Career Woman

Walk to empower young women


“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.” – Unknown

When it comes to speaking about the lack of women in leadership, Naomi Simson, the Founder of RedBalloon, has been ahead of us all for years. But she has a unique take on how we approach empowering women – and particularly young women.

“Earlier this month, we celebrated International Women’s Day – we all read the articles, gasped in amazement at the stats revealed and let’s face it, we’ll do the same thing again next year,” Simson says.

“I’ll admit that at this point in my life, I don’t have one maternal bone in my body. However, if the time came, I’d like to honestly believe my daughter had the same opportunities in both her life and career, as my son. Above all, I want her to know:

  • Failure is just another step towards success. It’s how quickly you get up and continue on that defines you.
  • You can have it all. Having a family and a career is possible. You don’t have to leave the workplace to be a great parent.
  • Neither males nor females are ‘better’ leaders. Leadership comes down to individuals and their ability to inspire others with their energy. People believe in good leaders.

Feminism – It’s a word that has really lost its meaning in recent times. And while we could all spend hours trying to drill down to the true definition and meaning of the word, there are far more important issues for us all to dedicate our energy towards.

Consider these stats from a recent Telstra Business Women’s Awards survey featuring responses from 409 women ahead of International Women’s Day.

The survey found:

Stopping domestic violence against women was a top priority, followed by supporting women to pursue leadership roles, achieving gender pay equity, eliminating existing gender stereotypes, encouraging more young women to explore non-traditional female careers and encouraging more men to equally share family responsibilities.

We can choose to turn away from these alarming results because they seem too hard to tackle or face. Or, we can help to change the present situation by starting where it all begins: With young women.

On March 19, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Victoria is hosting an event dedicated to educating and equipping young women. The afternoon will feature the following thought leaders:

Anoushka Gungadin (CEO for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Victoria) – A leadership coach and avid speaker, Anoushka’s passion is empowering the next generation of young women.

Lynda Ford (CEO of Enterprising Partnerships)Lynda is heavily involved with her company’s iGen initiative and works with the Innovation Generation –16 to 30 year olds.

Bareetu Aba-Bulgu – Armed with a vision to empower women through business, Bareetu is also the deserving winner of the Empowering Women of Monash Award in 2012.

Claire Merquita (PR manager for Pozible) – Being the PR manager for Australia’s largest crowd-funding platform is no easy feat and has seen Claire helping Pozible to raise over AU$32 million for people looking to make their dream a reality.

Vicki Macdermid (partner/executive director at Pitcher Partners Melbourne) – Vicki’s strong belief in giving back drives her to help others to attain perspective, balance and professional satisfaction.

Meanwhile, Tiffany Cherry, best known as the AFL’s first female boundary rider on the original Fox Footy will be the MC on the day.

If you are in Melbourne and would like to join us, you can learn more and secure your free ticket here.


About Sarah Cannata

Sarah is a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. She has recently launched her own website ( - original, huh?) with the aim of connecting with a variety of people (feel free to take a squiz, she’d love to hear what you think). Sarah has written for a number of websites and magazines and in her downtime, enjoys travelling and listening to music. Journey into the land of ‘make-believe’, Sarah sees herself writing in Medina in Malta which is referred to as the silent city (aka, a writer’s dream).

Recommended for you

What Do You Think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *