On the eve of International Women's Day 2018, all working mothers can draw inspiration from the stories of these four female game-changers.
‘Breaking through the coded ceiling’ was a stellar event delivered today, by the trailblazers at SheStarts. We were blown away by the calibre and generosity of the speakers and hosts and the infectious vibe of inclusion, encouragement and optimism.
Twitter’s HQ in Sydney was filled with emerging female tech founders and big tech employees this morning, and whilst the event was intended to encourage women along their journey of tech entrepreneurship, the messages from the panellists hold enormous value for any working mother navigating her way through her career.
Nicola Hazel, SheStarts Director delivered a poignant welcome and reminded us that International Women’s Day is more than a day of token acknowledgment of women. International Women’s Day is a platform to continue the conversation about the contribution and recognition of women. It is a vehicle to deliver a global economic vision and it is a platform to shine a light on the success and change we are all achieving. IWD is inspiring other women to believe that “Yes, I can!”
Yes, I can ask for what I want.
Yes, I can achieve my career and family dreams.
Yes, I can make the world a better place.
Co-host Suzy Nicoletti, Twitter Australia’s Managing Director was promoted to her current role when she was five months pregnant. She shared her company’s forward-thinking approach to flexibility at work, acknowledging that designing a workplace to give people what they need to thrive was key. Suzy’s own career story is energising and demonstrates the value in always being open to opportunities and possibilities. From renting cars to celebrities after graduating, to her time in Silicon Valley, the highly-engaging MD reiterated the importance of building a rich and diverse network and always putting your hand up for opportunities.
Kelly Slessor, mother of two and Co-Founder of Shop You, highlighted the value of remaining engaged in industries you’re inspired by and tapping into your own strengths. Her mantra “No one is you, and that is your power” reminds us that our unique combination of experiences, skills and resources makes us valuable and distinctive. Women returning to the workforce can forget their value and reigniting this awareness is a key part of making a successful return. Kelly also heralded the value of mentors and acknowledged the important role they had played in giving her a ‘kick up the backside’ when she needed it.
The fourth inspiring panellist, Dr Claire Jenkins, CEO of Vetchat spurred us on as she shared the story of her business that she hatched while on maternity leave with her second child. Claire encouraged us to “take the leap” and to focus on building resilience in favour of getting bogged down in problems.
Each of the impressive women on the stage, whilst vast in their experiences and backgrounds, were connected by their commitment to drive the progress of other women. The stories and antidotes shared were crafted for women in tech, but their messages resonated on a much broader level. We left the SheStarts event re-fuelled with optimism about our own mission to support working women to re-enter the workforce and to thrive once they are there, and excited about what the future may hold, as we all #pushforprogress in our own unique way.