A hunger for learning, and thirst for equality

I love my job. I’m one of those lucky people who jump out of bed on a weekday, excited to get in to the office. I honestly don’t mind working through lunch, and if I’m needed on the weekend I’m happy to step in and help. I work for Save the Children Australia, and I campaign for child rights. This includes advocating for the fair and compassionate treatment of asylum seekers, and protecting schools from damage and harm in places and times of conflict. This is my passion and I am proud to say that my career forwards my life’s work.

But how did I get here? Fortunate enough to complete my university studies, I actively forged my career first in brand management for a global household-name brand, and now as a child rights campaigner. It hasn’t been a straight-forward pathway by any means. I have been driven by my ambitions and I have received incredible support from colleagues, mentors, family and friends along the way.

Training and education has also played a vital role throughout my career, and this is why: I am of the view that there is no such thing has having ‘made it’ in your career. There is always a next step, a next move, a new skill or new level of mastery available to you at any time. Standing with this view, I am ever-hungry for learning opportunities, and this is why I participated in the NIDA Corporate Influential Women course.

The issues that I delve into on a daily basis are emotionally and politically-charged. Most people I interact with have strong and differing views on these topics, so my ability to effectively communicate and influence is of paramount importance to my success. The skills I gained in the Influential Women course opened up a new level of effectiveness and confidence in my ability to navigate high-stakes, challenging situations, and my efficacy has clearly increased as a result of completing this course.

In addition to my hunger for learning, I advocate for the empowerment of women in the workplace. According to the Australian Government, despite the incredible contribution that women are to our workplaces and our society, we still make up only 17 percent of CEO positions[1], and the gender pay gap in Australia still sits at 21 percent[2]. These figures are staggering to me. As a woman, I am no less able to lead an organisation and I am no less valuable in my role than a man would be. Disappointingly, the same Government agency found that only seven percent of employers have a strategy to overcome this gender gap[3].

The solutions to this gender issue are complex. They require much more space and time than what is available here, but I can say that my organisation actively supporting and empowering me and my female colleagues – for example through supporting my placement in the NIDA Influential Women course – is a strong step in the right direction.

In my experience, NIDA is providing an opportunity for women and organisations to step up and empower women. In my course I was surrounded by ambitious, inspiring women, all carving out our career trajectories, all facing challenges and each of us supported and empowered in overcoming them.

I congratulate NIDA for this, and I am looking forward to continuing my career development with further NIDA Corporate training.

All views expressed are authors own.

Anna - ISH.fw About this author: Anna Hohenboken, Campaigns Coordinator, Save the Children Australia
Want to know more? Contact Anna on Twitter  or LinkedIn

[1]Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australia’s gender equality scorecard (November 2014) https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2013-14_summary_report_website.pdf

[2]Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Superannuation & gender pay gaps by age group (July 2014) https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/Gender_pay_and_superannuation_gaps_by_age_group.pdf

[3]Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australia’s gender equality scorecard (November 2014) https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2013-14_summary_report_website.pdf