For over a century International Women’s Day (IWD) has been a global day (March 8) to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s also a day that can remind us to mark a call to action for accelerating women's equality everywhere.
Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
Regardless of your gender, background, or economic status, International Women's Day is your day to do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.
We recognise that the global awareness of this day comes different definitions and perceptions, so we thought it’s important to share some of the different meanings that International Women’s Day hold for some of our staff. We asked them simply, what does International Women’s Day mean to you and here’s what they had to say.
For me, International Women’s Day is a day to remember that there are still gender equality imbalances around the world. Women have come a long way in terms of being recognised for their contribution, but still have a way to go. International Women’s Day is not only about remembering this, but, celebrating the successes of women, acknowledging those that have shaped and pathed the way for others, and backing each other. On International Women’s Day I always take a moment to also reflect and think about the influential men that I have worked with over the years, who have helped create a more balanced workplace and have empowered women in the organisations I have worked in.
I knew of a lady in Armidale who was the first ever female bank teller for Westpac. Before that time, only males could work in the bank. Even then, when women began to be more broadly accepted as staff, there was a requirement to resign once you were married. We look around now and see female Chairs and CEOs and realise so much has changed for the better through lots of hard work by women to break down those old gender stereotypes.
I guess at a personal level it is also about taking the time to recognise and appreciate the balancing act that working mums in particular face. Some of our senior female leaders also have the responsibility for looking after a couple of kids on their own. I admire that ability to maintain the family focus and all the commitment that it entails while still managing to kick goals and achieve at work.
Celebrating the achievements of women. Looking back at how far we’ve come, and forward to what else needs to be achieved for women and girls both locally and globally.
International Women’s Day, for me, is a chance to reflect on the way my mother combined running our family fuel distribution business while raising a family.
Some of my earliest and best memories are of spending time at the office, terrorising our staff, while Mum worked long hours to grow the business.
Mum never made excuses and worked tirelessly to maintain the balance between running a successful business and ensuring I never missed out on having her around for big events like school sports days.
I often marvel at how strong minded and selfless she was to provide a great life for me and all of her staff, all of which she treated like family.
At Queensland Country we have numerous talented and hardworking women balancing family life and their professional careers.
International Women’s Day gives us the chance to recognise the incredible contribution these women make to our organisation whilst fulfilling their most important job, caring for their own families.
The women of Queensland Country Bank, leading through their actions, set a great example for younger generations that you can combine a successful career and a family.
They are an inspiration to us all.