The women at Bilue acknowledged International Women’s Day this year with a team lunch and an afternoon spent at a women in business event run by Telstra and Women NSW.
The speakers on the panel included the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women – Bronnie Taylor, CEO and Founder of Flamingo AI – Dr Catriona Wallace, CEO of First State Super – Deanne Stewart, CSIRO Chief Scientist – Cathy Foley and Telstra’s Organisational Development Leader – Kylie Fuller.
Here are our highlights and key takeaways from the event:
- Women need to recognise and value the transferrable skills they bring from past experiences.
- Men need to be encouraged to join the conversation, because most men want to be involved but don’t know how to best help and contribute. Post the #metoo movement, a lot of men are genuinely about saying and doing the ‘wrong’ thing – Man Cave is an organisation doing a lot of work supporting men in this space.
- It is important to find and talk to the people that are not yet convinced about gender equality (move away from the already converted).
- Never tell your daughters that they can’t do something, or that they are not supposed to be good at something because it’s not the female ’norm.
- Unconscious bias in technology occurs, as the input of data is largely done by a male dominated workforce. It is important to change that – the technology that will replace jobs and play a large part in our lives / the lives of future generations, should represent the diversity we are striving towards (not just gender), we are currently at a risk of coding in the bias we currently have.
- Women retire with an average of 47% less superannuation than men.
- Change within companies needs to happen from the top (leadership team) not just one department i.e People & Culture/ HR in most organisations.
- Measuring employee experience at work is more important than just meeting diversity numbers – how do those people actually experience the organisation.
- Telstra tackled the issue of biased parental leave policies in their business (ie. while it didn’t say specifically women could have 4 weeks and men could have 2, it did say the 4 weeks had to be taken directly after birth…driving this to be the ‘woman’s leave’ generally). Telstra changed their policy, so employees are entitled to take 16 weeks regardless if they are the primary or secondary carer and they have seen a 50% uptake in men taking parental leave. We need to be on the look out for bias at a policy level.
- Whatever women put their minds to, they can accomplish it!
It was, overall, a great opportunity to hear some very inspiring women talk about their experience as female industry leaders.