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Excellence is the End Game

Thank you to Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (and to the inimitable Cass Wright) for the opportunity to hear from some incredible women and to share some of my thoughts on #IWD.

One of the best events I have been part of on #IWD - Myfanwy Warhurst was funny, wise and humble sharing her own challenges. A few times I think I'd have cried if she didn't set me off with the giggles again. Impressed by the grit, clarity and talent of Emma Williams, and bought together with the vitality and authenticity of MC, Heidi Anderson. I'm actually certain I could have listened for hours to the story of every single person in the room.

To be honest, I've struggled in the past like many of us have, with having to champion women, especially at work. It might be socially unacceptable to say, but equality for me has always been less the end game than Excellence is.

Some points I reflected on:

1. Workplaces all espouse they want to be at the top of their game, and if you are not gender diverse (diverse fullstop) you have a hole in your bucket. If you think what got you this far will be the same thing that takes you to the next level, you're wrong.

2. Our external environment is changing too fast and the assumptions on which organisations base their decisions, is not.

3. This is not the Industrial Revolution. The person in charge of the Widget Factory no longer needs to have operated every position on the conveyor belt. We do not need subject matter experts in the same way now we have accessibility to global trends and AI to outsource knowledge to.

4. We need collaboration, empathy, humility and openness to learning and accessibility more than ever. These are qualities currently that are more innate to women.

5. Stop championing diversity and then training women (and men) to dilute their unique contributions so we don't make each other feel uncomfortable. There's no point having diversity and then trying to dilute everyone to the norm. The norm is ordinary. Since when did we aspire to ordinary.

I am inspired my so many women - none the least the 3 incredible ones I get the privilege of raising. But change so far still feels more transactional than transformative.

We transformed work overnight when the world woke to COVID. If we change our mindsets we can do the same with this too.


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