The Learning Cafe

International Women’s Day

  • Posted by learningwavenz
  • On March 8, 2019

Think Equal, Build Smart and Innovate for Change.

Writing this blog is not what I expected to be doing with my Friday.  

You see I’d planned to publish a “proper” piece about International Women’s Day today.  As Head of Sales and Marketing that’s part of my job – identifying suitable content for such occasions.  As a business where people are at the center of everything we do – our clients’ people, our people; International Women’s Day is an important day in the calendar for our business and for our industry. So a ‘proper’ piece seemed fitting.

However, something about that approach hasn’t felt right all week and I hadn’t been able to put my finger on why. 

According to the UN Global Women this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.  

Enter 5.00 am.  Hit epiphany!

I realised that I work in a business where we already live those exact characteristics!  We “think equal, build smart, and innovate for change” every day.   

How great is that?!

So a little obviously, the ‘proper’ piece for today has been ditched.    You’ve just got me, taking a step out from the shadows to acknowledge International Women’s Day.  And in doing so, would like to suggest to my colleagues that we celebrate today – where we have come from, to where we are, to where we are going.   With our women.  With our people.  

When I “think equal”, I think of our Independent Chair on our Board – she is a woman.  She’s not on the Board because she is a woman, but because of her experience, her skills and her passion for making a difference.  She strengthens our Board because of her points of difference not because of her gender.  Think equal.  

Our Leadership Team is 50/50 men and women.   I don’t think Kirsty and I are there because we are women, but more so because we bring a certain skill set and perspective that represents areas of the business that we are responsible for.   As a team we debate, we challenge, collaborate and I believe we also inspire and encourage each other to think outside the box.   I believe, that along with our male colleagues, those traits make us a diverse, strong team.   Think equal.

Our Leaders, Project Managers, and Office teams have just started to implement a “continuous improvement” mindset to everything they do.   What fascinates me about this new approach is that there appears to be no fear?   Anyone can speak up to suggest a better way to do things.   Regardless of whether you are a man or woman, the decision maker’s actually listen.  We are building a business for the future.  Build smart.   

Our design team constantly challenges us to think innovatively about our programmes and solutions.   They must be measurable.  They must mean something for the people they are intended. They must have an impact.  They must bring about change.  This mindset has become our norm, our expectation.

Our Head of Design is a woman.   She’s not great because she is a woman, she’s great because she pushes us all to innovate.  Innovate for change.

The Associate who won the “Shane Te Maru Award” in 2018 for an outstanding contribution to our industry, was a woman.  She didn’t win the award because she was a woman but because of what she had achieved.  Think equal.

So take a moment TLW team.  I don’t know what it was like in the beginning, so I can’t tell you how far we have come, but I have no doubt that there would have been women, and men, who have done their bit along the way, to get us here.  To get us to the point where man or woman – we ‘think equal, build smart and innovate for change’ every day.

Happy International Women’s Day everyone.


Our contributor today is Lisa Hubbard, our Head of Sales and Marketing