We LOVE this time of year at Robe HQ because it gives us time to reflect on what it means to be a woman in 2019, what the previous year has brought us and what we can do, as a company and as individuals, to use our voice and forge forward to not only make things within our power better but to empower others to do the same.
And bear with us - we're about to get serious for a bit. Because it matters. And we care.
Balance for Better
This year’s IWD theme is #BalanceforBetter. OK, we're pretty sure it's not about making sure we get the right portions of veggies most days...balanced with the occasional Maccas meal (OK - confession - we sometimes eat McDonalds...mainly when hungover or still partying the night before). So what does it mean? And specifically, what does it mean for Robe?
Gender balance in the workplace has been, and continues to be, a huge problem for equality. While it is very exciting to see more and more women in leadership roles driving change from the top down there is still a massive disparity in gender participation in the workforce. Let's get serious for just a minute (trust me - these statistics are worth knowing):
- Women constitute 37.0% of all full-time employees and 68.5% of all part-time employees (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
- The workforce participation rate is 60.6% for women and 71.0% for men (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
- The workforce participation rate among those aged 15-64 years is 73.5% for women and 82.9% for men (ABS 2019, Labour Force).
This is horrifying - women are so under-represented!
The importance of gender equality in the workforce cannot be trivialised. The aim is to achieve broadly equal outcomes for women and men, not necessarily outcomes that are exactly the same for all. This includes equal pay for equal work, access to all occupations and industries, removal of barriers for women to work and eliminating discrimination - particularly related to family and caring responsibilities.
I don't know about you but I sure as hell want the future generations of women to have that. Because they should. Because we should. Full stop.
Image from IWD Soirée 2018 via Une Piece.
Balance at Robe HQ
Ok so we are, at this stage at least, a super small company. There are two of us in-house - both women - and we have a number of external consultants working with us... all women except our amazing pattern maker. This is not by design although we do feel very strongly about women supporting women, but it is interesting that that is how it has come to be.
We are convinced this largely due to our fully flexible working policy and our desire to work with people that have the same policy. One of the biggest barriers for women participating in the workforce is their family and caring responsibilities. Providing a fully flexible environment is a huge step in eliminating this particular barrier. We don't just pay homage to the idea of flexibility we actually live it. We work when we want and how we want. We work on an outcome driven basis and don't care how or when this is achieved so long as it sits within agreed parameters. And it works! Our productivity is amazing... and it means we can sneak in a midday champagne with our friends on a Friday if we feel the need. Like we do. Most days. But we try to stick with Fridays.
ROBE + IWD 2019
We are incredibly inspired by all of the amazing women around us. And it got us thinking - how do they make it work. So we decided to interview some of them and ask some pressing questions about their lives and their take on gender balance including how it has impacted on them and what they are doing to effect positive change in their worlds. Covering everything from medicine to swimwear design, these Remarkable Robe Women are nothing short of inspiring.
So... on 8 March we will bring you the Q and As from these beautiful women. Make sure you keep an eye out for the blog.
Carly Brown - Une Piece Founder
After a super successful career in marketing at some of the world’s biggest brands (Uber and Revlon, just casually), Carly founded Une Piece and the Original Sexie Rashie was born. It was an instant hit, but what we admire most about Carly is her dedication to her employees and her business values.
Dr Edwina Morgan - Co-founder of Kailo Medispa
Thanks to their holistic approach to women’s wellbeing, Kailo Medispa has quickly become one of the leading health destinations in Brisbane – and it’s easy to see why with Edwina at the helm. Genuine, gorgeous and super smart, Edwina is one of the Kailo’s co-founders and the best in the biz!
Dr Bridget Sutton - Radioligist at So + Gi
Bridget is not only a leading Radiologist who specialises in gynaecological and obstetric ultrasound and MRI, but she’s one of Bec’s closest friends (and the inspiration behind one of our new designs dropping in April!).
Bec Kroon - Founder of...well us!
Last (but definitely not least!) we talk to our very own Bec – a dynamic and motivated founder who leads from the heart and firmly believes that wine can fix almost anything. With Robe, Bec wants to inspire women to live a full, healthy life and feel confident no matter what they’re doing!
Image from IWD Soirée 2018 via Une Piece.
We’re so lucky to be surrounded by such an incredible group of entrepreneurs, and we’re especially excited this year to have been asked to co-host a special IWD 2019 event alongside Carly and some other amazing Brisbane brands. Held at Hanworth House, Bec will be speaking on a panel and the event will raise funds for the Butterfly Foundation and UN Women National Committee Australia. Unfortunately all tickets for this amazing event have been booked out, but you can join the waitlist here. But be rest assured we will be sure to bring you some great BTS action!