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from the National Director

Image: a ‘selfie’ moment with Julia Baird at our National Livestream!

As we celebrate 2017 – another year gone! – I reflect on another big year of firsts for NAWO as we extended our offering regionally.

  • Our first Regional Committee – Team Riverina!
  • Our first Regional Roadshow – in the Pilbara region of WA.
  • Our first NAWO event in the Goulburn Valley.
  • Our first national Livestream events.

If you missed the Livestream events, don’t worry!  The fabulous content is available to members to access for the next 6-12 months on our website. Why not run your own internal discussion or mini workshop using the content? Facilitation tools are also available on the website. Click here.

Our membership is strong and we have proven that, where we can provide additional support for new members with their internal membership launch, we see high level involvement and engagement from those organisations at every level. We have identified the 5 Key Activators that ensure members make the most of their membership. Click here to find out more.

Our volunteers are exceptional. Committee Members, Board Members, Executive Mentors and professionals who contribute their time to NAWO pro bono  – you have all made an invaluable contribution to the NAWO network and I sincerely thank all of you for the time and effort you have invested. NAWO quite simply would not exist without you.

On a personal level, 2017 was, at times for me, quite difficult. I struggled to navigate some of the pot-holes and speed humps that life seems to have a habit of presenting without warning! But these also made me even more grateful for the access I have to the women and men in the NAWO network. Their inspiring stories and wise words of support have helped me pick myself back up, refocus and look forward!

My personal experience, my contact with so many women, and my daily observations consistently reinforce my acute awareness of the exhausting reality for so many of us, who find themselves juggling madly, numerous balls (or firesticks), in our work and personal lives, whilst trying doggedly to remain focused and committed to our SMART goals and key priorities.

Whilst I look optimistically toward a future where men and women share the load more equitably, the current reality is that women in Australia are bearing the majority of caring and domestic responsibilities in addition to paid work. Functioning consistently in a state overwhelm can have devastating consequences for our health, our relationships and our work, and often results in us stepping back/down or dropping out, so the ability we have to cope with this pressure to be wonderwomen (or lack thereof) is, without doubt, one of the greatest causes of leakage in the female talent pipeline.

This is why I love NAWO. I strongly believe that our focus on supporting professional women in traditionally male dominated environments is critical to invoking change. Firstly, providing the tools and inspiration to help women push through, stretch further and reach higher in an increasingly busy and challenging world. Secondly, by constantly reminding organisations in our network that there is more that needs to be done, to constantly question our beliefs with respect to how, where and when work gets done and design truly inclusive work environments that recognise the value of diversity, and fully enable men and women to thrive. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, by providing a network where we can share stories of the ‘human’ side of gender diversity – stories of aspiration, inspiration, success, failure… and of hitting the curb, then getting back on the track to give it another go.

I wish everyone in the NAWO network the very best over the festive period. I sincerely hope that some rest and recuperation is on the agenda for everyone this summer. Join me in making space for goal setting and action planning for 2018! I will be revisiting some of the Key Learnings from Katrina Bromell’s presentation from this time last year, trying not to bite off more than I can chew whilst still setting goals that are rewarding. One goal I certainly have is to ensure NAWO can continue to support an even greater number of women in their careers and life. What are your goals for 2018? Share them with us via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #NAWO2018! And please, let us know what else NAWO can do to help you make your goals a reality!

Stay safe, see you next year.

Louise Weine
National Director

Sending out a warm welcome to new Silver member @KelloggCompany from the NAWO network! Such a great company and brand committed supporting women develop their careers and move the dial on gender balance in operations. #inspirationatwork #operations #genderbalance

Last week from NAWO's Twitter via Hootsuite Inc.