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Igniting Change Podcast Season 2: Episode 3

We are joined by Simone Clarke, CEO of UN women Australia to discuss the role that UN women have in promoting gender equality within the world...

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S2 blogpost episode 3

Our hosts Puff and Rich are joined by Simone Clarke, the CEO of United Nations Women Australia. Simone and her team are working to achieve SDG5 which is  gender equality for women within Australia and the wider world.

“We are about 130 years away from gender equality”

Simone Clarke

UN Women and Simone

Simone’s work to promote gender equality and solve the issues that surround women goes across many ways. From discussions on panels to creating her own women led AFL team, she is looking to help create more opportunities for women to empower themselves and for traditionally male dominated fields such as STEM to broaden diversity in the workplace and give more women all over the world role models within every industry. Equality isn’t a box ticking exercise, its about creating a far better environment with more thoughtful results. By including a variety of individuals, we create a wider scope in our businesses and communities.

The many factors of gender equality

Gender equality challenges come from various angles, such as wages, working environments, climate change, politics and many more…

With this in mind, looking at the ways in which we approach equality have to be re-thought, with more of a focus on how to create spaces where women can feel empowered, heard and a part of the culture. Examples of women lead organisations such as Not Your Bro exist as a space to offer role models to women interested in the tech-space, and allow for more conversations around female developers.

Flexible working and its impact on women

COVID lockdowns gave flexibility to many through working from home, less structured hours and more flexibility around “when people worked”. And while flexibility helps empower women in the workplace, when the workplace becomes home, Covid19 lockdowns left many women exhausted, trying to juggle careers and families. On the upside the flexibility offered to many in the workforce during Covid, has become the norm, enabling greater flexibility, reduced commutes and opportunities to work part-time.With a willingness for greater fairness and equity within working environments, more companies are becoming open to flexible working for the long-term.

As our communities change and become more diverse, we need to find ways to shift our attitudes on “the structure of work” and the “standard work week” and become more supportive to cater to these changes. As Simone said to us “there is no such thing as diversity, just different types of human beings, and by virtue of being human – we are diverse”  By creating environments where individuals can flourish and equality is factored into the ethos and culture, we can get the best out of everyone.

How can we all do more?

Simone left us with some thoughts on how we can all do more to help women feel empowered and create more equity. By approaching equality through the lens of fairness, and questioning whether certain practices are fair or not we can work to create better environments for gender equity. By creating more equal and fair societies, workplaces and interactions, we can have more balanced outputs in society.

Listen to the full discussion

For the entire conversation with Simone, take a listen through the links below, and for more igniting change podcast, head over to season 2 podcasts for a summary of all the season 2 episodes so far!

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Published on September 15, 2022, last updated on September 15, 2022

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