Women were “aiming for equality but got transformation” and that paved the way for them to take leadership positions at major companies, one leading businesswoman said.
Commonwealth Bank NSW general manager for regional and agribusiness banking Margot Faraci said she was confident it was now far easier for women to become leaders.
Ms Faraci said International Women’s Day was a chance to highlight the achievements of women and recognise how far Australia had come in gender equality.
“I think International Women’s Day is crucial to be able to highlight how much progress has been made,” she said.
“We were aiming for equality but we got transformation. It’s something more than we ever dreamed of. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do.”
Ms Faraci said one generation had been enough to break down the barriers that once prevented women from having successful careers.
“When I look at my grandfather and grandmother, he was the provider and she stayed home and looked after the children,” Ms Faraci said.
“That was the way it was, there was no opportunity to switch and your destiny was determined by your gender.
“My mum worked in a job where she had to resign when she got married.
“Now men have the option to stay at home and look after the children, and women can return to work, and I think it is because of the work of the generation before me.
“I hope the next generation of young women come through feeling like anything is possible.”
Ms Faraci said she made an early career decision to embrace what set her apart from other people she was working with, rather than conforming.
“I became very accustomed to being the only woman at the table. I realised I could be the same as everyone else or I could provide a unique voice.
“That’s what I say now and it doesn’t just apply to young women, it could apply to anyone such as kids from regional areas.
“Don’t be afraid to be different. It can give you an advantage.”