we can continue to ensure every Australian woman is educated to know their risk, so they can change their future. International women’s day is every day at Pink Hope.”
Aimee Marks, founder of Tom Organics
“At Tom Organic our entire business ethos is focused on making a positive impact on women. Whether this is through our range of products, allowing women to make sustainable choices, the charities we partner with or how we do business, impact is at the heart of everything we do. One of the key ways we really model this through Tom Co is by leading by example. I work part-time within the business and genuinely believe that providing flexibility is the way to get the best out of people. I am visible within the organisation and work closely with my leadership team, allowing me to focus and stay connected to the business and key decisions. Setting this example as the founder is critical for me to see this value really championed through the rest of the team. We have never been a traditional business and this is what makes Tom thrive; I have seen first-hand the incredible impact women can make when truly supported to be at their best and this is something I champion every day.”
Abigail Forsyth, KeepCup managing director and co-founder
“As the saying goes ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and the majority of KeepCup’s leadership team has comprised of female leaders since inception. Through our advocacy work, we amplify the voices of women in public and industry discussions. We know that empowering all women and girls will have positive cascading effects on climate action. KeepCup also supports women-led businesses within our supply chain, and we’re a family-friendly workplace. For IWD, we’re joining the #EachforEqual campaign and profiling the brilliant and unique women behind the scenes at KeepCup who are leading the reusable revolution. For us, it’s really about being part of the positive conversation and amplifying this year’s IWD theme of ‘an equal world is an enabled world’. It’s as simple as having a workplace committed to diversity and having women in leadership roles. This means being mindful of the impacts of maternity leave and childcare on men and women in the workplace, reviewing and benchmarking pay and working to create a positive and supportive workplace culture. When women win – we all win!”
Vera Yan and Katia Santilli, Nimble Activewear co-founders
“As a company run by women and made for women, we’re paying it forward this International Women’s Day by honouring our brand ethos of ‘Friends. Sweats. Feels.’ delivering fashionable yet functional activewear while making environmental and social change. We believe that all women have the ability to enact this change – through our range of custom engineered COMPRESSLITE™ and MOVELITE fabrics which are made from post-consumer use recycled plastic bottles, we have helped our customers change the planet – we are close to having saved one million plastic bottles from ending up in oceans or landfill! From this year onwards, even the packaging that orders comes in is biodegradable. We’re also a proud supporter of i=Change with one dollar from every Nimble Activewear online purchase supporting selected charities including Greening Australia who are committed to the restoration of Australia’s land and oceans. It’s so important for us to stand behind these initiatives as they bring our community together and empower them to enact change – as an individual, we can often feel powerless but as a collective, it’s been incredible to see the change that we and our customers have.”
Cyan Ta’eed, founder of Hey Tiger
“Women comprise 50% of the population so if we want to make things fairer for humanity overall, and that 50% has irrefutable disadvantages, it’s only logical to focus on addressing that imbalance. When I launched Hey Tiger, I wanted to create a social enterprise that supported cocoa farming communities in Ghana. Most cocoa farmers live below the poverty line, but the deeper you dive the more complex the issues surrounding these communities become. I was basically open to supporting whatever would make the most difference to these communities, but what kept coming back was that supporting women was the best investment we could make. There are so many stats that confirm that focusing philanthropy on women in the developing world is the best way to make change for women, children and men. So it only makes sense that is what we do at Hey Tiger. For each bar sold we make a contribution to The Hunger Project Ghana. The community we work with of about 10,000 are mostly cocoa farmers and their families, and it is them who decide what the funds are used for. Hey Tiger is simply funding other women to do the hard work it takes to lift their community out of poverty. It’s inspiring to see.”
Sarah Meredith, Australian country director, Global Citizen
“This International Women’s Day, I’m more passionate than ever to see a world where #sheisequal. At Global Citizen we’re campaigning to ensure that women have the same access to health, education and equality before the law. This includes actions on our platform calling for an end to child marriage, access to vaccines and sexual reproductive health, investment in clean water and basic sanitation, and ending the taboo around menstrual hygiene. We also focus on getting more girls in school through programs such as Education Cannot Wait and the Global Partnership for Education and repealing discriminatory laws. Locally, I’m a fierce advocate for more women in Parliament and in senior leadership roles in our community, companies and governments. I hope to pay it forward by backing other women and using my voice to call for change even if it’s as simple as sending an email or sharing a content piece on my social media. I don’t think women realise just how powerful their voices are and the impact they have when they share their authentic stories.”
Amanda Rose, founder of Western Sydney Women
“Ever been told you weren’t good enough? That you wouldn’t make it in your career because of where you lived? My life mission is to break down barriers and walls that women face because of limitations. Western Sydney Women was established to help women become economically independent, confident and to be given opportunities. To abolish the need to rely on others (men or government) for an income which allows a woman to have options in life for herself and her children. We’re hands-on and determined to be a voice for those who have been deliberately ignored or silenced. Abolishing the stigma associated with being born in, living in, or working in Western Sydney. We run free workshops and programs including Women in Western Sydney Aviation Mentoring Program for girls and women to connect them with and help them realise their dream in an industry previously not seen as possible if you were from Western Sydney. I have the hard and downright controversial conversations needed to break the cycle of the barriers and stigma impacting my women. I am and will always be in their corner.”
Audrey Khaing-Jones, co-founder and COO GlamCorner
“International Women’s Day is a time to come together as a community and support those women that are less fortunate than ourselves. For IWD this year, I’ve joined forces with Dress For Success and become an ambassador for their #empowerhour campaign. I love what Dress For Success does and believe it is so important to support women in gaining financial freedom – on International Women’s Day and every day. The Empower Hour campaign is a great way to be part of the community that’s driving this positive change. By donating just an hour of my pay, I am helping to provide professional clothing and resources to women in need. Through my involvement in this campaign, I hope to help spread the word and inspire others to pledge one hour of their pay as well. We believe that it’s important to support women every day, which is why respect is such an important core value for us, in the way we do business at GlamCorner.”
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Anna Pomroy, Senior Engineer at PayPal Australia
“Throughout my career in technology, I’ve often found myself as one of very few women in a room full of men. Over time I’ve learnt that while gender stereotyping still exists in the technology industry, confidence and competency is what really matters, and that’s how I’ve been able to get ahead. For any woman in a male dominated industry this is incredibly important to forge your own career path. Second to this is mentors. We all need mentors to thrive, however this is particularly pertinent for women in technology, where role models can be few and far between. While no two situations are the same, often the skills and knowledge leaders pass down can be applied as solutions to the challenges you’re facing. I myself have had great mentors throughout my career and this International Women’s Day, I will be paying it forward by focusing even more on the people and culture in my workplace and seeing how I can pass on my experience to the wider team. I’m a strong believer that you only get out of your industry as much as you put into your people.”
Suzy Nicoletti, Managing Director of Twitter Australia
“I’ve always been an avid sportswoman and as a swimmer of 30 years, the promotion of women in sport has long been a passion of mine. That’s why this International Women’s Day is particularly special to me as March 8th marks the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup — featuring some incredibly talented female athletes who have earned the right to stand on an even playing field and have the opportunity to shine.Here at Twitter we’re incredibly committed to using our platform to amplify the conversation around equality in sport. Last year we launched #ChangingTheGame, a movement which brings together sporting codes, athletes, media and fans to create a sustained conversation that instigates real, lasting change for women in sport.Sport is a central pillar of Australian society, so if we can make inroads for gender equality in sport, it will have flow on effects to our whole community. I can’t wait to continue elevating these voices in 2020, starting this Sunday in Melbourne.”
This article was originally published on Whimn.com.au.