International Women’s Day 2019

Rebecca Hartshorn – Head of Client Solutions

Rebecca talks about what #balanceforbetter means to her…

Why do you think #balanceforbetter is an important message?

“Balance for better” represents the fundamental core message at the heart of gender diversity. It wont just make it a better world either – the data factually proves that gender diversity in the workplace positively impacts the bottom line!

Why is it so important that men are included in the conversation?

You cannot affect change without the power and weight of the voices that people will listen to. Gender diversity isn’t a female issue – it’s an everybody issue! Men occupy more than 70% of board level positions in Australia’s top AX listed companies. Our best male leaders will use the privilege of these positions to provide a platform for those that are excluded from the conversations at the most senior levels. Diversity isn’t enough – you also need inclusion.

You have always been unashamedly ambitious. Where did your self-belief come from?

I grew up with a brother close in age and our parents really promoted the fact that we could do whatever we set our minds to and we weren’t constrained by our gender. I think having this instilled at a young age has had a major impact on me! I was ‘leaning in’ at the age of 8! I now view it as a responsibility that I use my voice to empower and include those that may not be as confident as me to speak up and be heard – this applies to men too.

 

Women in technology are significantly underrepresented. What would your advice be to a woman starting out their career in a male dominated environment?

Be completely 100% your authentic self. Be mindful of the stereotypes that exist around representing a minority (whatever one you may be in) and take deliberate action to demonstrate the opposite – even if it pushes you out of your comfort zone. Be mindful of how you communicate – being assertive is often mis-interpreted as a call for women to be more aggressive, it isn’t – learn how to assert yourself with the language you do (and don’t) use, especially over email. Check out the “Just Not Sorry” Google App that highlights when you are using apologetic language that diminishes your voice.

Finally, how do you find balance in your own life?

I try to balance work with family, friends & sport – and try not be beat myself up when one takes over more than the other. You can never strike a perfect balance all the time – but as long as you are mindful of that and striving towards it as a goal, you are in the right place!

See what other’s say about #balanceforbetter for them…

Womens DayJames Vaughton – Branch Manager, Brisbane
Womens DayElsa Sudan – Solutions Manager, Melbourne
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