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International Women's Day: The importance of support

​International Women’s Day means different things to different people.

To me, it is all about acknowledging and celebrating all the great things that women have achieved. For over a 100 years white women in Australia have had the right to vote, with our Aboriginal sisters only gaining the right to vote in 1962. The continual progress we are making for equality has come so far, but there is still plenty of work to do.

"At November 2020, women’s average weekly ordinary full-time earnings across all industries and occupations was $1,562.00 compared to men’s average weekly ordinary full-time earnings of $1,804.20." - The Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Per The Workplace Gender Equality Agency the gender pay gap is influenced by a number of factors, including:

• The gender pay gap conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions
• women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages
• lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles
• high rates of part-time work for women
• women’s greater time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities impacting career progression and opportunities.
• women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work

These stat's are reminder of why it's still so important to #choosetochallenge and start brave conversations.

At Ambition I'm proud to work within a company that has over a 61% employee female split, with 45% of our leaders being female. We are focused on equality and my achievements are heavily influenced by the environment that I work in. At Ambition, I have been lucky enough to work in a supportive, collaborative and trusting environment. My opinion and ideas are valued, and I feel like an important member of the leadership team.

I have also felt supported when taking parental leave for my first and second child. We have a paid parental leave policy at Ambition which meant that money was one less thing for me to worry about! In addition to paid leave, I was also eligible for a return to work bonus and paid time off for antenatal appointments.

As well as the financial side of things, I have also been given fantastic flexibility when it came to returning to work. I wasn’t under pressure to return within a specific time frame or to work a specific number of hours. It was very much about what worked for me and my family, which is such a refreshing approach for a return to work mum. Flexibility with working from home has been a huge help too. Splitting my week between the office and home has meant that I can spend more time with my children as I’m commuting less which is a big win for everyone! This will continue post COVID-19, as the organisation recognises that flexible working is an effective way to keep the workforce engaged and productive.

Returning to work after parental leave can be an anxious time for some people. However, I felt like my return was pretty smooth and free from stress. It can be quite overwhelming when you first come back and sometimes you feel like your brain is going to explode with everything happening! But, luckily for me I work with great people and they supported me every step of the way.

I feel so proud to be part of an organisation who genuinely cares about its people and wants to do the right thing for them. I have felt confident, incredibly supported, and highly engaged when coming back to work. There is a lot of trust too, especially when it comes to working flexibly. We operate on a true outcome focused approach where there is less of an emphasis on the hours that are worked, and more attention paid to the outcome that is delivered. It is so refreshing to work in this type of environment, especially as the recruitment industry can be notorious for focusing on how something is achieved, instead of what is actually achieved.

I'd like to thank all of the women who have come before us and paved the way for a bright future, and the women who continue to have courageous conversations to change the status quo.

Hear more great insights and experiences from our sister company Watermark Search International on International Women's day 2021.

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