International Women’s Day 2019: This year it’s all about #BalanceforBetter
International Women’s Day is a time to champion women's rights and the progression of females all over the world, while also celebrating past achievements.
The theme this year is #BalanceforBetter – because balance is a wide-ranging issue. It affects business, media, sport, wealth, government – gender balance is still yet to be achieved in most areas of society.
Here at Melt Digital we’re surrounded by amazing women. So, to mark International Women’s Day 2019 we got an insight from the women of Melt to discuss what the day means to them and why we need to #BalanceforBetter.
1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Chloe: It is an opportunity to celebrate women – to highlight achievements, but to also address what still needs to be done to ensure complete gender equality.
Amy: We don’t have to apologise for being who we are, and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished, while being mindful and educating those around us that we still have so far to go for true equality. It’s a day for celebrations and conversations.
2. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter. Why is balance important in the working environment?
Helene: Different genders provide different perspectives in the workplace. Having a balanced perspective is important for ensuring beneficial environment for everyone. As well as a balanced perspective, there’s work-life balance, and there are many reasons why that’s also linked to gender balance.
Chloe: You can’t have a thriving, growing business without different perspectives. If you have boardrooms filled with people from the same background, the same gender, and the same age – which in the past has been almost exclusively the case, and still often is – the world is not only a lot less interesting, but a lot less fair.
3. How do you think balance in businesses can be improved?
Sarah: Balance isn’t just about fulfilling gender or diversity quotas. It’s about offering everyone in a business equal opportunity, selecting the right person for each role based on merit without prejudice and ensuring that everyone is paid equally for doing the same work.
Yolanda: I do like to see initiatives where gender balance is encouraged in industries – or roles that are male dominated. For example, Qantas has committed to a 20% intake of qualified women with its Future Pilot Program. Considering that currently only 5% of pilots are women I think that initiatives like this are a good way to achieve balance.
4. What advice would you give to women starting out in the workplace?
Meghan: Don’t be afraid to use your voice and don’t let your views be overthrown. You have just as much right to be in the room as those around you.
Amy: Have confidence in your knowledge and, most importantly, be proud of who you are.
5. Is travel an industry that needs to improve gender balance?
Sarah: I think there is a lot of work still to be done. Despite more women working in travel than men, it is predominantly men who hold senior and decision-making roles. As an industry, we need to do better and set an example for others.
Helene: A report from PwC UK has shown that in 2019 more women are working in the hospitality, travel and leisure industries than men. Yet there’s still a “severe lack of women in key leadership roles”, which also affects the gender pay gap, with women under-represented in both senior positions and technical ones such as pilots.
6. Give us your favourite motivational motto…
Meghan: My mum brought me up with the saying ‘The room deserves all of you, all at once’. I think it is incredibly important not to shrink your personality – the more you do, the more you will be overlooked.
Yolanda: ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value’ — Albert Einstein