Raising strong young women who are confident in their abilities, and have all the opportunity to thrive, is an important task. It is our responsibility as women, men, parents, sisters, brothers, to instil the important values of self-worth and independence on this upcoming generation.
The International Women’s Day 2021 theme is #choosetochallenge. Representing that as a collective, we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. In doing so, we can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements to further help create equality.
My top five pieces of advice that I share with my daughter and other young women are:
- #ChoosetoChallenge the “double bind”: This is the bias or gendered stereotype that women can be either too assertive or too nice. Instead let’s reframe that to women can bring the strength of assertiveness and caring to what they do. I really relate to Sheryl Sandberg’s banbossy.com as I also grew up feeling that “bossy” was a negative word – and language matters.
- If there is no seat at the table, create one: Advocating for yourself and the women around you is a powerful tool, whether it’s in your career or personal life.
- Be a pioneer: A quote I consistently fall back on when having a tough day is, “Pioneers are the ones with arrows in their backs”. I love that quote as it represents what it takes to create real change. I am happy to have a figurative arrow in my back if it means I am pulling up other women around me.
- Lift up other women around you: We’re stronger when we stand together. One of the most important lessons is to uplift women, together we can make a more positive impact and change as a collective.
- Support Network: You need a support network around you to be your best, personally and professionally.
I am proud of the initiatives Kellogg Australia offers as one of Australia’s leading organisations for gender equality. We stand alongside a number of leading organisations being recognised as one of Australia’s best workplaces for gender equality, from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). We were first awarded the WGEA citation in 2020 and again recently in 2021.
The company has also implemented several initiatives to support achieving gender balance, including an in-house mentoring programme and development programmes. These are focused on challenging some of the areas where women come up against roadblocks in growing their own careers, and an extended parental leave policy.
I am passionate about gender balance in the workplace and salute all the women who have pulled me up in my career and hope to continue to pay that forward and role model for my daughter.
By Kellogg’s ANZ General Manager, Tamara Howe