Three Generations

Last week, I was watching the news with my 80-something mother and 20-something daughter as the results from the Gender Pay gap report were discussed. For my daughter, Em, the fact that this was even a “thing” shocked her. This difference struck me as we sat there, three generations, three different women, and three vastly different experiences of what it means to be a woman. My mother has lived through enormous change, and my daughter has such optimism and high expectations of the workforce. And me? I sit somewhere in between.  

I grew up with a strong drive to work hard and a deep desire to have a family. From an early age, I knew that balance, work, fun, friends and family were important. 

When my mother first moved to Australia (she and my father were 10-pound POMS), she could only get a home loan with my father because he was gainfully employed. Now, my daughter is balancing three part-time jobs, participating in an internship, studying for her Masters Degree in a particularly male-dominated industry and looking at her career with such open eyes and determination that the world truly is her oyster. All in 60 years, what will the next 60 look like? 

Daughter, Mother, Grandmother

International Women’s Day is a fantastic celebration of the women in our professional and personal lives. It’s a day to take stock and think about the past, where we’ve come from, where we’re going and the role we want to play in shaping that future.

It’s an important day, but it’s not just a day. These are things we should remember, recognise and consider every day. I am proud of the work I’ve done, the business I continue to build, the family we have raised – with two independent and courageous children. My family and work bring me incredible joy, satisfaction, love and purpose.     

I am also proud to have help managing everything – namely, my incredible husband and my 80-something mother – but also with outsourced help for the jobs I do not have time to do. The juggle (or as they say, struggle) is real, and I hope we talk more openly and honestly about it in the coming years. Whatever a woman chooses in her life, whether it be work, a family, a corporate career, owning her own business, all of the above or none – what’s fantastic now is it’s truly her choice.    

This IWD, I’m reflecting on how far we’ve come, how wonderful our choices are and what we can do to make the future even more optimistic for the women and daughters who follow.