Having children has changed my life in more ways than one, but as we continually strive to close gender pay gaps, improve diversity, and actively support women in leadership, I can’t help but reflect on the profound impact that my daughter, Lily, has had on my decision-making as a business leader.
Lily is only eight, but in that short-time, she’s helped me see the world through the eyes of the opposite gender.
I have also softened, displayed more empathy, actively listened, sought to understand more, and not just with her, but with those people I interact with daily at work.
Why? I subconsciously find myself thinking about how she would be feeling or responding to my interactions as if it were her on the receiving end.
A great compilation of kickarse women for International Women’s Day this year.
For those of you that don’t know me professionally, I’ve been a business leader for nearly 15 years, of which the last 10 have been spent within Executive roles at several high growth ASX200 companies.
I’ve seen and supported the rapid rise of diversity targets, gender pay comparisons, women in leadership campaigns and the like – so whilst I wouldn’t consider that entering ‘Dad to a daughter’ status has revolutionised who I am as a leader, it certainly has increased my self-awareness, selflessness and ability to connect with both genders more broadly.
Currently, I’m fortunate to have seven fantastic direct reports – of which four happen to be female. I’ve got an intelligent, driven and successful wife who has co-founded workscore.com.au and is the COO of our household.
I also get to engage with highly talented female colleagues and board members, and have always consciously sought to have a significant representation of female leaders within my leadership teams.
However, research shows that businesses still need to do more to support women in leadership, so I’ve listed some practical ideas any business can implement quickly and easily.