March 8 is a global day recognising women and their achievements – whether that’s political, cultural, economic, or social. The days also seeks to promote equal rights for women.
This year’s IWD theme is Break The Bias. That means a world recognising diversity, equity and inclusion. A gender equal world, free from bias, stereotypes, discrimination and harassment. In 2020, A United National report found that almost 90% of men and women hold some sort of bias against women.
Bias takes on many forms. It could be the depiction of women in the media, missing out on a promotion based on gender, breastfeeding discrimination, unequal rights, diminished responsibilities, stereotypes on TV or advertising, sexual harassment, lower pay, judgement on appearance, job interview questions, or inability to obtain a flexible work life balance with children.
*As of February 2022, the median undergraduate starting salaries for women are 3.9% less than for men. The full-time average weekly ordinary earnings for women are 13.8% less than for men. 22.3% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors. Median superannuation balances for women at retirement (aged 60-64) are 23.4% lower than those for men.
Gender equality is a human right. That means:
• Equal access to education
• Equal representation of women in leadership positions in workplaces and politics
• Recognition of the value of unpaid and domestic work
• Equal access to the economic resources such as financial services, inheritance and natural resources
• No discrimination against women and girls
• No gendered violence.
The fight for equality and bias is far from over. We are trying, but actions speak louder than words.
Today, we applaud women. To celebrate IWD, Capire staff pick a woman that inspires them.
Shannon Cheal – Operations Manager
Jade Hameister OAM was 16 when she became the youngest person to complete the “polar hat trick” of skiing to the North and South poles. After her first ski, internet trolls commented “make me a sandwich”. When she arrived at the South Pole she posted a photo of herself holding a sandwich with this caption: “I made you a sandwich (ham & cheese), now ski 37 days and 600km to the South Pole and you can eat it”.
Jade advocates for:
• Young women: Instead of focussing on how young women look, Jade wants to shift the focus to what our bodies and minds can do and discover the incredible possibilities that we are capable of contributing to this world.
• Young people: Jade wants to encourage young people to choose bravery over perfection. Seeking perfection makes us fearful of making mistakes or looking silly. It places limits on us and instead we tend to play it safe, or worse… we don’t even try. Courage acknowledges that we are imperfect and that we will make mistakes, but we try anyway.
• Climate change: Jade has fallen in love with Earth’s beautiful polar regions. As a representative of her generation that will inherit the consequences of climate change, with unique first hand experience in these most fragile parts of our planet, she feels a responsibility to learn as much as she can about global warming and to play a much more active role in this area in years to come.
Chris Robinson – Co Founder / Director
I’d like to acknowledge being inspired and astounded by the thousands of dedicated, selfless, compassionate people (mostly women) who are working in our health care and nursing sector. Some at the end of their career, some just starting. My daughter Tara is a 3rd Year Nursing (Clinical Leadership) student; Alfred Fellowship recipient; and RUSON contractor at the Alfred (Registered Undergraduate Student of Nursing).
Tara knows that her career choice will be hard, not well paid and emotionally draining. She knows her feet will swell, back ache and probably on many days she will collapse into bed. Her choice however will bring comfort to those in pain, assistance in making healthy decisions for those recovering, and hopefully a major contribution to improving health outcomes for us all.
She’s also fun, friendly, active and adventurous. She’s a real inspirational to me.
Amy Hubbard – Co Founder / Director
Arundhati Roy: Author and political activist, Arundhati is an impassioned voice for so many environmental injustices and social inequalities around the world. She’s unstoppable.
Olivia Simon – Content Marketing and Copywriter
This International Women’s Day I decided to pick my mum. She hasn’t cured cancer, started a charity, become a human rights lawyer, or run marathons, but to me she is inspirational. Being a mum is hard work and there should be greater acknowledgement and appreciation. My mum raised four kids, looked after her elderly mother and mother-in-law, worked part-time whilst facing bias, discrimination and still had time to make our lunches, read us books, volunteer at our sporting events and school.
My mum once campaigned for more suitable and gender-neutral uniforms for girls including shorts at our athletics club. She taught me to read and still buys a book for everyone on their birthday. She was a teacher and an advocate for equality and state schools. She saw the good in the bad and the beauty in the ugly. Most importantly, she had a great sense of humour and taught us not to take ourselves too seriously – the secret to a good life! She instilled values such as sensibility, positivity, and resilience.
She taught us that anything was possible and not to let gender get in the way. She taught me that women can do anything.
*WGEA – Gender equality workplace statistics at a glance 2022 | WGEA