Be Bold For Change

This Wednesday (March 8) marks International Women’s Day, a global event where women and men across the world come together to celebrate the successes of women and advocate for continued opportunities.

I’m very proud to lead State Trustees, and as CEO, I am particularly focused on ensuring we embrace diversity and empower our people, regardless of their gender.

For State Trustees, diversity means celebrating difference in life experience, education, communication and thinking styles, background, expertise and skills, all of which are part of our broader organisational texture. We are proud of the impressive gender balance we have built throughout the organisation, from our client facing roles, right through to the Executive Team and our Board.

We do not set gender targets, we believe in hiring the best person for the job – and at State Trustees, we take pride in recognising that 69 per cent of our workforce are women. Our current Executive Team and our Board of Directors are both predominantly comprised of talented women who are thought leaders in their areas of expertise. We also have good gender balance within our broader leadership team; and our commitment to gender diversity is reflected in our employee mix, this assists us in considering our approach to client service and our work styles.

This balance is a demonstration of our belief that recognising the talent and role of all employees in the workplace, including women, should not be limited to one day each year. Organisations that successfully reward and appreciate the contribution and value of all, do so by embedding it in their culture. Diversity is an asset.

As the leader of an organisation that has improved its diversity over recent years, what advice would I offer to other leaders who are seeking to drive greater diversity in their own workplace?  Be a bold and relentless advocate for change. This year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day calls on everyone to help forge a better working world – a more gender-inclusive world.

For gender equality, the main thing we can do as leaders is to make a determined and overt effort to demonstrate that we understand the different stages of employees’ careers and lives, and afford them the flexibility and opportunities that are aligned to their unique needs.

Where women – or men – request flexibility; such as working from home, later commencement times, or part-time hours, we will do all we can to avail them of that flexibility. However, most importantly, we provide a work environment that is built on merit – that way, regardless of gender, we’re giving people the opportunities and the recognition they deserve.