International Women’s Day 2014 – How will you get involved?

With International Women’s Day (IWD) rapidly approaching on Saturday 8th March I thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate women in leadership and share some recent insights!


Last week I attended Network Central’s 15th Birthday Luncheon which featured a panel of successful Women in Leadership moderated by Georgie Dent from Women’s Agenda.

I was inspired by the authentic panel and there was a feeling in the room that there is no limit to what we can all achieve!

My key takeaways were:

  • Power of the network: Christine Bartlett from NAB shared one of her biggest career learnings was to spend 50% of time doing the job and 50% of time building relationships (The network just keeps coming up, I read a great blog and White Paper yesterday describing five advantages for leaders in a networked world).
  • Finding your passion: Elizabeth Anne Macgregor OBE shared the importance of finding passion in what your leading (which I wrote about in my Meaning@Work Blog) She referenced Ken Robinson’s book: How finding your passion changes everything
  • Power of Male Mentors: Maria Halasz CEO of Cellmid limited described the power of male mentors and advised not to sweat the small stuff and go on your own journey.
  • Tipping Point Research: We need at least 30% of Women on Boards for gender to go out of the door. The latest percentage of women on ASX 200 boards is 17.6% (14 February 2014). More statistics via:
  • This is not just a women’s issue: Kim McGuinness, MD of Network Central talked about the research showing a balanced board and management team positively affects the bottom line and that Women in Leadership is not just a women’s issue. Women have different needs and abilities, coupled with men the result can be amazing.
  • Panel’s Best Career Advice: Specifically map what your future looks like, keep learning & take control of YOUR career!

Renetta Cooper, CEO of Forming Circles gave a touching speech and tribute to Kim McGuinness and stated one woman can make a difference, together we can rock the world!

Check out the great event twitter action via my storify:

What is success for Women (& Men) in Leadership??


I read a great article in Marie Claire at the spa on Monday (recovering after a half ironman!) which was calling for success to be redefined by Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post (@ariannahuff). Arianna writes how success has been defined in male terms predominantly by power and money. She is calling for it to be redefined including elements such as well-being, wonder, empathy and giving.

Most of the women I know do not want to burnout working 80-100 hour weeks, they want to achieve a balanced work-life integration. I agree with integrating the element of ‘giving’ which it seems to be the era of rather than receiving. I attended a ‘Feed the Starving Crowd’ book launch last night for Robert Cooley MBA. What humbled me was that Robert had no budget for his book launch but called on his network and managed to attract a wide array of sponsors to put on a great event which had 300 registrations! Again the power of the network which is crucial to your success!

Having previously written a blog on my key takeaways from Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ I revisited this and reconnected with the insights including Women need to lean in, sit at the table and take risks and be champions of other Women in Leadership!

With celebrating Women in Leadership achievements next month I also think we need to be cautious to not lose focus from the next generation of male leaders. I have been inspired by the Gen Y men in our network for young professionals who have a sense of empathy, fairness and inclusiveness. These men need to be recognised and sponsored too and not feel all the development opportunities are being offered to their female colleagues. I’m all for a balanced workforce. Sydney is full of networking groups focused on women which is great but I feel men need to be part of this movement. Network Central seem to have the balance right with male mentors and males encouraged to attend their events.

At the IECL I am leading a Connected Leadership team to promote more networked organisations. Gone are the days of the hero leader (Yesterday’s Heroes AFR Boss Article) and we need to unlock our organisational networks to discover leaders at all levels (both male and female) who can progress leadership in Australia!

Yesterday's Heroes

Women in leadership is definitely a trend in the 21st Century, let’s make sure this isn’t a fad. Here are some ways for you to get involved in IWD 2014!

*Attend one of the many events being hosted around the world, at my last check there were 119 here in Australia on the International Women’s Day site I will be attending a UN women’s breakfast on Friday 7th March and know my colleagues have signed up to a variety of local events!
*Sponsor a woman in business – who can you connect and advocate for in your network?
*Make some noise on social media to support the cause. Follow the twitter handle @womensday and conversation via #womensday
*Join a women in business community
. A few I am a member of can be found below as a starting point:

Uniting together we can achieve more! 



2 Comments on “International Women’s Day 2014 – How will you get involved?”

  1. Thank you. I really enjoyed your snapshot of key messages from disparate networks, events & readings, especially the emphasis on self belief, intention, outsight & connectedness. Am a big believer in the notion that what you put out to others comes back to you. Confess I don’t really want ‘gender out the door’ – I want to explore, expand and exploit it. To me our gender diversity is our source of richness, robustness and resilience. I’ll ponder what I can do that is system focused & tangible, as opposed to ongoing & more subliminal.

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