Ladies First: Debunking The Myth Of Chivalry And Its Implications

Written by Michaela Agius

#NOTALLFEMINIST

When we think of the word feminism, we frequently think of division in society because of its ‘controversial’ nature. There are a multitude of perspectives on the definition and implications of such a contemporary social movement that it seems to open a can of worms to the traditional perspectives on social norms.

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For example, yesterday whilst watching the Channel 9 News, a discussion on ‘Chivalry versus sexism’ was brought up and sparked huge debate between the news hosts. Never had I ever shed light on this perspective. Isn’t it nice to be nice? Isn’t chivalry a reflection of courtesy? Only now as feminism is gaining exposure had I realised that this is another facet of society and culture that has a notorious history. I guess since feminism is all about equality, why should men offer us a seat on the bus? Or be the one opening the door? Shouldn’t us women offer the same to men? Growing up our parents instilled into us that opening a door for a lady is courteous and should be done. Have we learnt wrong? As feminism is a term with growing popularity, should we have learnt to open the door for men too, because after all, kindness and courtesy is not intended to serve one gender.

Moreover, what is it implying when men act chivalrously. Is this a more passive way of inflicting dominance over a woman as she is the one who follows. When a man opens the door for a lady, it is expected for the woman to follow and walk through it. It may seem that this is a ‘splitting-hairs’ topic; critics may judge this act as a way for women to take lead. However the more I think of it, the more I believe that women only lead because of force. It should be okay for a woman to decline and say No, I can do this myself. It may sound odd, but this is the issue. It is imperative for independence and equality to be normalised and weaved into everyday life, as it is a basic right.

The underlying reasoning for such internal conflict on chivalry introduces the phenomenon “Toxic Femininity” and, equally, “Toxic Masculinity”.  Toxic masculinity is a topic that receives great exposure in the feminist debate. Describing the damage caused within men due to the expectations of suppressing emotions, the corollary of toxic femininity has been given the shorter end of the stick. It is necessary to debunk the traditional gender roles that harm all of us. For decades, terms of masculinity such as “macho” have been added into our vocabulary. It feeds into the harmful effects of toxic masculinity that the only permissible emotions for men are dominance and anger. Equally, this too feeds into the belief that femininity, and therefore all females, must show obedience and lust. It seems that chivalry is just another example of the continuance of these phenomena. Society assumes men to be the dominant party; those who initiate the act, and women are the ones who follow.

Supported by the Sydney Morning Herald article How Toxic Femininity is damaging us, “Women become possessions, owned by the dominant male in their life, either their father or their husband. This concept is central to patriarchy, it has traditions that go back thousands of years. Fathers give their daughters to husbands, women change their name to indicate a change of ownership and husbands then take on the role of provider, protector and owner”.

The concept of toxic femininity perfectly files underneath the glass ceiling  umbrella, mentioned in previous posts (https://wibatuts.com/2019/08/17/the-glass-ceiling/) as it supports the ever-lasting belief that women’s power and dominance is limited and therefore incomparable to that of a man’s. So how do we combat this issue? How can we expose the detrimental effects of toxic femininity, and for good measure, toxic masculinity? It starts at the core of our everyday habits. Alter them to alter perspectives.

 

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Climbing the corporate ladder

Written by Vivien Nguyen
‘A father and his son are in a terrible accident. They are rushed to the hospital in critical care. Unfortunately, the father passes from his injuries. However, the son needs to be operated on immediately. The boy is taken into surgery. The surgeon looks down and exclaims “I can’t operate on this boy, he’s my son!” How could this be?

You might’ve seen this old riddle before. I sure had. But when I watched this Ted Talk by Alexis Kanda-Olmstead, I was at a loss for ideas. Of course, the surgeon was his mother! Why was it that I was coming up with reasons to justify that it could somehow be his father?

The riddle was a part of a research project conducted by Mikaela Wapman and Deborah Belle, studying how we create mind models associating professions with a specific gender. They found only 14% of Bond University Psychology students and 15% of children aged 7-17 could come to the correct answer. Wow! The students had come from privileged, educated and higher income backgrounds and many of the surveyed students were young self-proclaimed feminists. So, what does this study teach us about how our minds have been programmed? What impacts does thought process have on women climbing the corporate ladder? And what can we do about it? 

Did you know:

  • The first legislation surrounding women’s rights in the workplace passed in the 1980s. The Federal Sex Discrimination Act passed in 1984 and the Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act was passed in 1986. Only 35 years ago!
  • Under this legislation, a company can be fined up to $100,000 in NSW (the fine is not limited in other states) as compensation for discrimination or harassment complaints.
  • The Commonwealth Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 states that all employers with 100+ employees and tertiary education institutions must enforce an ‘affirmative action program’ to promote equal opportunity for women. They must report these statistics annually to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.
  • Women comprise 46.9% of all employed persons in Australia. (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
  • Women constitute 37.0% of all full-time employees and 68.5% of all part-time employees in Australia. (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
  • Superannuation amounts for women at the age of retirement (60-64 years) are 42% lower than men of the same age.
  • In 2018, only 0.9% of boards or governing bodies had no male directors, whilst 35.25% had no female directors (WGEA 2018, Australia’s Gender Equality Scorecard).
  • The ASX 200 has reached an all-time high of 29.7% of female directors, in 2018. (AICD, 2019).

The statistics, despite having improved in the last 5 years, shine a light on the realities of women in the workplace in 2019. At first, I didn’t know where to start breaking down the myriad of factors playing a part in this issue of women in leadership. Starting from the root of what separates this issue, is gender and our understanding of it.

 

Mind models

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At the core of mind models, are the invisible limits we place on ourselves and others with our words and connotations. The concepts surrounding gender specific words and ideas held in societies’ collective consciousness can be so deeply engrained that the presence of bias in our actions might not register with us at all.

There are lists of attributes that have been socially attributed to male gender. Leadership, control, assertiveness, domination. Even as children, we associate this shown behaviour in a young boy and project a life where he will grow up to be strong, traditionally attractive ‘hero’. This is only affirmed by the overwhelming amount of men in positions of leadership. It is not uncommon and as a society encourage it from childhood. Society doesn’t second guess why a certain male is elected or hired into executive roles. However, often when women are given roles of power, we scrutinise them. Whether it be their experience, appearance or personal lives.

These issues are never spoken about because as a society, there is some degree of association between a woman’s purpose and domestic activities. In the case of Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, she has demonstrated a melding of two powerful sides of womanhood, her ambition in career and family throughout her term. Ardern’s ascent and time as Prime Minister, has seen some of her key moments splayed across international news for global media to discuss. Her birth whilst in office has shown Ardern as a mother, caring and genuine, whilst being a capable world leader at events including the UN General Assembly. Her extraordinary response to the Christchurch killings have been universally praised for her transparency, against white supremacist terrorism as well as her compassion towards the Muslim community in New Zealand. Arden demonstrates pure leadership unhindered by the mind models of society.

 

Hopeful for the future

The one thing I hope for you to take away from this article is a new perspective. A perspective that changes how you view yourself, the people around you and the people whose experiences have been severed from the start. As Deborah Belle says, ‘Eternal vigilance’ – that is the only solution.

Change in a society may happen at a glacial pace, but with the vigilance and social awareness we hold, it will become a reality for at least our children and future generations.

 

 

If you or anyone you know is facing an issue in the workplace, contact the following government board:

The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW
Enquiries
Phone (02) 9268 5544
Email: adbcontact@agd.nsw.gov.au

Complaints
Phone (02) 9268 5544
Email: complaintsadb@agd.nsw.gov.au

Telephone interpreter service
Phone 13 14 50

Website
antidiscrimination.justice.nsw.gov.au

Sydney Office
Level 4, 175 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
PO Box A2122, Sydney South NSW 1235
Phone (02) 9268 5555 Fax (02) 9268 5500
TTY (02) 9268 5522

 

The Glass Ceiling

Whether you’ve heard about it, read about it or experienced it yourself – there is no hiding that the ‘glass ceiling’ is a real and confronting concept. I remember the first time I had heard about the glass ceiling in primary school and I thought it had to do with greenhouses or plants. Little did I know it was about the imbalance in opportunities in the workplace most commonly due to gender.

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When writing this post, I looked towards Google for some visual inspiration. If you were to look up glass ceiling on Google images, a shockingly significant number of images popping up all had to do with women being trapped by glass barrier whilst men stood above them. This inspired me to research further into this week’s blog theme which is ‘climbing the corporate ladder,’ in honour of WiB’s most recent event the annual Sponsor Luncheon. Here, our keynote speaker Stephenie Rodriguez shared her story and determination to pursue a career in entrepreneurship focused on women.

Stephenie is the founder of WanderSafe, a compact non-violent personal safety device helping travellers, particularly women, feel safe when travelling alone. At the luncheon, Rodriguez asks the crowd if they have ever been in a scenario where they had been walking alone, at any time and felt afraid or feared for their life.

Unsurprisingly, all hands went up in the room.

The journey to WanderSafe, however, was not simple. Stephenie had been apart of the technology bubble in the 1990s before moving into publication and magazines after its abrupt burst. This did not slow down Stephenie who continued to travel the world working various jobs before experiencing a dangerous assault of her own which prompted her to create WanderSafe.

Another example of a powerful women who climbed the corporate ladder is Gloria Allred, an American women’s rights attorney who has devoted four decades of her legal career to representing women in high profile cases against popular male figures. Allred’s campaign to help women comes from a very personal place of her own after experiencing sexual assault which ended in an illegal abortion.

These traumatic events only motivated Gloria further to be one of the most iconic voices for women in the community. She is currently representing 33 of the women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault even though the statute of limitations had passed for many of their charges. Gloria states that “there was no legal option for many of these women…but then realised that they really do need a voice…they deserve a voice.” Amongst other cases she has participated in is the reinstatement of transgender Miss Universe contestant Jenna Talackova who was disqualified from Trump’s pageant because of her birth gender.

Although society is working towards closing the gender gap in workplaces and breaking the ‘glass ceiling.’ There is no denying that at the moment it still exists, but I hope that this blog post has shed some light on the issue and inspired young girls to keep striving because glass can break.

Written by Alice Tran

“Like it’s hard”

Since the rise of feminism, more and more women are feeling empowered to enter the workforce and strive for positions previously dominated by men. Since the Suffragettes in the early 1900s, we have seen multiple women enter the political world and have a significant voice in the running of our nation. We have seen some of the largest companies controlled by women, leading to huge successes. Despite this, inequality still exists.

The famous words of Elle Woods, “Like it’s hard”, represents an attitude that all women should have but unfortunately don’t. This isn’t something we should be ashamed off or made feel inferior about, in reality it’s just the result of a patriarchist history. When I was in high school, Leadership Developer Gillian Fox came and completed a short course surrounding women in the workplace. One of the key messages Ms Fox left us with is that women are always capable, they are just usually hesitant to take the risk. Think about, when searching for a job, a woman will ensure they fit all the criteria before applying for it, automatically limiting their chances. On the other hand, a man might also fit 60% of the criteria and would still go for it. As a result men often progress more quickly in their career and ultimately end up in those leadership positions.

The significance of Elle Woods decision to go to Law School was about more than a simple degree, it was a woman taking a risk with exceptional odds against her. You hear it straight from the mouths of the Harvard committee, Elle did not meet most of the usual criteria for a Harvard Law School, her GPD in Fashion and amazing LSAT being the exception. She, however, took a leap of faith, maintained a confident attitude and refused to let any personal doubt stop her.

The “Like it’s hard” attitude is not just a famous quote but it is an anthem for women to believe in the extent of their skill and abilities. Whatever you want to do, you can absolutely do it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because ultimately you will never get the job if you don’t try.

written by:  Lizzie Burgess

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‘What? Like, it’s hard?’

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The discourse surrounding breaking barriers as a woman has surely evolved throughout the subsequent waves of feminism. It has been almost 140 years since the first instances of protest concerning women’s suffrage and access to political activities triggered Australia to become the second nation to give women the right to vote (after New Zealand in 1893) and the first nation to give women the right to be elected to Federal Parliament.

‘In the politics of a democracy there should be no sex. A woman without a vote is an inferior, and thereby liable to be so regarded.’

Maybanke Anderson, The Sun, 6 July 1912.

Yet despite the long history of protest, breaking barriers within society and the workplace has been a very modern phenomenon. We can thank the strong women in positions of leadership and power within their local communities and the world stage, who have challenged the circumstances of their situations, for providing the catalyst to liberties we take for granted now.

In light of the recent flood of shocking events of #MeToo Movement, modern barriers to equal education, inaction by the government in protecting gendered and domestic violence survivors and the debate surrounding abortions in NSW, sexism, albeit a more internalised and systemic form, is still alive and well within society.

Here are some stats you might not know:

  • The full-time gender pay gap based on the 2017-18 is still 3%, meaning men earn $25,717 on average a year more than a woman. (Source: WGEA, AU Gov)
  •  1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. (Source: White Ribbon)
  • Abortion has recently been introduced to parliament to decriminalise the medical procedure in NSW. (Source: ABC News)
  • 3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women completed Year 12 or a Certificate II, in comparison to 88.1% of women born in Australia. (Source: ABS)
  • Highest percentage of people living in poverty in Australia are women. (Source: The Guardian)
  • In PwC’s 2019 Women in Work Index, comparing female economic empowerment, Australia ranks just above 50% and has failed to improve for the past two years. (Source: Pwc)
  • 93% of Australia’s top 200 CEOs in 2018 were male. (Source: Pwc)
  • After graduation, women earn less than men in 17 out of 19 fields of study and across 9 out of 13 industries. With the largest disparity being in Financial and Insurance services. (Source: WGEA AU Gov)
  • One woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner. (Source: Australian Institute of Criminology)

 

It is often in these cases, where one would put down the poster board and sigh with defeat, that it is all just too much and that the world isn’t fair for just allowing women to be treated equally to begin with. We can often feel like we’re speaking to ourselves, in a bubble of activism. I know I sure do have these feelings at times.

However, I believe breaking barriers is a cornerstone of feminism. To me, breaking barriers is what we owe ourselves as strong individuals who are equal to any other person and what we owe those who have paved the way.

As a young educated woman of the Millennial Generation living in a developed country and the daughter of refugees, I am aware of the luxuries I was inherently born with and the struggles I will never come to know. I would like to acknowledge the reality of barriers facing women, especially women of colour, women without access to education, women who have disabilities, women in third world countries and transgender women.

These barriers cannot be summed up in one article and offered a neatly packaged solution, however, I would like to highlight the work of women living and thriving under these circumstances.

The Revolutionary Women Around the World

We can often forget how and who started it all and how to stay hopeful when working to shattering stereotypes for all female identifying individuals into the future. There are and have been thousands of women playing key roles in ‘shattering the glass ceiling’ throughout history. Here are a few who have movers and shakers who are inspirations to us all.

Valentina Tereshkova

Tereshkova was the first and youngest woman to have gone to space. (It took almost two decades for the next female to go to space!) Talk about out of this world. It was the year 1963 and she was only 26 years of age. She continued on into the Russian Air Force, attaining the rank of major general.

Angela Merkel

Merkel, famously known as the Chancellor of Germany (14 years and counting!) and leader of the EU, is the most powerful woman in the world, topping the Forbes’ list for 10 years in a row. She has steered Germany through economic recessions, challenged the idea of women in power as the nation’s first female Chancellor and redefined the ideas surrounding foreign policy, by opening Germany’s borders to house 1.4 million refugees in total.

“There is one red line we should not cross. It is a commitment to human rights, the respect of the dignity of the human being. There should be no compromises.”

Angela Merkel, 2011, Annual Munich Security Conference.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Bandaranaike was the first non-hereditary female elected in Sri Lanka as the head of the government in 1960. She served three terms as the Prime Minister finishing in 2000, 2 months before her passing. She was an inspiring force, focusing on the importance of improving the quality of life for females living in rural Sri Lanka. Empowering women through funding and creating agricultural projects, disaster relief and education programmes.

Tsai Ing-wen

Ing-wen is the first woman elected to office and is currently serving as the President of Taiwan. She has vocally supported disadvantaged groups including the poor, women and children, the Indigenous people of Taiwan and the LGBT community. Under her government, Taiwan became the first nation in Asia to recognise same-sex marriage. (YES!).

‘Gender used to be a barrier for women to overcome if they wanted to be in politics, but today in Taiwan, the situation is somewhat different. I think there is even a preference for a woman candidate, and in local elections, we have seen that younger, better-educated female candidates are overwhelmingly preferred by the voters.’

– Tsai Ing-wen, 2016

 Anita Hill

Hill, an African-American lawyer and University professor, made history when she testified before Congress about the sexual harassment she faced by Clarence Thomas, to whom she was an aide. It was the year 1991 and Hill showed her courage and determination, testifying in front of an all white male Senate Judiciary Committee. In an era where as Hill describes, ‘Many people viewing the hearings didn’t even realize that sexual harassment was something that was actionable, that they could file a complaint about. They had no idea what the concept was about.’, Hill challenged the abuse and gave women a voice on the national and international stage. Hill continues to challenge society and shed light on matters of sexual harassment on women in the workplace.

“Women who accuse men, particularly powerful men, of harassment are often confronted with the reality of the men’s sense that they are more important than women, as a group.”

― Anita Hill, Speaking Truth to Power

Nadia Murad

Murad, the winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a celebrated Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq. She was captured in 2014 by Islamic State and held as a slave whilst tortured and assaulted. When she managed to escape and arrive at a refugee camp, the passion and fire within her helped her begin her career as an activist. She campaigns as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking for the United Nations and travels the world to tell her own personal stories of perservence and bravery. She fights for the rights of marginalised minorities and has challenged individuals including President Trump on the inhumane treatment of Yazidi women and children.

Emma Gonzalez

Gonzalez is an inspirational activist and advocate for gun control in America. In her senior year of high school, she survived the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida and subsequently grabbed the international community with her speech about gun violence, with the famous words ‘We call B.S.’. Gonzalez, a vocal organiser of the March for Our Lives, has been using her voice to speak about the real life tragedies and broken system facing young children and teens in their classrooms.

Junko Tabei

Tabei, was the first woman to climb to the peak of Mount Everest (1975) and Seven Summits (1992). In a society and field dominated by men, Tabei dares to challenge this stereotype and expectation. She is vocally critical of the home-maker lifestyle that was and is forced onto Japanese women, to raise children instead of pursuing dreams. She continued to lobby for environmental rights and worked together with preservation and conservation organisations. 

Patsy Takemoto Mink

Mink became the first Japanese American to practice law as well as the first woman of colour elected to the US House of Representatives. Mink then pushed the envelope further by coming the first Asian American to run for President in 1972. What an amazing role model for all Asian American women. Mink has shown her deep seeded activism through real and impactful change. She helped passed a famous piece of legislation creating easier access to women joining the workforce, especially in the sporting industry and seeking higher education. The Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation, created in her honor, aims to live on through her spirit, helping children and women achieve their best through educational services.

 

How can I break down my own barriers?

Call yourself out when you make your own stereotypes

It’s easy to be complacent because a passing thought might not seem all that important in the grand scheme of things. As they say, old habits die hard. We hold onto these beliefs and emulate them onto those who surround us and those who will succeed us. It’s important to step out of the values of our upbringing or surroundings and question what we believe in and how we can be better.

Uplift the women in your life

When you acknowledge someone else’s achievements, you not only build self esteem, you invest in their future. I had a mentor during an explosively stressful period of time and the words she left me with and the belief she had in my potential still speaks to me to this day. Invest in the future women and they’ll be repay the world with their talent.

Have clear dialogue with the men in your life

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Addressing the feeling that women might be yelling into an empty void is a real factor of the nature of modern feminist discourse. Start conversations with the men in your life. It might seem awkward, yes, but it’s important to bridge the understanding.

I’ve had bad experiences speaking to friends who I have disagreed with, on controversial female issues. In a world where we are so connected and yet so far away from insightful and peaceful discussions, opinions, especially ones which might differ from ours can be unsettling. It is so easy to create groups of us and them. Us, the righteous and them, the close minded.

Why the hell would they think this way? I didn’t know this certain person believed this? I would urge you that any type of transparency and intimate, honest conversation is far more beneficial than nothing at all.

Invite them to events. Get them talking about what they believe in. Explain to them your feelings and ask for theirs. When it comes up on the news (brace yourself), ask for their opinion and start a comfortable dialogue.

 

Donate or volunteer for organisations who are dedicated to supporting women in Australia and across the world including:

  1. WIRE
  2. The Katrina Dawson Foundation
  3. Share the Dignity
  4. Books for Africa
  5. Australian National Committee for UN Women
  6. Fitted for Work
  7. CARE Australia
  8. The Global Women’s Project
  9. International Women’s Development Agency Overseas Aid Fund
  10. White Ribbon Australia
  11. Women’s Community Shelters
  12. Women’s Housing Limited
  13. Women’s Legal Services
  14. One Girl Australia
  15. SisterWorks
  16. Domestic Violence Crisis Service
  17. National Breast Cancer Foundation
  18. Ovarian Cancer Australia
  19. Women’s Circus

To end, I would like to leave you with a quote from Legally Blonde as well as a list of resources you might be interested in to educate yourself on topics affecting women at this very moment. Remember:

“You must always have faith in people. And, most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”

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Written by Vivien Nguyen

 

Resources:

  1. A, 2019, ‘Supporting Young Women in West Africa: The “Breaking Barriers” Campaign Launches’, MoveDemocracy, https://www.movedemocracy.org/supporting-young-women-in-west-africa-the-breaking-barriers-campaign-launches
  2. A, 2016, ‘Breaking down the barriers to girls’ education’, Global Partnership Education, https://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/breaking-down-barriers-girls-education
  3. A. N.D. ‘Unlocking the power of refugee women and girls’, UNHCR, https://www.unrefugees.org.au/our-stories/unlocking-the-power-of-refugee-women-and-girls/
  4. Coleman, A. 2015, ‘Breaking down the barriers for women entrepreneurs’, Case Foundation, https://casefoundation.org/blog/breaking-down-the-barriers-for-women-entrepreneurs/
  5. Davies, A. 2011, ‘Breaking down barriers for women in the workplace’, Stanford University, https://gender.stanford.edu/news-publications/gender-news/breaking-down-barriers-women-workplace
  6. Greiner, M & Gertz, A. 2019, ‘The Witch of Wall Street and other barrier breaking women’, Bloomberg, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2019-03-08/the-witch-of-wall-street-and-other-barrier-breaking-women
  7. Gino, F. 2018, ‘4 Ways Women Can Break Barriers by Breaking the Rules’, Harvard Business Review,https://hbr.org/2018/05/4-ways-women-can-break-barriers-by-breaking-the-rules%20https://www.rescue.org/article/breaking-down-barriers-women-and-girls
  8. Greening, J. 2016, ‘Here’s how you can break down the barriers stopping women reaching their full potential’, WeForum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/heres-how-you-can-break-down-the-barriers-stopping-women-reaching-their-full-potential/
  9. Mackey, M. 2019, ‘The Experience of Gender Inequality in IT on Current High School Students’https://docs.google.com/document/d/16lmz5EEfma31ncBK9zXh65mBE7eDNcMh7sql_FMbeoY/edit?usp=drivesdk&fbclid=IwAR1KBO9XAcvYYr_L1IqtsImrOUFXfU3ACcp6VS_DRd1-kTcozPoZv9sppl4
  10. Silverstein, J. 2019, ‘Who is the squad and what you need to know about Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib’, CBS News, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-is-the-squad-what-you-need-to-know-about-aoc-ocasio-cortez-omar-tlaib-pressley/
  11. Anne Hathaway on International Women’s Day – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdw8KNmr2pc
  12. Women Breaking Barriers Sundance Panel – 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e63gxorVT-g
  13. Emma Gonzalez’s powerful March for Our Lives speech in full – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46HzTGVQhg
  14. Oprah’s Tearful Speech at Power of Women – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rfn94k717U
  15. Priyanka Chopra – Full Power of Women Speech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCwKM6uB71I

 

Women in Business Spring Mentoring Program 2019

UTS Women in Business is proud to announce that we are launching our Mentoring program for the Spring semester of 2019!

The UTS WiB Spring Mentoring Program was specifically created to facilitate an ongoing mentoring relationship between industry professionals and UTS students. It is a program where the Mentors share their own personal knowledge, expertise, and insight into the journey from student to professional – whilst Mentees gain guidance and support in carving their own career path and securing success in the industry.

By participating in this program, you will develop integral and beneficial skills and experiences that will undoubtedly help you in your immediate degree, university life and future endeavours.

Before applying to become a mentee, please ensure that you’re able to commit at least to one hour face-to-face meeting per fortnight.

APPLICATIONS

Want to be a part of an enriching mentoring program that will elevate your degree and secure you valuable connections to professionals of the industry? You can apply to be a WiB Mentee by filling out the application below.

Applications will be judged on a rolling basis, so submit your interest forward now. Once we believe we have the right candidates, we reserve the right to close the applications ahead of scheduled date. For quality control, the Mentoring Program is capped at 25-30 mentees per year.

Note: to apply you must be a current member of WiB. You may sign-up here for the purpose of applying.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

We match Mentees and Mentors based on their:

  • University degree
  • Professional and personal Interests
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Work experience
  • Industry

Mentors will be paired with 1-2 Mentees and meet on a fortnightly basis. These fortnightly meetings are to be arranged between the Mentors and Mentees personally. The WiB student initiative program runs throughout the UTS Spring Semester, the program period is TBA. During this period mentor/mentee meetings should occur at least 6 times.

All participants are provided with a booklet which contains suggested meeting topics. At the end of the program, Mentors and Mentees will be asked to sign off a participation sheet, acknowledging their respective’s partners’ attendance and cooperation.

MENTORING LAUNCH

All Mentors and Mentees are invited to join us at our Spring Mentoring Launch. The Launch allows an official introduction between the Mentors and Mentees and all participants will be receiving the Official Mentoring Handbook which contains recommended meeting topics etc.

Location: TBA

Time: TBA

Date: TBA

APPLICATION FORM

Applications close 18th August at Midnight

6 Tips That Will Help Nail Your Next Job Interview

Congratulations, you’ve gotten an interview! (or you’re doing your research about tips and tricks for interviews – Good for you). I can tell you one thing for sure – interviews are scary. There’s no doubt about it. Even experienced job hunters can tell you about horror stories, but here are some quick tips I’ve learnt to help get the interview starting on the right foot.

First things first, it doesn’t always come naturally! Some of us are inclined to be more shy or outgoing, loud or quiet, nervous or confident. That doesn’t mean you can’t ace the interview and get the job by just being yourself.

I’ve had my fair share of interviews, from casual retail jobs to corporate internships and I have also been on the other side recruiting individuals for society work as well as for Scholarship and Graduate opportunities on behalf of multiple companies such as IOOF, Herbert Smith Freehills and Macquarie Telecom. I have compiled some of the tips I think really highlight the great things about yourself, so you can shine at your next interview.

1. Be yourself

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I know this is quite generic but when you truly know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, the quirks about yourself and how you can bring this to the table, you’ve already gotten a head start. If you’re completely in tune and proud of who you are, what you believe in and what you’ve achieved you’ll come across very well to any recruiter. My recommendation would be to write in down and make a flow chart of situations and results. This will help a lot when answering on the spot questions about achievements or specific situations you’ve been in as you’ll be well versed.

2. Know the job and company you’re applying for

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There’s nothing more embarrassing than walking in and asking what the job is about. Do your research! If you know the recruiter or interviewers name, don’t be scared to search them up. Make sure you know what the company’s values, mission statement and views are, prior to the interview and make a conscious decision about how your values might align with theirs. This can help you form questions you have about a company’s inner culture, management style or overall vision for the future. Be informed about where you will work because accepting a job offer from a company you will come to dislike is a scary idea.

3. Use a STAR method

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When answering an interviewer’s question, you should provide all the information necessary for the interviewer to make a solid judgement. Always follow the order Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  • Situation: What is happening? Describe the situation so that the interviewer doesn’t have to ask any specifics e.g. Was it a previous job, volunteering or during university?
  • Task: What needed to be done? Why was this difficult?
  • Action: Describe exactly what had to be done and your specific input in the situation.
  • Result: Describe the outcome with a focus on how you grew or what you learnt from the situation. From the action, did you improve certain skills? Learn that you were more resilient? Own your accomplishments and get that across to the interviewer.

4. Listen to the question

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This is something that is often overlooked. Listen thoroughly to the question and if you don’t have the answer to it, be honest and say you need a moment to think about it. When you’re caught off guard you might get nervous and reply incorrectly but when you need to be calm and collected and think before you speak. Be honest when letting the recruiter know if you can’t answer or if you’re having trouble thinking of what to say, rather than lying because that can always come back to bite you.

I’ve seen many candidates try to avoid or deflect a question about skills and experience but that only shows the recruiter that you’re trying to get around them and possibly deceive the situation. That is never a good look. Be honest, thoughtful and personable.

5. Ask questions

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Be keen. Be interested. A recruiter will definitely notice this. My favourite thing is when a candidate asks genuine questions and shows their interest. There’s nothing better than ending off an interview with agood impression and the best way to show that is by asking questions such as:

  • Can you tell me more about the company’s culture and your experience working here?
  • What would you say has been the highlight/difficulty during your time here?
  • Can you elaborate on what it is like as a woman in this company? Are there any support systems in place to ensure equality?
  • What is the management style like in this division and what kinds of support systems are in place for your employees?

6. Body Language

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Lastly, you’ve said the right things, used the STAR method and showed you listen well, but there’s one thing that breaks the mood – your body language. Your body language shows a lot about you and the interviewer can interpret a lot from how you present yourself. Sit straight, smile and be inviting! It’s easy to get caught up in the technical skills, but companies are run by people for people. People skills will get you far and if you’re an introvert or anxious about meeting new people, it might take a little bit more practice, but once you’ve gone through a few interviews, you will realise there’s nothing holding you back or no interactions you should be scared of because the right company and job will always be out there for you.

 

Good luck!

 

The Life Of A Marketing Intern

Internships are one of the best ways to learn about the industry you want to enter into without compromising on your university schedule. They give you the opportunity to enter an organisation for a period of time and learn how their business functions and operates. I had the amazing opportunity of completing an internship for a marketing firm this past year – here are some of my insights that I gained during my time as an intern!

Juggling tasks is key

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No two days in a marketing internship are ever the same – yes, I’ve done a coffee run before. But I have also helped with photoshoots, marketing campaigns, data analysis, content creation, influencer relations and so much more! AND this was all in my first 5 days of interning. Be prepared to learn things quickly and think up of creative solutions on the spot – it can be stressful at times but the vast array of skills that you develop make it well worth it!

Observation is the best way to learn

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Doing a marketing internship is a fantastic way to gain insight into the industry and learn from the best in the business. Make a note to observe how your colleagues work and approach tasks, and don’t be afraid of asking for advice or any questions you may have.

Be creative

How To Quit Your Job

So you’ll read tons of articles teaching you how to look for jobs, ace the application process or get a promotion; but we’re here today to show you how to quit your job.

You could be quitting for a multitude of reasons:

  1. You got a new cooler/better job
  2. You’re not satisfied with what you’re doing at your current job
  3. You’re looking for a career change

Regardless of what your reasoning may be, its important that you leave a positive lasting impression on your employer and colleagues to ensure a smooth resignation.

Find out what your notice period is

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It is crucial that you find out what your employer’s notice period is when resigning. Most organisations need to know if you plan on leaving at least 2-3 weeks in advance, but its always best to double check with your employer first. Giving ample notice allows your employer to find a suitable replacement for your position or finalise any transition procedures, and is generally seen as good resignation etiquette. If you’ve already been hired somewhere else, make sure you leave plenty of time for your notice period at your current company before starting your new position.

Write your termination notice

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Although some organisations may allow for verbal resignations, most will require a formal written notice to recognise your resignation. No need for a long-winded essay – a short one page letter explaining your reasoning for leaving is more than enough. Simply explain why you will be leaving your position, thank them for the opportunity and thank them for the experience you gained. Also be sure to find out who to address your termination notice to.

Leave on a good note

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Even if you may have had a negative experience at your current company, it is vital that you leave a positive lasting impression on your colleagues and associates. Be sure to thank your colleagues for your time spent working there and avoid bad-mouthing your company even after you’ve resigned – you may find yourself working with the very same people in other organisations, or even depend on them for a future job reference. The last thing you want to do is burn your bridges and sever valuable connections.

How To Make The Best Of Your Internship

1. Get involved

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If they have quirky work rules/events, get involved. My work has monthly dress theme days – last month was Onesie Day and you bet I got into that one! Before that my job had Formal Tuesday, We Wear Pink on Wednesdays and casual Fridays. It lets you become a better part of the workplace culture and is usually a good conversation starter.

2. Don’t act like an intern

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Now, this is a tricky one. As you are not an actual employee at the company you may not have ongoing projects and tasks. If you find yourself sitting without work, don’t sit there and scroll down your Insta feed till someone gets to you, try find work for yourself. If you’re not able to find work, ask if you can observe someone else doing a task you want to learn. Make yourself seem engaged and interested in the work. This shows that you’re keen to be a part of the team and care about your experience there.

3. Ask Questions

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This is important, you want to show them that you are interested in more than just checking emails. Always ask for context when given any task, told to write a PR release for an event? Ask in depth questions about the event, if they’ve been part of the event before, have they written a similar release before, do they have a template? Similarly, ask other employees questions about their roles, their experience at the company, how you can possibly get a permanent role here after interning.

4. Always get feedback

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At the end of each task, ask for someone to review your work and possibly if you can watch them do it. Its best to learn from mistakes and this way you can learn the right way to do things by watching them go through your work. This also doesn’t mean that you keep asking them to review every small action you take; but definitely at the end of your work day, ask if there was anything you should have done differently.

5. Keep a notebook

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Get one of those A5 notebooks, use a new page for every task, every day. No one expects you to remember what you did on each day but keeping a notebook is an easy way to keep track of all the things you’ve learnt at your internship. This is also a great way to keep track of your progress/contribution to the company, so if you’re negotiating a position after your internship, you have written summaries of what you’ve been doing all this time.

6. Have lunch with the team

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Try not to have lunch by yourself or take breaks alone, go out to get a coffee with someone else in the team and sit in the office with your food and chat to everyone else having lunch. Breaks are the best time to make friends at the office as people stop thinking about work and you can actually talk about interests and hobbies.

7. Be professional

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This goes without saying – portray the best image of yourself. Go to Friday drinks, have a few with the team, but don’t drink too much and start slurring in front of your supervisor. Wear work appropriate clothes to work, not all workplaces require business formal, but definitely feel the vibe at work before you turn up in ripped jeans. But remember, don’t be a robot, have genuine conversations and let your personality shine.

Written by Avneet Dua