International Women’s Day #PressforProgress 2018

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There’s a strong call in the 2018 theme for International Women’s Day this year to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. With the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away – there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress, and with global activism for women’s equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more – there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.

This international Women’s Day we spoke to some of our team at Fortis Consulting to find out what International Women’s Day means to them:

Mary Gurgone – National Director

International Women’s Day is a great day to celebrate women. We celebrate the enormous contribution they make globally making the world a better place by caring for children, for families, for the elders and for the community. With 2/3 of all unpaid care done by women, we all owe the quality of life to the many women in our lives who have given us so much and how far Australia has come with being one of the first countries to give women the vote and reaping the rewards through the many achievements of women in sport, science, medicine, business and international leadership. Most of all I celebrate the women in my life: my mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, nieces, cousins, friends and colleagues. They each have given precious gifts through their love, hard work and the hope they share with me that the unfair treatment of women on the screen, at home and in the workplace will be tackled courageously.”

Maggie Greening – Project Consultant

“It’s recognition that women are unique and have a significant influence in everyday life, from bearing children, raising families, forging out a career and balancing work, life and relationships. Most importantly for me, it is influencing the attitudes and perceptions of my children, grandchildren and family to respect the value of both women and men in this world. To understand that all things are not equal and recognise their ability to change a situation from to one of equality and a step further to one of equity.”

Kelli Pickford – Project Consultant

“I have been extremely fortunate to have a number of strong role models in my life, both male and female, who have taught and nurtured a strong sense of personal value, contribution and strength. These people have inspired me to accomplish beyond what I thought I was possible of, to act courageously, with integrity and to challenge inequality. These values I now instil in my own daughter in the hope that as she grows, she will be of a generation where equality and equity are not fought for but are a given.

So this #IWD, I celebrate the women (and men) around me and stand shoulder to shoulder to proactively seek out and forge women’s equality, encouraging others to explore their own views and beliefs about equality and to ask ourselves what progressive actions we are taking, as individuals and a collective, to help drive forward gender parity.”

Mylynda Balodis – Personal Assistant

“IWD is a day to celebrate the achievements of our gender, past and present, thanks to the bold efforts of those who have challenged the status quo (including men), it is also a day to reflect, as we have only just scratched the surface, and although real advancements have been made there are still limitations to women accessing services throughout society. Personally, for me it is a time to remember & celebrate the amazing women I am blessed to have in my life. This includes my mother, aunts, grandmother, colleagues and friends. Through their strength to overcome their own adversities throughout their lives they have instilled strong values in me & shared pearls of wisdom that I will carry with me throughout my life. It is a day to feel empowered and to be inspired by the women (and men) who #pressforprogress every day.”

Robert Steadman – Intern

“With the recent passing of my Father; I am the only male in my family. I have a Mum and two sisters which compounds the significance of International Women’s Day for me. It means recognising the power of Women and standing up for equality between Men and Women. Throughout my entire life, I have looked to my sisters as role models, and have forever been inspired by the way they hold themselves. I have never once felt that something I could do, they could not, in fact; they could probably do it much better. It is devastating and inexcusable that there are barriers for Women in the workplace and throughout society. So to me, International Women’s Day is more than just another calendar day, it is an opportunity to acknowledge Women in society, and a chance to break down the barriers Women face.”

Yosef Asresse – Intern

“International women’s day is a great way to illustrate all the achievements and success that women are having all around the world. It also allows women to unit and have one united voice about an issue they all support and want to address. The most important aspect that I enjoy about international women’s day is the empowerment that it gives to young females that don’t think they can achieve anything because of their gender. IWD shows powerful, determined and ambitious women who are leaders that young females can exemplify.”

Pulemalie Habiri – Intern

“It is a day to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of women and their myriads of contributions to their families and communities. It is a day that women should come together regardless of different religions, cultures and socio-economics disparities, to share about successful ways to builds each other up. More importantly, identifying ways to empower women and provide the ladders of opportunity for future women folks to succeed.”

At Fortis Consulting we are also proud of the linkages and partnerships we have made with community groups supporting women in Western Australia such as ISHAR Multicultural Women’s Health Centre, Women’s Family Health Services, Zonta House Women’s Refuge, Relationships Australia WA, Business Women Australia, Women’s Council for Domestic Violence and Services and ASeTTS. We are inspired by the strength and stories of these organisations and their community. Ultimately though, as Gloria Steinam once said “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

This International Women’s Day we ask you what does #IWD represent to you or which women you are celebrating, how will you #pressforprogress over the next coming year? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you! #internationalwomensday2018