A HUGE happy International Women’s Day to you!
Today we are launching #WeTwo, a powerful movement that shines a light on stories of men and women working “two-gether” to encourage each other to step up, speak up, lead, and become champions of change in the workplace.
International Women’s Day is about celebrating the achievements and incredible contributions that women make in all areas of our community. It is also about acknowledging where women are still held back, experience inequity and are not able to contribute their full potential in situations that matter to them.
There is countless research that outlines how and why women still experience inequity in all countries across the globe. At Inkling, we are committed to the solution, not the problem, and so I come to you, the powerful Inkling tribe, to share how you can be a champion for change and make gender equity a reality.
What is #WeTwo?
- This campaign is inspired by our purpose to drive gender balance at leadership level.
- #WeTwo encourages us to work as a collective to encourage and facilitate change and be part of the gender equity solution.
- #WeTwo calls for individuals to act with courage, diligence and commitment in the workplace to create gender equity; this creates a better environment for all.
Here are some powerful examples of men and women working together to be champions of change for gender equity:
- Mia Handshin was the Chair of the Board for a large organisation. She wanted to highlight the importance of diversity and gender equality by hosting a celebration for International Women’s Day. She invited female staff to an afternoon tea and invited female board members to speak about their leadership journeys. Mia was pleased with the event’s success until she was approached by a male colleague who expressed that he would also like to celebrate International Women’s Day. In gently calling Mia out and expressing a willingness to participate, he made an important statement about how Mia, as a leader, could foster true inclusiveness. The following year Mia extended an open invitation for the IWD event. The turnout of men and women tripled the previous year’s attendance and compelled the senior leadership team to review the inclusiveness and diversity of their teams, including generating a new mentoring program to better support emerging female leaders.
- Karen advocated for her team member, Jane, to be put on a stretch assignment upon her return from maternity leave. Karen’s colleagues were concerned it would be too much for Jane. However, Karen, aware of Jane’s strengths and aspirations, had an Inkling that Jane could handle it, and was ready and willing to take on the opportunity. Jane was promoted not long after, into a role she finds incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.
- Adelle, a senior lecturer at a university, requested for breast feeding rooms to be established across the University after she returned from maternity leave to find she had nowhere to feed her daughter. Young parents are now able to access these rooms throughout the university’s campuses.
- Alan was working in Sydney however his family were based in Adelaide. Each week he would commute between the cities in order to manage his work and family commitments. His manager, Lisa, had an inkling that this wasn’t right and spoke out on his behalf. She made the case for him living in Adelaide, working remotely and doing monthly trips to Sydney to visit his clients. The company agreed to provide this flexibility, and found it not only improved his wellbeing but also his performance.
- Pamela, a senior leader in a national bank, had a colleague come to her after he had borrowed her notes from a meeting. He complimented her accurate note-taking, and asked her why she had not shared the questions and ideas captured in her notebook. He highlighted that she had made some critical points and that her ideas were innovative and needed to be shared with the broader group. She was taken aback because she thought that she didn’t have enough expertise or seniority to contribute. With his encouragement, she shared these ideas and the bank made important changes to their strategy. She was recognised for her significant contributions.
How can you join the #WeTwo movement?
- Share your story – How are you and others working to facilitate gender equity in the workplace (mentoring, calling out bias, advocating for others etc)? Share these stories on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin using the #WeTwo hashtag.
- Make the #WeTwo pledge – If I have an Inkling that something is not right, I will speak out to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace #WeTwo
- Start conversations in your workplace – If you see something that is not right: stand up and speak out.
Before I go I want to emphasise that all movements begin with individuals who have a vision for a better future. If we work together to call out bias, speak out against inequalities, and advocate for one another, we can achieve huge change. Let’s make gender equity a reality #WeTwo
International Women’s Day special offer
We are driven to empower women to step up, speak up and lead, so to celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re offering you a special 10% discount on our public programs, Ignite and Speakeasy. Plus, if you register 3 or more people, we’ll make it 15% off!
Check out the dates and locations on our website and use the special code IWD10 or IWD15 at checkout. Hurry, the offer ends at midnight, Thursday the 15th of March.
#WeTwo – Mia Handshin Acknowledgment
The idea for the #WeTwo campaign was seeded with Inkling Women by Mia Handshin, accomplished businesswoman and dear friend of Inkling Women. With a background in law, media and politics, Mia is passionate about the power of stories to drive game-changing conversations and create momentum for positive community change. After becoming aware of the backlash against #MeToo, and having heard how a male friend had partnered with a female colleague to address an issue of pay disparity, Mia had the inkling for the #WeTwo movement. Check out her website here.