As children, my sister and I would watch fairy tales paint a slightly warped picture of what life should be like for women. Some of the themes were right, portraying strong courageous characters that were seeking adventure and working tirelessly. Of the many fairy tales, there would be invariably be a hero, a Prince and a marriage meaning happily ever after.
These days we see the same strength through women in stories, however now increasingly they are the ones saving the day. We are collectively beginning to reflect that women are their own heroes in everyday life.
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by vibrant women when I was growing up. The characters in my story believed in me and pushed me to follow my passions through life. My mum was a single mother, a hard role to play. Through her, my sister and I learnt that being a woman is enough to make your own way in the world and that you are no less (or more) than a man.
One of the strongest lessons we learnt, was that at times women can lose their way by not supporting each other.
Sadly, not all women and men have great role models or a support system throughout their youth. Not everyone is made aware of the importance of equality, and in all honesty, there is still a genuine ignorance towards women’s rights due to a lack of education throughout the world. Progress is being made, change is happening and awareness is growing, but there is still a long way to go.
At Hill Rogers, we are not perfect but I can honestly say that in my career here, I have not had barriers placed before me because I am a woman. Our focus is on talent, commitment and contribution. There is no pay disparity based on gender. I believe our female graduates stand the same chance to be future directors in this practice, but in reality, this is not reflected in the composition of our leadership team. By empowering women to stay in the workforce as they become mothers and through life’s other challenges we can help to shift the balance.
Yes, International Women’s Day – March 8 – is an important day to reflect, to unify and to celebrate women, however it is the small moments, the progress and the changes happening every day, that really matter.