When Kelly O’Dwyer, Australia’s national Minister for Women recently returned home to her family in Melbourne after a week in Parliament, her almost-three-year-old daughter Livvy asked about her mum’s trip from Canberra. Yesterday, in O’Dwyer’s address to the National Press Club, she recounted a little of what Livvy said, “She knowingly told me that if I was on a plane then there must have been a pilot. And then she said, ‘What was her name?’”
International Women’s Day 2018 (IWD) is Pressing for Progress toward that goal — to make it simply natural for girls and women the world over to assume that pilots, professors, engineers, doctors, architects, CEOs … are as likely to be women as they are to be men.
In many parts of our world that still means achieving equal access to education for girls, and the expectation that girls have a right to the same opportunities as boys.
IWD 2018 emphasises that collective action and shared ownership for action on gender parity is what drives success.
This IWD coincides with the first year of a brilliantly designed program to equip female scientists in Australia with advanced communication skills and the opportunities to use them. The brainchild of Kylie Walker, CEO of Science & Technology Australia, the Superstars of STEM program aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM, so that girls like Livvy grow up knowing that a career in STEM is for them.
Listening to this collective action, you’ll hear the personal stories of five advocates for gender equality, including STA’s Kylie Walker; bioarchaeologist Dr Ronika Power; engineer Dr Francesca Maclean; and Superstars mentor Joanne Woo, the VP of communications for GE in Australia.
You’ll also hear Max York, GE Australia’s CEO, speak passionately for equal opportunity, because he believes that men must commit to Pressing for Progress in order for true parity to be achieved.
Yesterday, Minister O’Dwyer said her portfolio stands to advance the prospects of all women, “women in the home; in the boardroom; in factories or remote towns; our young women and our older women; and, critically, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; women who are comfortable, and women who are doing it tough.”
Today, on International Women’s Day 2018, we invite you to Press for Progress. Press on all fronts. And press again…