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International Women's Day Reflections from the SSE Team


This International Women’s Day theme is Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future. This theme especially resonated with the team at SSE, as it highlights innovation and technology as key drivers of change. At SSE, we value and strive to build a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination through building entrepreneurship and innovation skills for diverse communities. We asked the team to reflect on IWD and provide their thoughts on the day and the theme through the lens of their personal experiences.

Sarah Jones, CEO

International Women’s Day is a moment for us to celebrate women’s many achievements across the globe, acknowledge the long path taken to reach this point, and, importantly, recognise that there is still work to be done to improve the lives and outcomes for more women. It is also important to remember that gender equality is not binary. Gender and sexuality exist on a broad spectrum, and we should take action every day to value and celebrate differences in the broadest, most enriching sense of the term.

Nicole Swanson, Director of Brand, Marketing and Communications

Throughout my career, I have met and worked with so many amazing women. Many, including myself, have moments of self-doubt, and this can hold them back. Reflecting on this today, and with some sage advice from a prominent female CEO in the Australian finance sector, one way we can #CrackTheCode on gender equality is to encourage women to believe in themselves and find people who believe in them. This may seem simplistic, but in an increasingly competitive and self-interested world, it can be difficult. At various points in my career, and especially most recently at SSE, I have found myself surrounded by inspiring and supportive women, who believe in each other and encourage each other to strive for more. That is something special and goes a long way to cracking the code on gender equality.

Vanessa Hung, Graphic Designer

After attending the Women in Leadership event at the Powerhouse Museum with the team, I’ve been reflecting on the distribution of parental responsibilities in heterosexual couples. Women are too often expected to be the primary caregiver, sometimes having to choose between their families and jobs. I hope our culture will shift in the future to normalise paternity leave, so that couples can have a greater chance to equally share parental responsibilities.

Isabel Urrego, Client Services and Administration Officer

I think education is key to building a gender equal future. We should be embedding open mindsets about children’s futures from when they’re young, throughout school, and into the workplace.  This means openly encouraging girls and boys to explore their passions and interests from when they’re young, regardless of any cultural expectations or views.

Cherie Karlsson, Educational Designer

A gender equal future has no gender-based expectations, so children can grow into the people they are, without being impacted by social norms. There are still many aspects of our culture where gender-based norms and expectations are accepted, and even though they may appear small, they place outsized limitations on what children believe they should do or enjoy.