IWD 2019 Celebrations and discussions on Balance for Better

By Angela Mellak

What can be a better way to celebrate IWD 2019 than at the prestigious Grossi Florentino restaurant with the Digital Women’s Network? 100+ distinguished guests filled upstairs at the Iconic restaurant a day filled with fun, laughter and most importantly, the confidence that all these like-minded individuals would make a difference in their own world.

We are delighted to again team up with Guy Grossi and his team to create a wonderful day of pampering and delicious food upstairs at Grossi Florentino for a three-course luncheon. Our major sponsors of the day Melbourne Skin for our SOLD OUT event, who provided all guests with a wonderful goodie bag and door prizes.

During the day we had each table chair open up robust discussions on this year’s IWD theme #BalanceforBetter. We were pleased to have Tony McGinn OAM, Dr Mei Ling Doery, Rachel Service to be some of the table chairs.
Each table came up with some key points on what “Balance” means and what could we do better to achieve such balance.

Questions asked on the tables

  1. Let’s look at what does balance mean to you? Is it culturally? Race or ethnicity? A spiritual? Physical? Mental?
  2. What holds your organisation back from finding balance in the workplace?  Is it difficult to navigate a flexible work environment that is fair for all?  Are we as women holding ourselves back due to lack of confidence, or simply not stepping up when we could be?
  3. If it’s you what is it that holds you back for pushing to move into management?
  4. In your role, what can you do to support more women in your team or side teams in the business?
  5. How to you empower the various different cultures in your team or business? younger and or older women in your business?
  6. How can you impact your business culture to encourage more balanced teams?
  7. Are your creating the space for others to think differently?

Answers

  1. All of the above, it starts with you, we must accept not being perfect. It’s not all about the destination it’s the journey, we need to compromise and be dynamic. Balance in the workplace is not just about a diversity of all genders, races and backgrounds – it’s also about having a work/life balance. Companies that truly understand flexibility and design jobs to suit the person, rather than the person fit into a box that is the job. Just giving someone a laptop and a phone to work “flexibly” is not that same as true flexibility in the workplace. People have lives outside of work, and if companies can work WITH people in this respect then you will find you have a much more effective, productive, stress free and successful workplace.
  2. We exist in a patriarchal structure and a natural female approach is much more collaborative and less wanting to dominate and take over. It can be said it is the model that is limiting opportunities. The model needs to change it’s outdated for us to really find balance. Some women who are getting the support at home saying how a few years back her husband was walking along the street carrying their baby in a Baby Bjorn style carrier and his workmates saw him and labelled him a “hero”,  and later that same day she was passed over for a job because she wanted it part-time. These are the types of stereotypes we need to get past. Also ending the stigma that it’s only mums that work part-time. Imagine a tradie on a construction site asking to go part-time to look after the kids … not sure it’d go down too well, as the culture on those sites is an example of an industry that desperately needs to change. Ending that stigma.
  3. We can wear many hats depending upon our environment we are very adaptable and we each bring something different to the situation or environment. We all agreed that balance is a long way off. We have come a long way, but we need to be raising our children in an environment where they see us as role models for balance. Sharing the workload at home, having mum AND dad do the school pickups, and teaching them to stand up for what is right. If they hear someone in the schoolyard saying something discriminatory – teaching them it’s okay to stand up for yourself and others, and call it out!
  4. It’s up to us to be the change we want to see, we need to mentor more, share our insights and ultimately pay it forward
  5. Through collaboration and engagement at events like this to get the conversation on the table
  6. Changing the model and strategically creating a new structure that celebrates a collaborative approach. We had some past employees of some of the biggest brand including LinkedIn and when they shared their stories of how they were treated when coming back from having children the opportunity was not embarrassed. This woman was really anxious about the amount of travel, sadly they made it really difficult for her, and she ended up asking for redundancy.
  7. We should self reflect and ask more men for their views 🙂

 

 

See our full Gallery of photos from the day

https://digitalwomensnetwork.com/galleries/iwd-2019-grossi-florentino/

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