by Gemma Williams
Each for Equal – an equal world is an enabled world – is the International Women’s Day theme for 2020. What I particularly like about this year’s theme is that it’s about ‘Collective Individualism’ and a call to action. “How will you help forge a gender equal world?”

I will help forge a gender equal world by encouraging and supporting women in my network to find their voice, take ownership of their careers and reach for self-fulfilment.

I feel fortunate that my personality type is one that is task-oriented. My definition of a task-oriented personality type is one that is outgoing and focused on getting things done and accomplishing tasks. The reason I feel fortunate is I find it easy to identify what I want and overcome challenges as necessary to attain my goals. I also feel fortunate for my upbringing which was one of support and encouragement, with a notion instilled in me that the only boundaries in life should be the ones I set myself.

When I started my career at 19, I soon realised that not everyone saw goal setting or developing clear action plans as an easy thing to do. I also noticed that colleagues would watch an opportunity pass them by or not even realise there was an opportunity available. On this, I have a theory. Abraham Maslow developed a Theory of Human Motivation in 1943 which included Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The basic premise being that we have three stages of needs: basic needs, psychological needs and self-fulfilment needs. If you apply this theory to the workplace, I interpret the equivalent needs to be:

  1. Basic needs
    a.  Remuneration
    b.  Safety
  2. Psychological needs
    a. Belongingness
    b. Appreciation
  3. Self-fulfilment needs
    a. Ownership of work
    b. Ambitions

The basic idea being that the lower needs must be satisfied before the higher needs can be. This all sounds rather simple, but ask yourself this: “have you felt a sense of belonging and appreciation in your workplace, past or present? Did that feeling drive you to take ownership in your work and feel ambitious in your role?”

Perhaps you have felt this satisfaction as an employee, or perhaps the lack of satisfaction drove you to open your own business?

A recent survey conducted by Xero found that the number of entrepreneurs in Australia is on the rise. I’m not going to speculate why that is, but I will draw your attention to another finding; the same survey reported that two-thirds of new businesses created in Australia in the last decade were headed by women.

Each for equal – identify what you want or know what gives you fulfilment. Let that empower you to take ownership over your career which in turn, helps you to find your voice and a supporting network.

How will I encourage and support women in my network to find their voice and reach for self-fulfilment?

This article is step one. I hope I have inspired you to partake in some self-reflection and ask yourself “What do I really want? Or what will make me fulfilled?” Step two is inviting you for a coffee, no strings attached.

I am a senior business advisor at Lambourne Partners and I’m passionate about supporting women in business, helping businesses prosper and developing forward thinking strategies. You can contact me any time by email to