The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “Each for Equal” and it was inspiring to see more than 400 members of the Australian drinks industry gather on Friday to take action on equality.
The Drinks Association’s Embrace Difference Council hosted the event at Doltone House, Hyde Park, with acting Chair Madelyn Ring asking the room: “Who are the women in your organisation who you should celebrate and develop?
“Are you providing the flexibility that primary carers need throughout their careers and not judging them for it?
“Are you really listening to all the voices in the room equally?
“How are the women in the room being brave and asking for opportunities and setting boundaries?”
It was a stirring launch to the celebrations, which featured guest speakers Erin Molan and her father Senator Jim Molan.
Erin broke down barriers for women in sports journalism as the first full-time female panellist and co-host in the Footy Show’s 22-year history.
Her insights were both entertaining and eye-opening. She discussed how she built resilience in the face of online trolling, which saw her accused of “ruining rugby league” and being viciously attacked, based not on her ability as a journalist, but solely on her appearance and gender.
Meanwhile, after an illustrious career spanning 40 years with the Australian Armed Forces, Jim Molan has recently been re-elected to the Australian Senate.
It was fascinating to hear the Senator reveal how the military is championing women’s rights. He highlighted the contributions of women in theAustralian Defence Force, including combat engineer Captain Steph Sheldon.
“Steph is one of a new generation of women serving in combat roles, doing our nation proud both at home and on deployment,” he said. “As she told me during the week, “if you know your stuff and lead your troops well, they won’t even notice what your gender is’.”
The industry panel discussion saw Change Champions share their perspectives on what “embrace difference” means to them and discussed the diversity and inclusion achievements made by each of their companies to date.