female empowerment Archives - WBGS
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female empowerment Tag

Radical Generosity is Creating a New Playing Field for Female Leadership

I’ve just spent the weekend at the inaugural Australian SheEO Venture Retreat, where fellow Venture finalists spent time deep-diving on goals, challenges and visions in a safe and open environment. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. When we arrived at the Venture retreat it was clear we were in the midst of something amazing.

 

SheEO Australian Ventures Happy Hour on Retreat!!

What is SheEO?

To set the scene, SheEO is a movement started by Vicki Saunders. It aims to mobilise $1 billion in capital behind 10,000 female-led ventures through the contribution of 1-million activators. It’s a simple formula. As an ‘Act of Radical Generosity’, individual activators contribute $1100 into a perpetual fund to support female-led ventures. Those activators then vote on which of the ventures that apply should receive funding. There is no fiscal return on your investment, it’s something much greater than that. The supreme knowledge and well-being that comes from knowing you’ve helped make the world a better place.

We are not trying to fit into the existing models and systems and level the playing field, we are creating an entirely new field.

First Australian SheEO Ventures

Five Ventures made it through as Australia’s first cohort of finalists. It is an honour to be included alongside this incredible group of women. The time spent together at the retreat has led to the most profound web of trust between us. We all know that we are in this together — we’re here to uplift each other. I walked away with four new team members for World’s Biggest Garage Sale and I joined their teams too. We’ve got each other’s backs and will help each other on our journeys.

Leading with Love

We went through some incredible processes, led by the inspiring MJ Ryan (outstanding human being and author of Radical Generosity: Unlock the Transformative Power of Giving), culminating in the final day where the Ventures divided up how the SheEO Venture fund would be distributed amongst each other. Just one of the key differences in how SheEO operate. They support and empower female founders to make critical decisions with trust, love, transparency, and radically generosity.

After the Venture Finalists announcement

SheEO Summit

Finally on Monday we spent time together at the inaugural Australian SheEO Summit, hosted by the legendary Holly Ransom, where we were announced as the finalist Ventures to all our Australian Activators. To say the energy in the room was electric is an understatement. It was an amazing day sharing our ventures with this incredible room of Activators and meeting so many remarkable people!

Room full of female leaders and Holly Ransom (Super Activator and a rock star – just saying!!)

 

SheEo selected Ventures that aligned with the ‘world’s to-do list’ aka the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

SheEO Ventures for 2019

All the ventures are led by truly phenomenal women who are tackling really important problems that desperately need wise solutions. Here they are:

  • Jenny Brown from Envorinex who currently recycles 50% of Tasmania’s industrial waste and are seeking to expand this to 100% and include household waste for recycling.
  • Sarah Gun from GOGO events who are creating life-changing paid-work and pathways to employment for homeless people, predominantly women, at events and festivals.
  • Kristina Freeman from Grow Your Mind who are educating young children, their schools and their families about the importance of taking care of their mental health and empowers them in ways they can do this.
  • Lucinda Hartley of Neighbourlytics which is a social analytics platform for neighbourhoods, pioneering the use of social data in cities, giving city-makers real-time insights into the social life of neighbourhoods, transforming the way they plan, design and manage places.

I’m so incredibly fired up about SheEO #radicalgenerosity and enormously grateful, honoured and indebted to the Australian Activators for selecting our Venture. At World’s Biggest Garage Sale we will use these loan funds very wisely to help us scale and grow. If you have the capacity to, I’d love to invite you to activate too — join the movement http://sheeo.world

International Women’s Day 2019 – #BalanceforBetter

This year marks the 109th International Women’s Day, celebrated on the 8 March and the theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter. So what is balance actually – well according to the English Oxford Living Dictionary it’s “a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”. And with regards to gender parity in the workplace here at WBGS we think that’s something really great to work towards.

I’ll be right in the swing of it this year. Kicking off the day I’ll be speaking at the Queensland Association of State School Principals inaugural IWD breakfast. Straight after that I’ll be speaking with Monica Bradley at Global Payments who’s nominate cause for IWD is SheEO (more on this below). And finally I’ll be participating in the Global Goals for Sustainable Development Activation Seminar Series hosted by the University of Queensland.  This seminar is about women leading the creation of circular economies for advancing Australia’s SDG 2030 agenda. And of course we strongly support SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. I couldn’t be more excited to be speaking at all of these events, helping champion female leadership.

It’s also a really exciting time in Australia with regards to women-led start-ups. In true female style, women are getting together to address the balance via SheEO. Currently, 96% of venture capital goes to male founders – meaning only 4% goes to female led ventures. SheEO is “a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators”. They are not trying to fit women into the existing system, rather they are shifting mindsets, levelling the playing field and creating new models for start-ups and business. I am both honoured and proud to say I am a SheEO Activator and Semi-finalist in 2019 helping create a fairer future for women and our ventures. Join me in creating a perpetual fund for women in Australia.

The reality is diversity is just better. Several studies have shown diversity leads to more creative teams and increases a company’s performance. Research by Cloverpop has found that “diverse teams make better decisions up to 87% of the time”. Businesses that are more representative of the people and the world in which we live i.e. diverse teams, will take into account many more perspectives and help to build a world that reflects what we feel and know to be important. This is how we will create the Zebra companies of the future and heal the world.

There are many awesome male champions out there stepping up beside women to accelerate our representation. But as women, we really need to step up to the plate and do the work aswell. We need to believe that we can do it and challenge any impostor syndrome that crashes the party. Don’t wonder if there’s a seat at the table for you – assume that there is! And as females, we also absolutely must celebrate other women’s successes – another woman’s success is not a threat to you! In fact, it’s a very good sign that times are changing and there will be opportunities for you to realise your dreams aswell.

We look forward to a world where our differences are a thing of the past – gender, colour, race, religion etc. and everyone belongs and is fulfilled. This IWD is a chance to celebrate all women, everywhere, in all their shapes and sizes and for whatever choices they have made about how they want to live their lives. We are equally deserving of a chance to live our dreams – let’s all do our part, pay it forward and ensure our daughters, nieces and granddaughters all have a smooth path.

 

Some suggestions for what you can do on IWD 2019

Get along to an IWD Event on Friday 8 March

There are so many great events happening across Australia and internationally. Some of the local Brisbane events are listed below:

 

What are you doing yourself to level-up?

Consider how you as a woman are challenging yourself to grow and be your personal best. This is not about comparing ourselves to other people (comparison is the ‘thief of joy’), but really going inside and unearthing our deepest goals and challenging any limiting assumptions about what we can achieve in the world. When was the last time you were really outside your comfort zone? It’s scary but also exhilarating – get out there.

 

How can you support other women?

Take the chance on IWD to shout out to all your female family members, friends and colleagues and congratulate them on a job well done. Also consider giving a gift that empowers other women – there are many great organisations helping to further #BalanceforBetter, see IWDs recommended Female-focused charities and foundations. Through acknowledging and supporting other women that balance will be achieved.