Next Technik Celebrates International Women’s Day
Today, March 8th, marks International Women’s Day, and this year the focus has very much been around ‘breaking the bias’; striving for gender equality, breaking down stereotypes and discrimination, and forging change.
This morning I had the pleasure of attending an IWD breakfast event at Chin Chin, located in the heart of Melbourne CBD, along with many other female business leaders, to reflect on this day and what it means to us all. We were in good company, with Colleen Callander, former CEO of Sportsgirl and Founder of Mentor Me Women and Author of Leader by Design, who talked about her 30-year career, juggling kids and family, as well as a high-profile role, ultimately leading to burnout. Women’s desire to be ‘all things’ is all too common and there were a lot of nodding heads in the crowd.
There is no one solution to this matriarchal problem – as Colleen noted, it’s about having an acute awareness of self, understanding what tips you out of balance, and knowing when to change your current situation to bring things back to an equilibrium. And, we will always have difficult days, but critically we need to make time for self-care to refill the tank when we need to. As leaders, she remarked that kindness and authenticity are important to embrace and that women need to find their agency to support personal values and ambitions. Similarly, we need to teach our children to expect and embrace equality, no matter whether it is in our working careers or personal relationships.
Colleen also talked about something I personally love since reading Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. Our very own CEO, Annaliese Kloe introduced this book to me in 2021 and the concepts behind ‘superpowers’ and being a ‘multiplier’ rather than a ‘diminisher’. Acknowledging your own superpowers helps unlock what you do best naturally, without even thinking about it. Your contribution to anything when you use your superpowers is accelerated. Equally, knowing your deficits and your diminishing tendencies as a leader can influence how successful you can be and the success of others around you.
Alarmingly, many women are still working within the casualized workforce which means their financial retirements are limited, with nowhere close to men’s superannuation. Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and former COO of Facebook, notes the staggering volume of highly intelligent women graduating from university versus those that end up in leadership roles. In Australia, only 6.2% of the top 300 companies have female CEOs. By the end of 2020, 7.8% of women in the US held CEO positions in S&P 500 companies, with an expected rise to 15% of Fortune 500 by 2025. With self-deprecating traits at play, we all need to work hard to build on our confidence, believe in our abilities, and generally ‘lean in’ to achieve our goals, regardless of gender.
In business, building workplaces where women can thrive and having the right community-based support structures in place is integral to achieving equality in the workplace. I am very fortunate to be part of a team at Next Technik where not only is our CEO female, but our leadership team are 50% women and 47% of our entire team are women! This is something to be celebrated, particularly in the tech world.
With over ten years selling, solutioning, and working within the NetSuite Solution Provider community, Next Technik Global Partner Manager Tania Large brings a rare perspective to the art of helping customers select NetSuite as their business platform.