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celebrating international women's day

another year, another International Women's Day

celebrating international women's day

Well it's that time of the year again folks where it's time to celebrate every. single. woman. in. your. life. just for being the boss babes that they are.

Yep, you betcha we're writing a blog about International Women's Day. We did last year, we're doing it this year, we'll do it next year and every damn year until praising women for their leadership, power, intelligence, beauty, strength and character becomes an every day kinda thing.

Now, there are a lot of women in this world who inspire us, and as much as we wish we could touch on each and every one of them, we can't (imagine how long that blog would be?!). Instead, we've picked a few women who are absolutely killin' the game. 

These businesswomen challenge the status quo each time they brainstorm an idea, set the goal and successfully smash it soon after. Whether they're helping others, taking care of the planet or offering guidance, these women are not only our #wcw every day of the week but they're fantastic role models that every girl out there should look up to! 

But, before we get to them, we can't let you go before sharing some female wisdom from our very own head honcho: 

I choose to challenge the gender stereotypes still being placed on women. Women have been and often still are groomed and conditioned, either by mainstream media or the patriarchy itself, to believe that they have a certain place in society. 

Growing up I always challenged or rebelled against this societal 'gender norm'. As I've always been a bit left of centre, I created my own rules, values and belief system based on my own worth as a human, and not on my gender" - Patrizia Tresca 

emma, founder of Happy Boxes Project 

My name is Emma and I am the founder of the charity the Happy Boxes Project. It started as a humble passion project that functioned via word of mouth and has now grown to a fully functioning registered charity. We have a board of 8 people, 54 community based coordinators and a school based trainee who all work tirelessly to deliver Happy Boxes to more than 60 communities in 5 states and territories. We hope to empower women by alleviating the barriers of accessing basic needs.

what does IWD mean to you?

It has been a reason to bring together young women I have worked with, along with the important women in their lives, to revel in how amazing women are. A day to celebrate everything we stand for. The Happy Boxes was essentially born from an IWD event my students held at a women’s safe house. We put together special Happy Boxes to gift to all the incredible Aunties, Mothers and Grandmothers in attendance. With each Happy Box that was gifted the girls simply said “this is for you because you are amazing and because we love you.” The result was a room full of women beaming from ear to ear, feeling worthy and empowered. 

However, the day does feel bitter sweet, as whilst there is much to celebrate there is still a lot of work to do before we can confidently say we have reached gender equality.

what’s one of your proudest achievements so far?

Building the charity to a point where we are in a position to hire a school based trainee. We realise Happy Boxes are a ‘band aid’ solution for a much bigger systemic issue and I’ve always dreamt of being able to provide employment pathways for young Indigenous women without them being forced to leave their home land. Employing our first school based trainee is a step in that direction.

Why do you think we need more women in powerful leadership positions? 

I think Jacinda Ardern is a fabulous example of what women can and could achieve given the opportunity. I hear often that women can’t be leaders or authority figures because they are too emotional, their empathy clouds their judgement. In my opinion she has demonstrated that you can run a country with empathy, kindness, warmth, integrity and vulnerability and yet still have the strength to make the hard decisions. She has led with her heart and the country is thriving. A recent poll showed she is the most popular leader in 100 years and almost every Australian I’ve talked to wishes she was their leader. So imagine a world with an equal balance of gender in parliament. Imagine a world where women can be successful in leadership without feeling pressured to conform to lead ‘like a man’ with assertiveness and authority which lacks empathy. It is a pretty exciting thought.

Rather than compete, how can women better support and celebrate each other?

We need to change the narrative that there is only ‘one seat at the table’. That someone else’s success means you don’t get to experience that too. There is room for everyone and in actual fact, the more seats ‘at the table’ occupied by women, in all areas of society, the better chance we all have of a slice of the pie. Perceive other women’s success as your success, lift them, empower them, and tell you believe in them. Thank them for being an inspiration and revel in the wonderful feeling that comes with supporting someone, rather than tearing them down.

Who's your female role model? 

There are plenty of women who inspire me daily through my Instagram feeds. Alicia Jay, Amy Schumer, Jacinda Ardern, Rarriwuy Hick, Jameela Jamil, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sarah Wilson, just to name a few. I love that each of these women are unapologetically themselves. They know their worth and they aren’t afraid to put it out to the world. They have taught me to love the parts of myself I haven’t always appreciated. They are role models in self-love, body confidence and inclusivity for all humans. They call out the racism that continues to oppress people throughout the world, they demand accountability from the media and its degradation of women and they ruthlessly question the patriarchal systems which continue to reinforce gender inequality. And I absolutely love them for it.

But I believe the real women who inspire me most are my own matriarchs of my family- who guide and lead me in all aspects of my life. As well as the beautiful circle of friends I have been blessed with. Every single one of my girlfriends has faced hardship, persevered through adversities and has done so whilst juggling a young family, and/or keeping a successful career. And yet still have enough energy left over to throw their arms around me. I am in constant awe of their strength and their loyalty and look up to every sone of them, they all know exactly who they are.

what do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing women today?

Women want to feel respected in the work place, they want to feel supported to stay at home and they want to see positive change for their environment. Women want to be taken seriously, they want to walk down the street without fear of being abused and they want to be heard. But I don’t believe gender equality is possible until we first address the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of Australia. This will never be a reality whilst the women of Australia are inharmonious. Women must turn their hearts to the startling inequality of our First Nations women and invest our energy in closing this gap. Until all women of Australia are dedicated to supporting our First Nations women to heal, until we return their land, give them the autonomy to rebuild from the devastation of colonisation we won’t find equality. Until we create room for First Nations women to take up space in all areas of society and allow their voices to be heard, we won’t find equality. Until we actively and compassionately listen, none of our dreams of equality can come true. 

what’s your advice for the young women of today, trying to navigate work, relationships and expectations?

Invest time and energy into working out who you truly are, what drives you, what fulfils you, what values you will never compromise and what your ‘quality world’ looks like. Once you’ve figured that out, be that person unapologetically. Don’t compare, don’t try to conform, don’t judge. You are you and the world needs women to embrace their uniqueness and to celebrate it. 

Happy Boxes Project

madison, founder of MADactive 

My name is Madi or better known as lifewithmads. I am studying my certificate in personal training and have recently finished my commerce and law degree. I am the owner and founder of a sustainable activewear brand MADActive. 

What does IWD mean to you?

International Womens day means recognising all the things women have done and are so capable of doing. WIt is an opportunity to reflect and admire all the incredible achievements by all the strong women of the world and all the incredible milestones to come.

What's one of your proudest achievements so far?

My proudest achievement so far are travelling Europe solo and starting a business with a vision beyond just myself.

Why do you think we need more women in powerful leadership positions? 

Encouraging more women into leadership positions remains critical in our era and given the fast-approaching challenges of the future. Women at the top also lead to greater productivity and enhanced collaboration. It will lead to a world where gender equality and equal pay is a norm. 

Rather than compete, how can women better support and celebrate each other?

Women should be able to share ideas collaboratively and collectively in order to rise together. When women support each other incredible things happen that we never thought were possible. Community is everything.

Who's your female role model? 

My female role model is Oprah Winfrey. Her story is incredible. What she has gone through and where she is today just shows you anything is possible.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing women today? 

The biggest challenge woman face in today's era is being seen as equal in a job opportunity. Being taken seriously and heard for their ideas and creativity. 

What's your advice for the young women of today, trying to navigate work, relationships and expectations?

My biggest advice for young woman is to believe in yourself and never give up. Times get tough, you will have self doubt and it's a matter of choosing to feel the fear and do it anyway. If you don't believe in yourself, no one will. Live authentically and to your truest self. 

international women's day - MADactive

other women making tracks 

chantel contos 

Former student turned activist, Chantel Contos, is making waves for all of the right reasons, lifting the lid on sexual abuse orchestrated by private school kids.

Starting a petition that's seen more than 28,000 young women come forward to share horrifying stories of sexual abuse at the hands of boys who have all attended private schools, Chantel is adamant that what is taught in schools regarding sex education needs to start changing, and it needed to happen yesterday. 

Meeting with principals from 10 different private schools in Sydney tomorrow, Chantel is hoping to change toxic 'rape culture' and create a better and safe environment for all young women as they move through different stages of their education.

We think she deserves a standing ovation. 

diane, volunteer at Save A Dog Scheme

Working at the Save-A-Dog Scheme shelter as a volunteer, Diane's job is to look after the animals and make sure they have everything they need in order to be successfully adopted into a loving family. This can include organising fundraisers or charity events that will then help to spread awareness and raise money. 

Involved in community outreach programs, Diane loves working with as many amazing supporters in the hopes that funds will be raised to build awareness of SADS and that each and every furry friends that works through their doors finds their forever home. 

The reasons behind why she volunteers her time, energy and effort into SADS all revolve around the animals that find themselves in the shelter. Most of the cats and dogs are abandoned, often feeling sad, unloved and neglected however they're every single one of them are tenacious creatures that deserve all the love a new family has to offer them. 

Some of the pets stay at SADS for a while as finding the right home for each animal can be quite difficult, especially if they've had a rough upbringing or a less than desirable home environment however getting to see them finally be adopted into a new loving and caring home makes all the tough times more than worth it.