International Women’s Day 2019

Rebecca Hartshorn – Head of Client Solutions

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!

James Vaughton –  Branch Manager, Brisbane 

Why do you think #balanceforbetter is an important message?

I would like my daughter to grow up in a world where she will have the same opportunities and respect as her brothers in all aspects of her life.

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

It is essential that men are included in the conversation. The change starts with us. We have to understand and be aware of where the imbalances lie. It is up to us to be role models for the next generation of men and ‘balance for better’ advocates for the sake of our daughters, granddaughters and nieces.

You have 3 kids under 5 and also manage our Queensland business, how do you personally balance your work/life responsibilities?

It can be hectic with 3 little kids but when I am at work, I give it 100% ambien to mastercard online and I try to do the same at home. Family holidays are very important to us so that we get to spend that quality time as a unit. My wife and I work as a team at home and we have found a daily routine that works for us. I also find that physical exercise helps me to regain my focus and balance my mind.

Elsa Sudan – Solutions Manager, Melbourne

Why do you think #balanceforbetter is an important message?

It gives younger generations a message that no matter your gender and background you should strive to be successful in any career you choose and you shouldn’t let social stereotypes get in the way. It also encourages woman already in typically male dominated industries to have the confidence to push through into more senior roles.

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

In a market that is constantly changing it is important your skills and knowledge stay on top of the game. Ensure you are upskilling in the latest technologies and keep top on of industry trends. You can do this by following relevant social media accounts and influencers, spend time reading and researching articles and blogs, take additional courses in new technologies, work on personal projects and more. You should also be attending meetups – this will not only give you great insight into the market but it will also give you the opportunity to network with likeminded and influential people in your industry. The information you get from attending meetups/conferences could be invaluable to your career – and you never know you could meet your next employer there!

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

Balance to me means different things. The first is finding a balance between my work and personal life. I work hard but the ability to also switch off and to focus on friends and family is also very important to me. I also feel we should have balance in nature too, so I believe living our lives in a way which has as little impact on the environment is also important. I like to educate myself and give back where I can.

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