We recognise the continuous and deep connection to Country, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of this nation. In this way we respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land, sea, the waters and sky. We pay tribute to the Elders past and present as we also respect the collective ancestry that has brought us all here today.
AUTHOR: LILI MILLAWITHANACHCHI
In the lead up to International Women’s Day this year, I have been reflecting on the positive experiences I have had as a woman in the workplace. I have benefitted from a number of strong women in leadership positions who have advocated for me.
One in particular, actively sought my unique views and perspectives as a quietly spoken woman, and genuinely got behind them to back me up. As a career-auditor, I have had to have a thick skin in conversations with stakeholders. Instead of speaking for me in difficult conversations, she spent the time to prepare and support me to stand up for myself. She paved the way to set the stage and then gave me the time and space to build my confidence as a leader.
I remember one meeting she led by example in on a tough conversation where her views were not being heard, with men around the table explaining that raising a specific issue through an internal audit is not the way things were done around here. Watching her hold her ground and not be intimidated planted a seed in my mind, both on what I could achieve but also how far we still have to go in being seen as equals.
As I think about International Women’s Day, I am thankful for all the advocates who support and stand up for women in the workplace. While we have made progress, we still have so far go to.