This week over at Lane Change, we have launched our latest campaign ‘Give the Ladies Some Love’. My friend Monica and I started Lane Change last year. We build fun, creative and global campaigns that use positive messaging and compelling challenges to raise awareness about the big issues facing our world. Rather than standing against something, we stand for something: a healthy earth and fair society. Monica likes to describe Lane Change as if ‘action and change hi-fived each other!’ Which I think is funny and clever.
For our latest challenge, that is inspired by International Women’s day, we are asking people from all over the world to take some time out this week to think and/or act on promoting gender equality. As part of this campaign we want you to pledge to do at least one of the five actions we have created. I’m going to share with Herb & Lace readers what I’m doing to ‘Give the Ladies Some Love’ and I hope that you join in too!
Here are the five actions I’m taking:
1. Share with us your lady heroes
One of my many lady heroes’ is my previous manager and friend, Tamerlaine Beasley. She is a Managing Director, mother, lover, comedian, Thailand expert, high flying consultant… you get the picture right? Tamerlaine was my first real boss and also mentor. She would take me to meetings, teach me how to network, brainstorm my honours thesis when I was drowning in social theory, teach me how to negotiate and on the odd occasion, over a few glasses of white help me dissect the latest man in my life. Can one ask for anything more from a boss? I think not. I would not be where I am today without her.
2. Mentor a woman
Now, I don’t want to infer that I have a whole lot of advice to pass down to other ladies out there, in fact I would love another good mentor (hint hint!), but I do have experience none the less. I also think it’s important not to think of mentoring as a) a long process and b) a hierarchical one. I would consider a lot of my friends here in Beijing as mentors; often we provide each other with advice about work issues or how we should develop our careers. This week I reached out to a previous intern I had working on some research here in Beijing. She is now based in New York doing her masters in international studies. We have been chatting on skype about her classes on women’s studies and lots of other interesting topics like where she should do her summer internship. Hopefully she will find bending my ear of some benefit.
3. Support women overcome adversity
There are some shocking statistics out there about the inequality between men and women, one is that despite the fact that women make up 50% of the population, they comprise of over 70% of those living in extreme poverty. It is also important to realise that disadvantage and adversity exists all over the world. Considering this, I have decided to donate some money to an Indigenous Australian NGO called, Yorgum, that “provides an alternative and cultural approach to healing Aboriginal people who have been affected by family violence, sexual abuse and the underlying causes associated.” This is an important cause for me as an Australian and locally run organisations like Yorgum provide vital services to support Indigenous women overcome adversity.
4. Don’t be afraid of the F-word
I admit that I am often afraid of using the F-word. Which is why I need to get involved with this campaign. I find it difficult to stand up for women’s rights, especially in relation to the workplace, without the sense of being perceived as ‘one of those feminist’ i.e. a hysterical feminatzi. So I have set up some rss feeds from some of the top feminist blogs to learn more about this issue and to stop being hesitant to indentify myself as a feminist.
5. Speak out! The world is listening
I think I’m doing this now!!