How we feel empowered this International Women's Day

How we feel empowered this International Women's Day

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To celebrate International Women’s Day for 2020, we interviewed some of the incredible women at Hardie Grant Media to find out how they feel empowered at work.

Tash Rothnagel

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated in full force around the world. On this day, we celebrate women in all their diversities and applaud their achievements no matter the field they fall into. 

It’s no secret that we’re a proudly diverse team at Hardie Grant, with a whopping 90% of the staff here being women – but we certainly don’t take this for granted. Hardie Grant continuously looks for innovative initiatives to better support and empower its staff. 

While we definitely don’t limit celebrating women to just one day, we did think this was the perfect opportunity to shine a light on some of the incredible women of Hardie Grant and what IWD means to them. 

The women of Hardie Grant Media

We have amazing women working in our Melbourne and Sydney offices and we’d love for you to hear their insights on IWD and empowerment in the workplace.  



Angeline Gleeson – sales account manager (Melbourne)

What has been your greatest accomplishment since starting at Hardie Grant Media?
Diversifying my skill set within the media landscape with digital and ambient selling and print media, and just gaining more experience to be able to tackle those bigger deals with bigger agencies. 

How do you feel empowered at work? 
What really attracted me to Hardie Grant was that emphasis on flexibility – especially being a working mum of two young boys. I feel empowered because I’m able to be ambitious within my career, but I can also pick up my kids and still have that full-time working mother role. Being able to do both, I definitely feel empowered. 

What do you think Hardie Grant Media is doing well for women? 
The flexible working hours. Having a work-from-home day once a week gives me a lot more balance.

Stacey McArdle – director of tide.pr (Melbourne)

How do you feel empowered at work? 
I find having a really supportive leadership team really empowering. 

What do you think Hardie Grant Media is doing well for women? 
The implementation of the recent parental leave policy. It’s something that not many other companies would have and it’s very, very innovative and really progressive so I think that’s the first thing that comes to mind for me. 

What do you think needs to happen in the media and publishing industry as a whole to help women feel more empowered? 
Working in PR, I read a lot of magazines and newspapers every week and the main thing that stands out to me is the amount of body shaming that happens in weekly glossy magazines. I think it’s really detrimental for all women in terms of their body image. 

Georgia Lejeune – managing editor (Melbourne)

What does this year's International Women’s Day theme #EachforEqual mean to you? 
Intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is less about white, middle-class women being equal with men. It also includes marginalised groups, like women of colour and people who are non-binary. 

I think it’s great all the things that are happening with equal pay, and equal rights for women, but we have to be mindful of those people who might be a little bit forgotten sometimes. 

International Women’s Day is great, but it isn’t necessarily inclusive of everyone and that’s what we really need to focus on – making sure it’s not just people like me who are getting a say, it’s people who might be less heard from. 

What has been your greatest accomplishment since starting at Hardie Grant Media?
The Zoos Victoria project that we’ve just started working on. They do a lot of conservation work and helping fight extinction is important to them. It’s really nice, to feel like the projects you’re working on are actually doing good things in the world. 

What do you think needs to happen in the media and publishing industry as a whole to help women feel more empowered? 
We have to think about internships and unpaid work experience. We need to make sure that we’re not cutting out a huge proportion of people who can’t work for free – they need money to survive and if they can’t be there, then we’re not getting diversity in the workplace. 

Sue Morony – senior designer (Sydney)

What has been your greatest accomplishment since starting at Hardie Grant Media?
Working on the HCF Health Agenda magazine. It makes a difference to people’s lives and we actually know that because we get readers writing letters to us to tell us that they’ve actioned things that they’ve read in the magazine. It’s really nice that it’s helping people. 

How do you feel empowered at work? 
I feel that Hardie Grant really values everybody’s opinions and encourages people to speak their mind. I feel like my opinion is not only heard amongst my peers but in upper level management as well. 

What do you think needs to happen in the media and publishing industry as a whole to help women feel more empowered? 
I would really love to see more women in the top-level positions – CFOs and CEOs, not just managerial positions but the really top jobs. Considering that publishing is highly dominated by women, you still see a lot of men in those top decision-making jobs. It would be nice to see more women progressing to those levels. 

Clare Brundle – deputy managing director (Sydney)

What has been your greatest accomplishment since starting at Hardie Grant Media?
My accomplishments have been pretty varied. They might range from winning and launching a brand-new magazine to totally changing the company culture up in the Sydney office. But probably my biggest accomplishment is the fact that in seven years I’ve gone from a part-time freelancer to being the deputy MD of the company here. 

What do you think Hardie Grant Media is doing well for women? 
It’s just an incredibly good place to work. The only way that equality will ever happen is if men step up to the plate when it comes to home life and childcaring. And recent changes in our parental leave policy have really supported that. 

What do you think needs to happen in the media and publishing industry as a whole to help women feel more empowered? 
I’d probably say flexibility in working locations and hours for those who are carers of any kind. Also, bias training and a zero tolerance towards sexual harassment or any form of harassment in the workplace. Another one that’s really important to me is women championing other women. It’s actually often women in the workplace who can stop other women from succeeding.

I saw the wonderful Ita Buttrose speak recently and one thing she said was that “someone’s gender should never stop them from doing what they want to do.” 

Tash Rothnagel, account manager   


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