By Louise Weine
NAWO National Director
Image by Fiona Storey, courtesy Grace Papers
Role modelling is something we talk a lot about at NAWO. The smallest things can create the biggest shifts in culture, and it all starts at the top. Like it or not, when you lead (at any level) you are watched, your behaviour sends the message about what is acceptable and expected. The leader who changes the Monday morning Ops meeting from 8am to a 9:30am start, the leader who invites people on extended leave (long service, paternity, illness) to their town hall meetings and organises child care at the venue, the leader who shuts the door to their office at 3:00pm to pick up their kids from school, the leader who prioritises their own health care and uses the work gym at lunchtime (and takes the time to shower afterwards!!). The leader who takes the time to get to know people in their organisation and actively sponsors talent when they see it, regardless of gender. They all role model the culture they want their organisation to have.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Pledge for Parity” and we are Pledging for Parity in parenting because we know that without a shift in community culture we will continue to struggle to retain talented women in operations and inspire them to take on business leadership roles. We also believe that the payback for men in balancing the parenting equation is huge, children grow up very fast and time with parents is so precious. Workplaces can and do have a profound impact on community culture.
In line with our pledge for parity in parenting we are delighted to announce today, on International Women’s Day, a formal collaboration with Grace Papers. Grace Papers is passionate about supporting women and men as they start their parenting journey, providing tools and mentoring to ensure transitions in and out of the workplace are as successful as possible – for parents, children and organisations alike.
Our collaboration provides all our NAWO members with 10% discount on Grace Papers Programs. These programs are accessible, affordable and add value, preventing the disruption that may otherwise occur when transitions are not well managed. Today Grace Papers launches its support program for men, as the take up of flexible work options and the opportunities for extended paternity leave increase.
So what does this collaboration have to do with Role Modelling? Well, many of our NAWO member companies are now successfully role modelling the organisational support and flexibility required to encourage parity in parenting, and to achieve this their leaders and team members must be role modelling successful behaviours.
Take a couple of minutes to watch this video, as a number of working parent role models from our NAWO member community share their insights. Invaluable viewing for leaders, managers and all those embarking on their journey as a working parent.
We thank Australia Post, Orora, CSL Behring and Bunnings for their participation and their leadership, as we celebrate the positive role modelling that is taking place within all our NAWO Member Companies.