This feature is dedicated to our #NoChangeNoFuture initiative. From the Women’s March, to Australia voting yes to same sex marriage, and the #MeToo movement, 2017 taught us to look beyond ourselves and come together as a collective of powerful women who are writing our own history. Join us as we cancel setting one-dimensional personal resolutions this January and commit to being the change we want to see. Because without change, there is no future.
Yesterday, women and men around the world took part in the annual Women’s March movement to advocate for equality and justice for women everywhere. Closer to home, thousands rallied in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, linking arms as an act of solidarity.
We're only 22 days into the New Year, and we're making real progress. From the #MeToo movement, to the sea of black dresses at the Golden Globes, the launch of the Time’s Up initiative, and Oprah Winfrey's moving speech (we are seriously hoping the #Oprah2020 dream becomes a reality), women have rallied from various economic, social and cultural divides, to seek equality in their own spheres of influence. Women's March Sydney's founder, Kate Taylor was quoted by The Guardian and perfectly summed up what this year will be about—"2017 was our generation’s floodgate moment. We refused to keep quiet. 2018 will be the year where we say we have weathered the backlash and emerged unbroken to say: we want a safer world."
Since the Harvey Weinstein allegations first surfaced, we've felt a shift brewing. In our office alone, each milestone spurs conversation about the ways we can facilitate change within our own lives, on the frontlines of work, relationships, and personal growth.
Read on, to discover how our editors are keeping up momentum following the Women's March.
"I decided to walk the talk—I got up yesterday and I marched. It’s one thing to post quotes on Instagram and use the hashtag, it’s another to donate and actually show up. My husband and I marched because it was important to us, but I also hope that in turn, we became an example. People can’t be what they can’t see. We had a christening for a very old friend’s baby girl and I wrote on her card that instead of going to her ceremony, we decided to march for her future instead. Yesterday I realised that being the change can sometimes mean being unconventional.
Beyond that in both my personal life and at a leadership level, I have been challenging the perception of motherhood, the importance of recognising co-parenting as an avenue for ambitious women, and the need to modernise and personalise maternity leave plans. Every woman is different."
"My commitment to advocate for women’s rights is a big focus for me. Not only this year, or at this time, but always. I’m using my position as editorial director of Who What Wear, Byrdie, MyDomaine, and POPSUGAR to ensure we’re always pushing for real and lasting change. We speak to Australian women every single day, and it would be irresponsible to not use this power to advocate across a diverse set of social issues and injustices.
The Women’s March is just one day to land a message, but beyond that, what can we do to ensure we’re always pushing for change? I'm committing to being the change and telling the stories that will continue to spark it. Everything from equal pay, to fostering safe workplace environments."
"I just got back from a holiday in New Zealand, and a lack of reception meant that I only caught glimpses of what was happening in the news. I did, however, make sure to watch Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes. As a long-time fan, I am familiar with many of her famed speeches, but this one sparked something new for me. Tucked away in the mountains, I had time to think of actionable ways I can forge equality for not only myself, but women who will come after me. One that hit hard was the pay disparity that traverses all industries.
As the sole breadwinner in my home—a fact which commonly falls victim to misogynistic commentary—I now understand the empowerment that comes from being paid properly for my services, and how women are just as responsible as men in providing for their families. I have a good work ethic and I am good at what I do (I am getting better at telling myself that too), which means knowing my worth both professionally and personally, and making sure I realistically ask for what is deserved.
On a more personal level, I have always been known to be opinionated. But more recently, I have shied away from openly communicating my beliefs, when feedback from some male acquaintances came back to me about being "too much" after calling them out for a racist remark. More than ever, I think that being ourselves, and speaking our minds, is so integral to the movement."
"I’ve decided to stop complimenting other women on their looks, and instead on other qualities I admire about them. Even "I like that outfit" is better than "You look nice today." I am also committing to calling out casual sexism in meetings, at dinner parties, and at home. Sexist jokes haven’t been funny for a long time, but I’m making an effort to call them out there and then.
Another thing I’ve realised is that a lot of men don’t have a lot of interaction with women from different walks of life other than their families. So, when I go to social gatherings with my partner, where all the men are talking to each other in one group, and all the women in the other, I’ve been joining in the 'other' conversation gifting those men with my feminine point of view!"
"There’s no denying that events like the Women’s March and the Time’s Up movement have kickstarted the collective consciousness around women’s issues and human rights in 2018, and I am fully on board. From making it my mission to call people out in conversations where they are being racist, ageist or sexist, I’m also committed to breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction, mental health issues and teen pregnancy suffered by some Australian teens, by mentoring and volunteering via Lifechanging Experiences’ Sister2Sister program."
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