International Women’s Day 2017 – EST10’S 5 Ways To Make A Difference

Posted On 6 Mar 2017

International Women’s Day 2017 – EST10’S 5 Ways To Make A Difference

6 Mar 2017
International Women’s Day 2017 – EST10’S 5 Ways To Make A Difference

International Women’s Day 2017 – EST10’S 5 Ways To Make A Difference

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world this Wednesday 8 March, with over 30 countries marking the day with an official public holiday. And even though we’ve come a long way compared to many other countries around the world, there’s still a lot we can do here in Australia to improve gender equality, especially in the workplace.

According to 2016 research from Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, despite women making up half the nation’s workforce, women hold just 16% of CEO and 37% of all management positions.

So with this year’s International Women’s Day theme an inspiring Be Bold For Change (#BeBoldForChange), what does this mean in practical terms and how can you contribute? Here are some great tips from the International Women’s Day website including our own insights relevant to your roles as admin assistants, PAs and EAs.

5 ways to make a difference this International Women’s Day

1. Take a junior woman to a management or sales meeting

Although most of us have formal professional development plans in place with ongoing training, empowering other women around you on an informal basis is extremely valuable. Where possible, see if you can take a junior female colleague to a management or sales meeting, giving them an insight into management processes and the negotiation and decision making skills required at a more senior level. Exposure such as this will also inspire them to aim high when it comes to their own professional goals and leadership aspirations.


2. Launch a female-focused initiative

Although we’re all about being inclusive with our male colleagues here at EST10, female-focused initiatives provide inspiration, support and well-deserved recognition. Celebrate International Women’s Day within your organisation; establish a female-focused inspirational guest speaker program; or celebrate and reward the successes of your female colleagues. Over 70% of Australian organisations now have policies in place to support gender equality so talk to your HR team to find out how you can help.


3. Donate to a female-focused charity

At PA or EA level, many of us play a role in workplace charitable giving schemes, either contributing to charities from our pay pre-tax, nominating charities for one off donations or organising regular fundraising events. If so, there are many international charities working hard to support the advancement of women and girls, both here and overseas. The International Women’s Day website has a list of reputable charities and foundations you could support. And if you’re also offered an annual volunteer day through your organisation, consider donating your time to a local female-focused charity.


4. Mentor a woman or ask for a mentor

If you’re not a mentor already, consider offering your skills, knowledge and expertise to a less senior female colleague. Many organisations have formal or informal mentor programs in place, so again, talk to your HR team about the best way to get involved. Also, consider asking for a male mentor as a great way to break down gender barriers, improve understanding and promote equality in your workplace. Workplace gender equality initiatives such as Male Champions of Change are focused on men and women working together to improve levels of women in leadership and have so far proved to be very successful.


5. Join or create a support network

Networking is a great way to spark conversations about your professional and personal goals and how to achieve them. Join or create a PA or EA support group within your own organisation or join an external network such as the Executive Assistant Network to support your peers and offer guidance to more junior women. If you have an internal social media platform at work such as Chatter, establish or join a women’s network to connect women across your organisation. Online forums such as these are a great place to share experiences, advice and professional insights.


One final note, as a woman in the workplace, be ambitious, embrace self-learning and always look for ways to improve and develop yourself, both in terms of skills and your approach to work in general. This will also help you overcome any self-imposed obstacles to success – and inspire other women around you to do the same too.


How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day? Share your events and bold actions for change here! #BeBoldForChange