An article in the March 2016 issue of Vogue by Julie Bishop made me think about our times and the future for women.
Ms Bishop talked about world challenges and “women as one of the world’s most important assets”.
The power of statistics is something Ms Bishop is well aware of (as has been covered in a previous blog on this site) – she quoted figures in relation to world education of women, the impact women can have on the GDP, right through to the fact that she is one of 29 female foreign ministers among 193 nations.
As I have reflected on her comments regarding what women in developing countries like Papua New Guinea, Fiji etc are achieving with assistance from the likes of Australia I thought about how lucky women are to live in these times and in this country. Certainly it is not hard for us to get a great education – unlike Pakistani Mallala Yousafzai who risked her life to speak out for this right in her country.
I have no doubt if one looked at every woman who has achieved great things, she didn’t wait to be invited. I think some women think the door should be opened for them and then invited to the lofty heights they aspire to – whether that is up the next rung of the corporate ladder or much, much more.
I think of those women who I find inspirational. I have no doubt they didn’t sit and wait to be invited to their positions and the management roles they achieved.
Finally, we are very fortunate that in the main we enjoy the support of men – whether it is our life partner, father, brother or business partner. These important male figures want to see us succeed – they do not want to see anything stand in the way of our goals and want to proudly stand beside or behind us as we grow. They want to see your endeavours acknowledged.
I think here again, we wait for men to step up by doing things to show their practical support – but why? We may accept we need to remind them to take out the rubbish etc – why do we want or need it to be different when it comes to supporting us, so that we can work on our education or career goals?
I have one of the most supportive partners one could imagine – but still there are times I need to ask for his help – I don’t expect him to mind-read, and he is always more than willing – happy even – to contribute to our lives running smoothly as I attend to the various roles I am involved with to make my life fulfilled.
So, as each situation requires, you shouldn’t hesitate to step up, put your hand up, or ask, as that is what your predecessors have done – so then you too can achieve your goals!
Karina Heinz is the managing director of Progressive Strata Services. Karina is a member of the Women in Strata steering committee.