International Women’s Day: A day to reflect on what we can do to change the world

By Elizabeth Marchant

Firstly, I am so incredibly grateful to live in this amazing country and to have this marvellously privileged life. When I reflect, even on recent generations, I realise we have come so far and that should be acknowledged. 

I also feel incredibly privileged to work with incredible people in what is a female dominated industry. 

We are fortunate to work in a female dominated organisation where gender equality is a given. As women in the workplace, we don’t experience harassment from our colleagues. However, we have all been on the receiving end of some form of misogyny from clients and suppliers. As a business we deal swiftly and severely if there is inappropriate behaviour that steps outside the bounds of professional or consensual conduct. We protect our people.

I am proud to be able to support everyone in the business equally, including when it comes to flexibility and recognition of family life. 

I am proud that we successfully attract women to work in the business and offer genuine opportunities for advancement and development as far as the business is able.

It is my great hope that everyone regards our group as a good place to work and would recommend it to others.

As a society we still have a long way to go, and while our business is committed to equality, inclusion, and diversity we should not become complacent. We need to recognise this issue for how big and how serious it still is and continue to take a stand.

We could not have predicted the recent events in Hollywood that has so many people talking about equality for women and about reducing harassment in the workplace. Finally men are standing up to say they believe women have a right to equal pay and to be able to go to work without being subjected to unwanted attention or harassment. 

In Australia, Dave Hughes found out his female radio co-star was getting paid less than he was, so he made up the shortfall personally. Charles Wooley is currently feeling the backlash of his recent interview with NZ Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern when he described her as “attractive” and discussed intimate details of her pregnancy.

Even more importantly we are still fighting this battle in our homes. Today Australian women are still being killed by their (male) partners at a rate of one woman per week. 

According to White Ribbon:
– one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. 
– one in five women experience harassment in the workplace. 
– domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children.
– in Australia, one in four children are exposed to domestic violence. 
– violence against women costs the Australian economy $21.7 billion a year. 

This is common, not ‘normal’, and while this is a big issue to address, as parents we have a huge responsibility to talk to our children about these issues. As a mother of boys the matters of equality and personal safety is something I talk to them about all the time. 

It’s important that everyone is talking and thinking about this kind of injustice. Today, we are fortunate that in Australia more people are asking why this is happening and saying it can’t continue.

So today, look past the hype of International Women’s Day and think deeply about what it really means to us all and how we can do our part to improve this world we are privileged to be a part of.

 

About the author:

Elizabeth Marchant Sydney PR and Marketing

Elizabeth Marchant
FPRIA
Director

Liz is the Group CEO of Recognition PR, Write Away Communication + Events, and Outsource. Liz has over 20 years of PR agency and in-house experience. She brings a knowledgeable, strategic and solutions focused approach to developing client strategy, daily business operations, and team management.

Over the past two decades, Liz has worked with numerous leading brands to build their profiles and manage their reputations. She is responsible for client strategy and daily business operations.

Liz has extensive experience in training senior executives and marketers, and has worked with organisations including Telstra, eBay, and many others.

Liz is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on the executive committee of Jeans for Genes.

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