Ernst & Young this month released a Women in Leadership report which states that “Australia simply cannot afford to leave half the population out of the hiring equation” and that “gender equity is an economic imperative”. Founder and CEO of SHE Business Suzy Jacobs praised the report for highlighting the importance of men and women contributing equally to build a more resilient, society, a better economy and a brighter future.
She says it’s important for us as Australians to continue discussing the ways in which we can increase the number of women in leadership roles.
“[T]his comes down to helping and supporting women to improve their leadership capability. I want to see men and women sitting side by side and having the capacity to contribute equally and have the same opportunities,” says Jacobs.
“Australian women are opening small businesses at a far greater rate than men however we’re earning significantly less, we often don’t pay ourselves a wage, have less capital, are sometimes risk adverse and we don’t value ourselves or ask for help like men do.”
She adds that women have different experiences in business. They don’t have a “single-minded approach when it comes to building a business” because they have family and other personal commitments to factor in which can be distracting.
Jacobs conducted extensive research into gender equality and leadership; and in 2008 started FEARLESS with CommBank’s Women in Focus, a Christmas celebration with a difference. Now in its fifth year, FEARLESS is a day of self discovery where all the distractions and commitments are left at the door so women can have the opportunity to focus on themselves, to leverage lessons learned from the past year and have the chance to focus and bring clarity to an exciting 12 months ahead.
Guest speakers at the event include best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker, Janine Shepherd AM and Lisa Messenger, Editor in Chief of the renegade COLLECTIVE Group and CEO of The Messenger Group.
In 2011, following the success of FEARLESS and upon further research, Jacobs founded SHE Business – Australia’s business club for women, helping them improve their leadership skills and build leveraged and sustainable or saleable businesses. Jacobs says every element of SHE Business has been developed based on this research so the club can provide women with the right education, training, mentoring, workshops and events to improve their leadership capability in all aspects of their life.
“We want women in small business to be sitting on the same side of the table as men, contributing, sharing the same responsibilities and having the same opportunities,” says Jacobs.
The November 2013 Women in Leadership report is available via www.ey.com. If you’re interested in attending FEARLESS, the event details are below:
Event: FEARLESS 2013
Date: Wednesday 11 December 2013
Time: 9am – 2.30pm
Where: Deckhouse, Woolwich (Clarke Road), Sydney
Cost: Members – $167, Non-members – $197
VIP Offer: In addition to the day’s events you can also experience a private session with Janine Shepherd AM and Lisa Messenger – $250