International Women’s Day acknowledges and celebrates the work and achievements of women worldwide. This year’s theme of ‘Better the balance, better the world’ – highlights that with balance, the world functions much better. Leadership Development Consultant Debbie Dobbie, Specialist Engagement Senior Manager Lilian Kikuvi, and Group Financial Controller Tom Exton share what balance is all about.
For Debbie, it means giving equal attention and time to what’s important.
“Balance is about filling my days with experiences I really enjoy, including work,” she says.
“Spending time with my family and friends, particular work projects and volunteering with a not-for-profit organisation are amongst my favourite activities.”
Balance in life is important, playing a crucial part in ensuring proper health and wellbeing. Debbie sees this as an ongoing process because there are no guarantees with what happens in daily life.
“Learn to become comfortable with the fact that there will be some days when you can successfully achieve a sense of balance,” says Debbie.
“And there will be other days when you will feel like you’ve failed miserably and that’s ok too.”
Lilian (second from left) and Debbie (centre) with colleagues Gemma, Angela and Meaghan at Medibank’s International Women’s Day panel discussion.
Asked how balance can impact the world, Lilian believes it offers an opportunity for a newer and better society to live in.
“Balance changes our attitude and brings infinite possibilities,” she says.
“There has been an increasing number of women being appointed to lead, including New Zealand, Germany, and Ethiopia. This shift in attitude towards women creates a ‘new normal’ and opens up possibilities for the communities in terms of gender parity and financial equality.”
Tom says balance starts at home with his family.
“It’s important to our family that my wife and I are both involved in all aspects of our children’s younger years and not let our work commitments get in the way or expect the other to do more. It’s a partnership and balance is a critical factor,” he explains.
“We also make sure that at home, we don’t adopt the stereotype roles that we grew up with. Our roles are equal when it comes to our family.”
While striking a balance is a work in progress for many families, Tom believes this is why diversity and inclusion matters in the workplace.
“I know I’m fortunate working at Medibank, where we have the great opportunity to lead and strive for greater balance,” he says.
“It’s not the case everywhere, particularly in some of the cultures and communities where women’s voices are only just starting to be heard.”
Debbie with Medibank graduates Raul, Natalie, Alyana and Michael.
Medibank strongly supports diversity and inclusion, which Lilian says is a great step towards bringing balance to the world.
“Medibank is taking steps to address gender disparity that include having even representation of males and females in senior leadership roles and flexible working arrangements for all employees. We’re a good example of how organisations can take the opportunity to make bigger, bolder and quicker strides to achieve balance for women around the world.”