Equality Talks Season Two has been absolutely amazing to be part of and I cannot believe the caliber of women that I’ve had the chance to speak to. I have learnt so much from the wonderful women this season.
The theme that really came to me when I was reflecting on the season is generosity. I was blown away by the amount of generosity all our guests showed with their time, their wealth of information, and their true desire to see other women succeed.
Season Two episodes covered:
- Naomi Simpson, founder of Red Balloon and well-known for her seasons on Shark Tank. Naomi spoke about passion, purpose and rebooting Australia as we come out of the crisis of COVID. As Australia has pretty much returned to normal and internal travel increases, Naomi had a lot to share about supporting small businesses and the action we can take individually to support our economic recovery.
- Fiona Vines, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at BHP. With 25 years in the industry, she had a lot to share about best practice and the tools BHP has used to take an oil and gas company – an industry that is traditionally about 22% women – to their global goal of 50% women by 2025. She had so much inside information and really rich knowledge to share with us. I loved this conversation.
- WORK180 Co-CEO and Co-Founder Gemma Lloyd interviewed Heidi Roizen, who told the fascinating story being part of the Heidi versus Howard study that was done at Columbia Business School, where they compared student responses to two CVs. One belonging to Heidi and one belonging to Howard, but both of them were actually Heidi’s CV. This study is one of the foundational studies into unconscious bias, and how people respond to strong female leaders versus strong mal leaders. It’s a fascinating study and a really interesting conversation between the two of them.
- Anastasia Volkova, founder of Florosat, has such an impressive CV for such a young woman. We talked about women rising, supporting women through STEM careers and the amazing work that she’s done with her company.
- Diane Smith-Gander is on the Boards of Wesfarmers and AGL. She had a huge wealth of information to share. We spoke about networking, having your own personal Board of Directors, her concerns about the impacts of COVID on gender equality efforts, and how to level the playing field for men and women.
- Libby Lyons, the Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, talked about the new research that has come out from WGEA and Curtin Business School showing a causal relationship between having a female CEO and women on your executive leadership team, and the financial benefits that companies achieve because of that. It’s really worth having a listen to this episode, and you may find the information in it helpful in progressing diversity and inclusion measures at your work. As Libby says, the data is the key driver to change. People can’t ignore it.
- Julie Moss was another really fascinating conversation. She started her career in D&I before it was really a ‘thing’, so her thinking and experience is quite ground-breaking. She talked about the bias she faced when trying to address the gender pay gap, and actually got told to pay two men more than their female counterpart because ‘they had families to support’. This ended up being one of my favorite conversations of the season.
- Shivani Gopal who has founded a group called The Remarkable Women. I originally came across Shivani on the Women of Clout podcast hosted by Jane Caro and Catherine Fox and it was one of my favorite episodes of their show, so I was really excited to speak with Shivani myself for Equality Talks.
- I then had a really heartfelt conversation with Samantha Payne from The Pink Elephant, talking about pregnancy loss support, which is an area that is under supported in our society. Pink Elephant are doing amazing work to increase the level of support that women facing pregnancy loss can access.
- Somoud Al Masri is active in Jacobs’ Global Diversity and Inclusion Council, and she told some really shocking stories of things that have happened her across her career – not at Jacobs but in previous employers and the fight she’s been through on her own quest for gender equality and for her career progression. I laughed in frustration and gasped with surprise at some of the stories she told, but the thing is, we know she’s not alone in the challenges she’s faced! If you want to hear some shocking stories, and also feel less alone in the bias you may have felt in your career, definitely listen to this episode.
- Camille Wilson spoke with me about mental health at work. She talked about the 45% of the workforce who are neither thriving nor in crisis, and her work focuses on bringing those people towards thriving. I love that as a concept because I think it’s very easy to kind of fall into that rut of ‘meh, nothing’s too bad but nothing’s that great either’.
- We closed out the season with Sangeeta Venkatesan from FairVine Super. She talked about the superannuation attenuation gap and everything that FairVine Super is doing to try and close that gap. She gave some advice on how to create a career that you really love, because after 25 years in big corporate and financial services she stepped out and started her own business. We also talked about self-advocacy, and the opportunities women have to step up and ask for what we are worth.
We’ll be taking a little break with the podcast, and Season Three will be coming to you in Q2 or Q3 of 2021. Until then, make sure you’re all caught up with Season Two.