Category Archives: Women Changing the World

The ‘All blokes’ versus the ‘Gender Diverse’. Guess which boards perform better?

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Susanne Moore

Womens AgendaWomens Agenda, Angela Preistley 23 April 2015

“For many people, it’s simple common sense. Gender diverse boards offer more diverse ideas and better decision-making.

But for those who need the proof, new research from the Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation and Infinitas Asset Management offers some compelling data. Indeed, the 34 all-bloke boards on the ASX 200 have some work to do when it comes to financial performance.

The research launched today finds that companies with at least 25% female representation on their boards perform 7% better than those with men only, and 2% better than those that are male-dominated.”

See the full article here http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/the-all-blokes-versus-the-gender-diverse-guess-which-boards-perform-better/201504235648?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=ddf99b0380-Women_s_Agenda_daily_07_11_201402&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-ddf99b0380-30696521#.VTmRM8Yrjdm

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100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining

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Recognising those inspirational Changing Women in the mining industry.

DPRF™ - Diversity Performance Review Framework*

This publication, Sponsored by Standard Bank looks at “the significant and varied impact of women within the global mining industry. It is a celebration of the incredible talent that exists”, and will surely influence and inspire many others.
The mining industry knows that its future depends on attracting and retaining the right talent and mining companies understand that this means attracting women to fill roles withing their organisations to bring a gender balance that assists in promoting healthy workplaces and healthy mining communities.

Jenny Knott, Chief Executive Standard Bank Plc says in the forward,

“The fact remains, sadly that mining is still not a very gender diverse sector and it seems that the overall industry has not yet acted cohesively upon the many studies that demonstrate the correlation between gender diversity and improved company performance.” 

Proving a positive link between gender diversity and improved company performance that created the…

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No Ms, Mrs or Miss

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Very often when I am filling out a form I am asked if my title is Mrs, Miss or Ms. I don’t like to put Ms because it carries the connotation of feminist which I don’t consider myself to be.

I am a person and don’t want to be labeled as anybodies anything. I want to be me. I just want to have Susanne Moore with no title because my name is my title. I am me.

The abundance of ‘Changing Women’

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Since starting this website in June 2011, I have noticed a couple of things and thought that I would go through my vision and objectives again to see where we are at;

MY  VISION:

“Is to flood the internet and the media with images and stories of real women, enhancing the positive image of women which, in turn will enhance each woman’s image of themselves, helping them to change the world one woman at a time”

I created this forum in June 2011 to encourage discussion around self-esteem for women, and since then the focus has expanded and solidified.  This forum is only my first step.  It will discuss general issues of women’s equality and a woman’s place in the world.  It will promote health and well-being and push the boundaries of change for women.  The emphasis for Changing Women is on the positive, always striving to explore positive strategies for change rather than focusing on the negative aspects of inequality.

At this moment, this site has had over 11,000 hits, we have more than 100 followers on the blog and Facebook and a further 300 or so on Twitter @changingwomen1 and about 30 on our LinkedIn group.  So all in all, we are doing pretty well.  

The major thing that I have noticed is how many similar websites and blogs have sprung up over the last 2 and a half years, and this is fantastic!  More and more women are ‘getting off the sideslines’ to quote Kristen Gelibrand the US Senator and doing something about their lives and making a difference for change.  There is even another Changing Women Facebook page!  I will put a list of the other sites that I know of and am following at the bottom of this article, but suffice to say – we are mobilising!  Women everywhere want change and are really doing something about changing themselves, others and the way the world operates.  Keep up the good work!

In June 2011 when I started, these were my main Objectives for the Forum;

1. To flood the internet with positive images and stories of real Changing Women by encouraging women to register and contribute their own stories and photos to the site;

In a way, I hope that this forum has contributed in a small way to the abundance of sites, blogs and articles that are telling the stories of real women.  Many of you contributed your comments, photos and stories and I appreciate that you felt that you could share them with us.  Many more images of real women have been posted to the gallery, and whilst there is much more that could be done, this is a start.

2. To interview as many “Women of Change” as possible so that we further flood the internet with positive stories of real women, creating many positive role models for women and girls;

I interviewed a number of women directly and spoke to many more in person at various events and still there are more stories being posted across the internet on additional sites and web communities.  The stories of women are being told everywhere and it is truly wonderful.  We need to retell history as many many women’s stories have been left out.

3.  To collect the stories of older women that demonstrate the progress of previous women’s movements – stories of the past  told by the women themselves;

There is still an opportunity to do this and I will try to interview more in the coming year.  Everyone has a story, and what I found by talking to older women was that they were surprised that anyone would even be interested in their story!

4.  To promote realistic design paradigms for women’s fashion by working with designers to recognise the Changing Women’s body.  Enabling comfortable stylish clothes for women will help more women to “Embrace their Shape” and to live free of the pressure of the fashion industry and media.  Let us change the model of what it is to look like a woman!

After speaking to and writing to a number of fashion houses, I think that we are well on the way to changing the way that our clothes fit and are designed.  There is still a way to go, but at least now you can find comfortable fitting, stylish clothes at a reasonable price at both the lower end of the market and the top end and there are some examples of this throughout this blog site.  Check out the Fashion section on the menu for more stories about fashion.

5.  To discuss the many issues of body image, and to highlight issues of behaviour and inequality that effect self-esteem.

We have certainly covered a number of topics on Changing Women!  Body image and self esteem have been constants and the gallery of photographs is one of the most visited pages on the site.  Whilst I would like many more positive images, this takes time and the website is not yet set up for people to easily add their own profiles and photos, so this section will just develop as there is available time.

6.  To work collaboratively in developing positive solutions for change across corporate, industry and government so we see a greater number of female leaders take their places as decision makers.

Over the last two years I have been working with a number of women’s and men’s organisations to find out how we might best instigate changing behaviours, and how we might “Change the world one woman at a time”.  I am now heavily involved in research and consulting around what I call Gender Economics and Diversity Economics and have also started planning for the launch of the Female Investor Network around June this year to help women become investors in emerging and sustainable companies.  This is one way that women can achieve decision making input to the economy first hand, they can also practice their management and Directorship skills for those women that want to take up a leadership role in a corporate, or if they are building their own business and want the first hand skills of capital raising and share floats.

Changing Men

One of the most surprising things that I found during this time with Changing Women is the number of men that respond to, or follow the blogs.  I have had discussions with many men in countries like India, Korea, the US and the UK as well as Australia and the comments have been interesting, but the major takeaway for me is that men want change as much as women do.  Some of the comments that I have received have been surprising.  Many angry young men speaking to me over twitter start out very hostile to my tweets and then after a few tweets back and forward they become positive and start to open up about their frustrations.  Many of these young men are disconcerted, uncomfortable and confused by the trend of young women to be overtly sexy, to drink to excess and to basically behave in aggressive ways that we mostly associate with young men.  Whilst women have come along way, men are largely floundering, but the strongest messages that I got from many of these young men was that they want ‘substance’.

It is important to note that this forum is not restricted to Women.  I welcome anyone to join.

JOIN ME AND SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

SOME OTHER GREAT CHANGING WOMEN SITES THAT I HAVE FOUND

Feminist Peace Network  – https://www.facebook.com/feministpeacenetwork?hc_location=stream

Awakening Women Institutehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Awakening-Women-Institute/58155612701?ref=stream&hc_location=stream

Women in Global Businesshttps://www.facebook.com/womeninglobalbusiness?hc_location=stream

Changing the world, one sanitary pad at a time

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Chantelle Baxter is the Cofounder of One Girl, a nonprofit that helps girls and women create change. She is working on LaunchPad, a project that sells affordable sanitary pads to girls and women in Sierra Leone via TEDX Sydney

You know it never ceases to amaze me how often I am called a ‘feminist’ when I talk about human rights and gender equality

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English: The Austrian feminist Marie Lang, 185...

English: The Austrian feminist Marie Lang, 1858-1934 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know it never ceases to amaze me who often I am called a ‘feminist’ when I talk about human rights and gender equality.  I find it particularly interesting that most often it is young women (35 and under) who say things like, “oh you must be a feminist” when talking to me about equality and women’s issues.  Basically they say the word like I am from a different planet, or some different species of animal not yet fully researched, but feared and despised none the less.  I usually hear this statement when I get into a conversation with someone and I might ask these women if they think they are equal in our society.  Or I might ask them why they have just said what they did and then give them some examples of inequalities to expand the context of what they have just said, like “I am waiting for my boyfriend to ask me to marry them”  To which I might ask, why don’t you just ask him to marry you?  To which they are often shocked as often times I don’t think they have even thought about the alternative so fixed into the traditional roles expected of them that they don’t see any issue with what they have said.  Sure its fine to wait to be asked if you know you are traditional and that is your choice, but very often after a discussion, the person will tell me that they have actually never even thought about what they say and believe and why they do.  Conversely, I get two different responses from men when I question their behaviour or views, or I simply talk about current human rights issues like violence against women.  The first, and I would say the one that is gaining ground is where the man wants to know more about inequalities and inequities because they know that these inequalities also affect them.  Second, and I am well used to this one by now, is hostile where the man might (try to) speak over the top of me and try to belittle me in front of other men.  Only the other day I was de-friended by a long term acquaintance when I questioned a post on his Facebook page that had an image that said something like “punch a bitch a day”.  He thought it funny, I thought it completely inappropriate and promoting violence against women.  However he accused me of being a man hater, of not seeing the funny side, of being ‘juvenile, sexist and racist’.  That last one is a little funny, but apparently in the US the saying “punch a bitch a day” is acceptable if you are a person of colour, which this person is not, but he didn’t think of that I guess.  Having questioned his values and calling him on the post, he then proceeded to accuse me of being a FEMINIST, like it was the worst word he could call me.  He then told me that it was no wonder I was no longer married, and when I said that was a low blow considering he knew my situation, he said “it wasn’t personal”.  Charming!  Whilst I was working in Thailand  (2003), this same man said to me that he didn’t know why men bothered to rape women in the US when they could just come to Thailand and buy one for sex when they liked.  Hmm, and I thought he had changed since, but then old habits….

I actually don’t think of myself as a feminist, merely someone who believes in equality and I wonder why being a feminist is so terrible?  Has the population been brainwashed into believing that the old 60’s bra burning stereotype of feminists is still current?  Feminism has evolved a couple of times since then, but we rarely hear about the new forms and instead continue to focus on the hot buttons of pro-choice and militancy, instead of understanding that we have moved on from and new ideologies like the Pussy Riots and Slut Marches exist.

“In my own view, Feminism is organic rather than something that needs to be defined or performed in a certain way.  Prior to my study of Sociology, I would not have recognised a feminist, and certainly did not realise that there were many different types of feminisms.  Many younger women do not class themselves as, or even identify with being a feminist.  Instead, historical female behavioural models are collected, compared and consolidated, recycled depending on which role the actor chooses to play.  These models come in different forms such as the ‘post feminist’, the post feminist lesbian, the black feminist, the old feminist or the young feminist.  There are established models for each different type of category, easily recognised by other feminists and the wider community.” (Moore 2012)

There are also different waves of feminism, like the early suffragette who wanted the vote for women, known as 1st wave feminism – 1960-1920.  One of the most wide ranging political campaigns in history,  the suffragette battled for access to the vote for women and chastity for men.  The chastity for men was an issue because there was very little access to birth control and it was acceptable for men to frequent prostitutes or have mistresses which spread the disease to their wives, and yes before you say ooooohhhhheeee, some women did have extramarital sex as well they had few rights.  The point is that women didn’t have the vote, couldn’t own property and could be chucked out and divorced by their husband just like that if they were found to be adulteress.  In short there was a double standard.  As well as the inability for women to control pregnancy, venereal disease was rife and women wanted to curb the practice of sex outside marriage.

The bra burning feminists, known as 2nd Wave Feminism of the 1960’s were primarily concerned with sexism and highlighted an awareness of systemic discrimination against women.  This period is now recognised as being ‘Eurocentric’ (focusing on white women) and is also sometimes called Captial F feminsism because it viewed all women as sisters simply because they were women.  This wave took on patriarchy and fought for a women’s right to choose  and so we continue to hear the pro-choice argument being synonymous with pro abortion, but this is only one aspect of this movement.  The right to choose was about a women’s right to choose what happens to her body, including the right to contraception and abortion.  Unfortunately the wider issues sometimes get lost on pro lifers who like to focus on the abortion and pro-choice aspect as it helps to further their cause and demonise women, mostly mothers.

3rd wave feminism recognises differences in women’s environments, cultures, political and choices so it can be discussed in a broader context and instead becomes known as ‘feminisms’.  3rd wave feminists believe that feminism is outdated and is now ‘being lived rather than theorised’.  Hence many women under 35 think that there is no need for feminsim at all because they are already equal.  However there are many who know that there are still significant issues and in current times we have seen the rise of raunch culture and girl power in the form of Pussy Riots, Slut Marches and other grass-roots organisations that aim to ‘reclaim’ a women’s sexuality.  Feminism is still evolving and will continue to evolve as more issues come to light to be addressed, like the current issue of ‘rape culture’.

So I don’t mind being called a feminist, I just find it funny that people need to ask me if I am one.

REFERENCES

MOORE, Susanne (2012), “Feminism, Difference and Identity”, form Macquarie University SGY220 Assignment 3, White paper

Enough Already – http://onebillionrising.org/blog/entry/enough-already

Griffith University. (2011/12). Defining Women: Social Institutions and cultural diversity. Study Guide , 1-101.

 

Live, One Billion Rising

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Women are rising! No more will be tolerate violence against us. We will know that we can face it head on, we have the power to overcome it. We have dominion over the violence that many want to submit us to. Dance, be joyous and we can show the world another way to resolve differences and lead us into the new world.