To celebrate this month’s International Women’s Day, SecurePay looks at six Australian women who are forging ahead in fields close to our heart, with a clear vision and a strong ethical framework.
Inclusion and gender equality
Lauren Jauncey (above), Australia Post
It’s not often you’d hear someone who loves their job say that they hope their position becomes redundant, but when your job is National Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, the hope is that a day will come when such a position isn’t necessary. Having said that, Australia Post currently dedicates significant time, resources and energy to developing and implementing their diversity and inclusion strategy.
“Diversity and inclusion has always been an important area for Australia Post. We’ve introduced policies and programs for indigenous, gender, cultural and ethnic, disability and LGTBI inclusion. In fact we’ve had an indigenous employment plan in place for the past 25 plus years,” Lauren tells SecurePay.
“When Ahmed [Fahour] came on board as CEO he put a major focus on gender equality. Speaking to a room of 200 leaders he commented on how they were mostly white middle-aged men and he set about to change that.”
Since then, under Lauren’s guidance, Australia Post has become one of the best performing major businesses in Australia in terms of gender equality and equal pay, with a pay gap of 1.4% as opposed to the national average of about 17%. In addition, they now have one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse workforces in Australia and are working towards being the Employer of Choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Ending violence against women
Libby Davies, White Ribbon Australia
Since becoming the CEO of White Ribbon, Libby Davies has driven social awareness around domestic violence and has turned White Ribbon into Australia’s primary organisation for the prevention of violence against women. With Libby at the helm, White Ribbon has implemented a ‘Breaking the Silence’ Schools Program – which works towards giving students an understanding of gender stereotyping and harmful behaviours – and transformative programs to engage men in the prevention of men’s violence against women.
“Our core distinctiveness is that we use men to target men. We work to have men take responsibility for violence against women given that the majority of violence is perpetrated by men. By getting men to recognise their own behaviour, encouraging them to speak out, pull other men up on their language and attitudes it makes it harder for perpetrators to not be seen,” writes Libby in an article for The Daily Telegraph.
Refugee rights and employment
Anna Robson, Refugee Talent
Former Nauru Detention Centre worker Anna Robson is the co-founder of Refugee Talent, an employment agency that connects refugees with employment opportunities. Since founding the company last year with Nirary Dacho, a Syrian IT analyst who arrived as a refugee in mid-2015, the company has grown to represent over a thousand refugees.
“Through my experience working on Nauru in the detention centre, I witnessed the waste of human potential and felt powerless to do anything to help,” Anna tells SecurePay. “When I came back to Australia, I found even here there are a lot of talented people arriving in Australia as refugees who aren’t able to use their skills because they can’t find a job through the normal channels. I wanted to do something to change this situation.”
Dr Nicole Sides, Compass Fertility
You wouldn’t expect go to an IVF clinic, only to be told that you might not progress to treatment, but the founder of Compass Fertility, Dr Nicole Sides, believes in working with her clients holistically before proceeding to the more invasive processes of IVF. Such an approach may not be standard yet, but it certainly hasn’t harmed success rates, with the clinic achieving pregnancy rates in the top 10 per cent for fertility clinics in Australia.
In addition to non-invasive fertility treatments, the locally owned and operated clinic provides genetic counseling for couples with a genetic predisposition to certain conditions, and a Refugee Fertility Assistance Programme, which charges solely Medicare rates for refugees struggling to become pregnant, many of whom have experienced trauma or have lost children in war zones.
Women in STEM
Cyan Ta’eed, Envato
As the co-founder of a garage-based digital skills-sharing business that became the world’s largest digital marketplace, Cyan is now one of Australia’s leading woman in technology and a sought after public speaker, so the fact that she suffers from low confidence and ‘imposter syndrome’ says something about the way women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) can feel about their very male-dominated environment. It’s because of this that Cyan has become a passionate advocate for encouraging more women into STEM and opens her office to mentor young entrepreneurs.
Despite being nervous about public presentations, Cyan told Smart Company: “I’m passionate about getting more women to be entrepreneurs and to get into tech. But those women need to see examples of women doing this stuff. I’m not helping by not being involved.” In 2013, Cyan also founded New Day Box, which asks the community to put together boxes of skincare and cosmetics for women in crisis accommodation. So far 2600 supporters have donated 10,000 boxes.
Fighting global poverty
Justine Flynn, Thankyou.
Imagine starting a company with zero experience and then not just growing it into a multi-million dollar enterprise within a decade, but donating 100 per cent of its profits – $5.5 million to date – to charity. Justine Flynn, along with now-husband Daniel and mate Jarryd Burns responded to the Worldwide Water Crisis in 2008 by taking on the $600 million Australian bottled water industry with social enterprise Thankyou Water.
From an inaugural donation of $2500 in its first year and a number of hiccups along the way, the inexperienced trio managed to take on the supermarket giants with a handful of social media campaigns that went viral and a lot of tenacity and door-knocking. Rebranded as Thankyou in 2013 to include baby products, a skincare range, a book and online magazine, the company’s products are now stocked in 5000 outlets around Australia and profits fund safe water, food and hygiene and sanitation services around the world.