Pledge For Parity 2016 close are we to parity in 2016?

So grateful to welcome CEO of Harcourts & Founder of Links Fiji as a panellist/speaker at our International Women's Day Event in Melbourne on 8 March 2016 supporting m.a.d.woman foundation (you can read all about the amazing fundraising results achieved, plus view pics from the event HERE!)

Given the IWD2016 theme"Pledge for Parity", Sadhana Smiles shares an excerpt on the subject of parity for us all to consider... how can you "make a difference?"

How much closer are we to parity in 2016?

  • The pay gap in Australia is at its widest ever, currently at just under 19%
  • This disparity in the pay gap impacts a woman’s ability to obtain a home loan or save a deposit for a home/investment
  • One woman per week is killed by her partner or someone known to her
  • Domestic violence is the main cause of homelessness for women & children in Australia (White Ribbon)
  • Diversity of women in the workplace is not representative of our communities
  • Women retire on 1/3 less superannuation than their male counterparts (Human Rights Commission)
  • 40% of women retirees, claim their main source of income as government pension. They make up 55.7% of the age pension recipients (ABS)
  • Women are still sexualised in advertising, by men, the men she works with & business leaders

"The issue of gender equality is not unique to Australia, it is a global issue which, according to The World Economic Forum, will take until 2133 to entirely close the economic gender gap & gain gender parity in areas such as economics, politics, education & health.

For those who are business leaders & managers across the globe, it is our responsibility to ensure we have balanced leadership structures & boards, not only in regards to gender but also ethnic diversity. We must focus on creating environments where women will thrive, be ambitious, gain success - without the concerns of being labelled, bullied or having workplace bias, colour, cultural background & pregnancy impact career progression.

This form of leadership, however, needs to be thought out, focused & produce decisions that are deliberate. We need leaders who will be brave, take the lead; who will speak up & speak out & who will commit to taking actions.

Australia is a melting pot of people from all ethnic backgrounds, they in turn have cultural influences in our communities & businesses. Yet in many of our business we are often surrounded by white male baby boomers. Taking into account past migration trends & the current global climate of influences out of China, the next wave perhaps being India & then Indonesia, we need to ensure that our businesses are a reflection of the communities we live in.

A lack of diversity in gender &/or race means that we are stifling our innovation, creativity & thinking as well as the important cultural nuances of doing business off-shore. Consider what impact will this have on business long term?

If you are a male reading this article, understand that you have a role to play in how the issue of gender balance is resolved. It’s simple reality, there are more men in leadership roles than women & you have the power to make decisions that will drive change in your business. We need you to become our champions, our ambassadors.

We need to tackle this issue together, side-by-side as partners working together to create better businesses, workplaces, products, cultures & future leaders. However, most importantly, we need to leave behind a legacy we can be proud of for our sons & our daughters. 

I believe the future is one where we do have gender balance, where our businesses are as diverse as the communities we work in & that business leaders who don’t embrace this will run the risk of their businesses becoming obsolete. However, I do not want to wait until 2133 to achieve this. The world is getting smaller, we are more connected than ever before, individual influence & reach is greater - all of this enables rapid change. If we don’t pledge for parity now & make deliberate necessary changes, when will we? If we don’t take responsibility for equality, why would future generations?

Let’s not wait until governments start to legislate for quotas & targets, deep down we all know this is not the right option. We don’t want to operate in a world where equality & diversity is forced upon us, where we will have to tick boxes on who we hire & therefore possibly allowing merit to become secondary as gender becomes the priority to meet a required number."

Sadhana Smiles, CEO Harcourts Victoria (March 2016)

How will you pledge for parity in 2016?

What conversations will you start; who you will influence; what changes will 
you make in your organisations; who will you mentor & elevate?

How will you consciously make decisions this year that will be great for business, remarkable for humanity, memorable for future generations
& simply good for your soul?

#MakeADifference  #IWD2016  #PledgeForParity  #WomensDay  #GiveWhereYouLive #IWDMelbourneStyle  #EventSuccessStartsHere 

International Women's Day Event 2016 - featuring Turia Pitt, Sadhana Smiles, supporting m.a.d.woman foundation

Like this article? Please share with your contacts

 You can also follow us on social media:
Facebook | LinkedIn | Google+ | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Have a ball - make a difference! 14 May 2016
Simple ways for on trend event styling this Spring

Related Posts


Clarion Hotel on Canterbury

A huge success... and lunch was amazing!!

Clarion Hotel on Canterbury Thankyou for making our Planning Day a huge success. The team loved the venue and the lunch was amazing!! A very enjoyable day. I will definitely be recommending your venue to all my colleagues - the experience was fantastic!

Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley

We all really enjoyed the conference, everything was perfect!

Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley "Wanted to say thank you so much for the great service and your patience with all our changes throughout. We all really enjoyed the conference, everything was perfect! (Well maybe the coffee machine struggled to keep up with us, but overall, everything was great). The venue set up and lunch was great - the buffet really enjoyable, especially the variety of catering offered.

Fudge by Rich

Absolutely delicious, beautifully packaged...

Fudge by Rich As always, absolutely delicious with amazing feedback from all who tried the product! Beautifully packaged up for us, delivery process fast and reliable, and Nicole couldn't have been more helpful in turning around such a large order on such short notice ensuring we had everything needed for the trade show... Think I have a new favourite flavour too, the Rocky Road is to die for!!

Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

What a professional events team...

Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach "The events team at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach are truly professionals at what they do. The organisation in particular of the banquets team - always so helpful and ensure that our seminars run smoothly. The only minor suggestion that I would make is more labels to indicate the types salads and sandwiches that are on offer on lunch buffets."

Rydges Bankstown

Suited our brief perfectly... staff could not do enough for us!

Rydges Bankstown "Rydges Bankstown suited our brief perfectly: close to our sites, an abundance of parking and a great function room with natural lighting. The staff were very friendly and could not do enough for us, I am sure we will use this venue again."


An absolute blast - can't wait to try another amazing VictorsFood experience!

VictorsFood “VictorsFood made our event a truly memorable one. Every one of our team members had an absolute blast making pizzas together with the fun and enthusiastic chefs… We can’t wait to try another one of VictorsFoods' amazing experiences!”

Mantra Bell City

I really appreciated the attention to detail & communication...

Mantra Bell City "Whilst I do not attend these meetings to see the room in person, I certainly had no complaints from any of my management team (no news good news!) The communication from the event co-ordinator in particular was excellent prior to our meeting. It was organised at short notice and she showed such high attention to detail which I really appreciated."

Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne

Really good quality & great value... best external meeting venue in a while!

Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne "The room was appropriately presented, with everything we had requested already in place. Morning tea and lunch were more than ample, and was 'yummy'! Really good quality and great value for money. One of the managers even said it’s been the best external meeting venue he’s been to in a while."


The venue, as well as the staff, location & atmosphere was second to none!

Dockside "We held our Staff Christmas party at Dockside this year - the venue, as well as the staff, location & atmosphere was second to none. From the moment I booked the venue, the service was fantastic. The event organiser kept in contact throughout the year, reminding when things needed to be done. Everything went smoothly on the night of the party, the food was amazing, the staff were excellent & the event manager on the night bent over backwards to help with...

Yarra Valley Estate

Excellent food, fantastic spaces to relax & network, country hospitality - we'll definitely be back again!

Yarra Valley Estate Our team really enjoyed the time spent at Yarra Valley Conference Centre. The staff were friendly and accommodating, the food was excellent and the spaces for the group to relax and network after a hard day's conferencing were fantastic and very well utilised!