In this new episode, Shannon explores what it means to be a woman in business as she shares themes and a call to action in the week we recognise International Women’s Day for 2023.
You have an incredible opportunity as a business woman and a leader to use your platform of business to share what matters to you and to support gender equity, this year’s campaign theme for IWD.
She Leads She Thrives, the podcast for ambitious, ingenious souls hosted by Shannon Dunn of Thrive Factor Co. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.
My #embraceequity pose and post shared on Instagram on Weds 8th March.
“Today is International Women’s Day.
A day to remember that gender equity does not exist in the world.
A day that’s been used as a celebration and to refocus on ways to create sustained gender equality and equity.
This years theme is #embraceequity and to show my support I share a pic of me in this years #IWD2023 pose.
I’m also, as I did in a free masterclass in my Facebook group early this morning, asking you to consider what you can do to contribute to the equity that’s been a focus for IWD since its first recognized year in 1911.
I read a comment on internationalwomensday.com that shared how it’s believed gender equity is still 100 years away.
We can change that
– Educate yourself
– Find and collaborate with allies
– Support women led businesses
– Be the one who dares to open up the conversation, particularly when it feels uncomfortable to do so
To all the incredible women in my world I say thank you for being you, for your part in inspiring, supporting and championing others.
Today is IWD.
But everyday we can recognise opportunities to co-create gender equity.
Everyday your action, no matter it’s size, can make a difference by contributing to the collective impact.
Everyday is a chance to make a choice and take action in support of humanity.”
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I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
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Shannon Dunn 01:45
“I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me, thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller. So the women after me can see farther” legacy.
Shannon Dunn 02:09
These words come from Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers. And I saw them shared last year by someone I follow on Instagram and I can’t actually remember who shared them, and I didn’t in this instance record the source like I usually do. But these words created such a powerful image in my mind and sense of leadership and inclusivity in my heart. I’m committed to finding my own ways to lead for those who come after me. I want the world to be a more equitable, equal and inclusive place for the women who come next, in fact for all people.
Shannon Dunn 02:39
I’m Shannon Dunn, host here at She Leads She Thrives and I am back with a new episode. And today we’re going to talk about something really important, the role of being a woman in business. This week we have seen International Women’s Day. Now in terms of my commitment to achieving what I personally want to achieve, I don’t need to know how to do this. If I commit to educating myself and finding ways to support others, I’m creating forward momentum.
Shannon Dunn 03:07
So I do this every day in my business by doing things like investing in other women-led businesses, buying from them, promoting them, reviewing the incredible products and services provided so others may learn of them. I do this by contributing to sponsor the education and financial support of girls and women of all ages and all backgrounds through a range of organizations I support and have supported since I first began my business. Organizations like Kiva, their micro financing organization that does such incredible work in the world. When I’m looking to see who I want my donations, my support to go to, I consciously spend time reading the stories of the women, particularly because that is a platform that is micro financing for all people. But I choose women-led businesses.
Shannon Dunn 03:52
Women that are out there, starting a business or expanding a business to provide basic food and shelter for their families to give their daughters and their sons other opportunities that they may not have had previously. I also support organizations like the Building Brighter Futures Fund, an organization that’s Australian based and provides support from a financial perspective in relation to the education of children in 2 primary schools in the Siem Reap area in Cambodia, a place that’s very close to my heart.
Shannon Dunn 04:23
When I reach out to Building Brighter Futures Fund every year, I sponsor three incredible children. It’s different children every year, but I asked that they prioritize that I get to sponsor children that are female. I want to sponsor the girls because that is one country of many in the world where the education of female children is not always prioritized.
Shannon Dunn 04:44
I am involved with, and have sponsored, and contributed to Plan Australia and many more. I also do this by donating to organizations like the Indigenous Literacy Foundation which provides such incredible support to indigenous children and communities in Australia where I’m based.
Shannon Dunn 05:01
I do this by volunteering my time and skills to causes that actively support equity. I do this by making conscious, intentional decisions about who I support, what I say, what I believe and how I show you that. I do this by recognizing and sharing the stories of the women who have walked before me, with a focus on the women in my family, sharing their achievements, their challenges, their learnings, their values. This is woven into what I value most and what motivates and inspires me to show up and do the work I do in the world each day.
Shannon Dunn 05:30
I do this by not shying away when I receive recognition and by celebrating my accomplishments. Not to say “Look at me”, but to say “you can do this too”. Like I have the Inspirer Believer archetype, I’ve shared that with you before. It’s an Archetype where I’m always going to be encouraging and inspirational and really do what I can to motivate others to do whatever they want to do in the world.
Shannon Dunn 05:52
I do this by sharing how proud I am to have received three anonymous nominations in this years Women Changing the World awards, a partnership with a phenomenal soul and champion for women everywhere, Dr Tererai Trent. If you don’t know of her work, go and seek her out. Easy to find her and her incredible work and you know, read her books, there’s just so much of value there. There are so many women doing so many incredible things for women and for humanity.
Shannon Dunn 06:18
I do this when I choose to be a self-led soul, choosing to shine through the lenses of my four Thrive Factor Archetypes. And when I invite other women to get to know themselves on a deeper, compassionate and loving level, through perhaps their Thrive Factor Archetypes or whatever other opportunity resonates with them. Together, all the little things that we each do creates a positive ripple in the world – one woman, one person at a time.
Shannon Dunn 06:43
So International Women’s Day happens on March the 8th each year. And it’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, or really as I feel as more appropriate use of words, women’s equity.
Shannon Dunn 07:01
So International Women’s Day has occurred for well over a century. I shared this in a live experience that I hosted in my Facebook group this week. And I love the shocked look on the faces of the women that were listening. The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911, supported by over a million people. That’s phenomenal back then, it’s still phenomenal today.
Shannon Dunn 07:28
But today, International Women’s Day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. It’s not country, group or organization specific. Now, one of the things I love about International Women’s Day is that there is a theme each year. They use this as a campaign theme. I’m going to go back and share a couple of themes from the last couple of years and then share with you what today’s theme or this year’s theme is all about.
Shannon Dunn 07:48
So International Women’s Day in 2021, their campaign theme was “choose to challenge”. And here’s what I shared a couple of years ago when I talked about this in my social media. This theme highlighted that a challenge world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our thoughts and actions all day every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias in inequality and inequity. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge on an ongoing basis.
Shannon Dunn 08:25
You know, it’s about showing your support and your solidarity. Raising your hand high to show you’re in and that you commit to choose to challenge and to call out inequality and inequity. So each year there is a visual pose in line with the annual theme and encouragement to take a picture or selfie of you as a woman or someone in support of women and share it on social media. And I love that and I’ve done it every year for the last few years. And I’ll be doing it again or have done it again for International Women’s Day 2023.
Shannon Dunn 08:55
Now in 2022 last year, the theme was to “break the bias”. And we were encouraged to imagine a gender equal world, a world that’s free of bias stereotypes and discrimination, a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, a world where difference is valued and celebrated. And the invitation was a recognition that together we can forge women’s equality and equity and that we could collectively all break the bias. And we were reminded that individually we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, all day, every day.
Shannon Dunn 09:29
This is a common theme that comes through in every International Women’s Day theme. We can break the bias in our communities, we can break the bias in our workplaces. We can break the bias in our schools, our colleges, our universities, any kind of formal or informal learning environment. We can break the bias in business. And together we can all break the bias. But this is something not just to focus on at International Women’s Day. It’s something to consider every day.
Shannon Dunn 09:55
Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias can make it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Action was needed to level the playing field. And last year specifically, we were asked, Will you take action? Actively take action against gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping when you see it? You know, will you speak up? Will you say something to someone? Will you invite others to be part of a conversation? You know, the ultimate question asked was, “will you help break the bias?”
Shannon Dunn 10:25
And I know that for me, that was a like, every year with the theme of International Women’s Day, it was a beautiful invitation to really stop myself consider what I can do, what I am doing, but what I can do differently moving forward. So as you think about what last year’s theme means to you, and the year before, think about any action that you could commit to taking, you know, today in this moment, and everyday moving forward, in honor of the themes that have preceded this year’s International Women’s Day. Being in action, to encourage others to be inspired to commit to help forge an inclusive world, is when and where we all benefit.
Shannon Dunn 11:01
And this is not just about women, it’s about all people the world over. And where there is gender parity, we’re all going to benefit. It’s going to be so useful and purposeful and meaningful for every human being in the world.
Shannon Dunn 11:04
Now, each year, I reconnect with the history of International Women’s Day and learn about the annual theme. And by far my go-to for this information is the website, InternationalWomensday.com. There are many websites and resources out there that are going to give you incredible opportunities to explore what International Women’s Day is all about. So be the person that takes action and researches them.
Shannon Dunn 11:41
So in 2023, here we are, this is a new year, the theme is embrace equity, as encouraged by this global International Women’s Day community, It was an invitation to fully embrace equity. And as they highlighted equity isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a must have. And a focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.
Shannon Dunn 12:10
The the aim of the International Women’s Day theme of embrace equity this year, is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. Now people start from different places. So true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Some of these words I’m sharing with you are directly taken from the internationalwomensday.com website. Others are my own, where I’m adding in my own thoughts and feelings and experiences in relation to the themes and what I’m sharing with you.
Shannon Dunn 12:42
I know when I made a bigger commitment to expand my unlearning and learning in the DEI space, a good couple of years ago, I was challenged to consider the difference between equality and equity. And I think I understood what they were but not in the same kind of way that I really understand – fully understand – the difference now.
Shannon Dunn 13:02
Now, when I was showing images demonstrating the difference, it finally clicked. And I could literally see how important it is to focus on equity, not just simply equality. So I was really happy to see what this year’s International Women’s Day theme was, and excited for the opportunity to talk about gender equity in all kinds of ways. Now, I didn’t originally have a plan to create this episode for you, but when reflecting on what I did plan to share this week, I recognized an opportunity to bring awareness and focus to this year’s International Women’s Day theme. And as I prepared my notes for today’s episode, I imagined a huge room filled with women from all walks of life, different ages, different cultures, different backgrounds, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different kinds of ability and disability. And I imagined us collecting and connecting together as women, having gender in common and celebrating that and then talking about the action we could and would individually and collectively take to create more equity for women across the world.
Shannon Dunn 14:05
In a very simplistic yet powerful way, the following that I read on the International Women’s Day website captured the difference between equality and equity so ideally, so I want to share it with you. They shared that equality is giving everyone a shoe. Whereas equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits.
Shannon Dunn 14:28
I hope that that sunk in for you equality is giving everyone a shoe equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits. Just giving people resources or making sure they have access to resources, but those resources may have no relevance or meaning to them is not going to make a difference. That’s kind of a space of equality. But being able to provide resources or give people access to resources or have resources and whatever that looks like available to individuals based on an individual basis -that’s equity. That’s where everyone gets a shoe but that shoe fits them.
Shannon Dunn 15:00
Now the community behind International Women’s Day, remind us this year that we can all truly embrace equity. Its not just something we say, it’s not some just something we write about. It’s something that we need to think about, know value and embrace, and in what we believe in unconditionally Equity means creating an inclusive world. And we all can play a part in this, I had a conversation with a group of women just recently, and, you know, they were talking about the fact that sometimes it feels like when you’re on your own, that you’re not making an impact, you’re not making a difference. And I would challenge you with that.
Shannon Dunn 15:36
You, I am the same, we don’t truly know what kind of impact we’re actually creating in the world. We never ever necessarily know the full reach of the voice that we shar,e the imagery that we share, the messages that we share via our businesses, which is such an important and valuable vehicle for us to share what’s really important. So each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias and seek out inclusion.
Shannon Dunn 16:10
Collective activism is what drives change. And I wouldn’t say that I’ve come from a space of being overly aware or passionate about things like social justice. But here I am opening this conversation because I feel like that’s what leaders do. We’re the ones who are not uncomfortable to open a conversation, to say, what are you going to think about? What can we do collectively together? to invite others to be part of this? I don’t have all the answers. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I’m here to be part of the conversation.
Shannon Dunn 16:43
So you know, when we’re talking about like grassroots action at the coalface to wide scale momentum, we can all embrace equity. And forging gender equity isn’t limited to women solely fighting for the, you know, the good fight, as they say on the International Women’s Day website, allies are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women and all human beings. So if you don’t know what it means to be an ally, and where to find allies, go and research that, look at it for yourself and really see what’s possible. Because everyone everywhere can play a part. You know, it’s an activity in relation to anything to do with International Women’s Day is valid. It’s what makes International Women’s Day inclusive. You know, it’s about forging positive change together, about recognizing that being included, and having a sense of belonging is good for us all. You know, when we embrace equity, we embrace diversity and we can also therefore embrace inclusion. And it’s going to just ripple out just like I talk about thriving rippling into the world. This is a form of thriving to me, when we have an equitable world, then we have more people thriving on a larger scale, and positively impacting others so that they too can know what it means to thrive.
Shannon Dunn 17:54
Embracing equity is a positive action, that kind of action a self-led soul will take. It’s not as I said, you know, we’ve talked about this already, it’s not about just saying it, or thinking, or doing it, or being it or valuing it. It’s about really, truly embracing it. So, you know, how will you embrace equity? This is such a powerful question to consider this year.
Shannon Dunn 18:14
As a woman in business, you know, I also encourage you to consider what does International Women’s Day mean to you? There’s been much debate about this and its relevance over the years and I can understand the source of some of that debate, I truly can. But when the reality is that according to various statistics cited by the International Women’s Day community and following, that it’s believed gender equity or gender parity is still over 100 years away. I’m in agreeance that we will benefit from a day like this, to remind us of what is truly important.
Shannon Dunn 18:45
This day is, as of International Women’s Day, which has passed by now when you’re listening to this episode, is more powerful and useful when it is used as a reminder that gender parity or gender equity is something to keep front and center of mind every day of the year. Now, I know I’ve talked to women in the community, in the business community, about what they can do to create change.
Shannon Dunn 19:07
Last year, I found myself on stage in a large regional area in my home state as the keynote speaker for International Women’s Day, encouraging that local community there to consider what one action they could take consistently to break the bias. And now today, I asked you a similar question as a woman in business. What one action can you take consistently to highlight and to contribute to gender equity, that one action could make a difference. It’s not about taking a bazillion actions or doing big huge things. It’s all the little things that make such a difference over time.
Shannon Dunn 19:40
You are in an incredibly unique position as a business owner, as a business leader, and as a woman with access to social media and the digital space where you have a global platform to spark conversations and contribute to others. There is such an opportunity that I think is is not one to miss. Being a woman in business isn’t something I take for granted or understand with a light hearted or nonchalant kind of perspective. To be a woman in business and to be in business as long as I have been, is something I view as a gift, a privilege and an opportunity.
Shannon Dunn 20:11
So with International Women’s Day occurring on the 8th of March each year, I wanted this week’s episode to be one where we explore what it means to be a woman in business in 2023 and how as a collective, we can proactively support each other so that more women in the world can lead sustainable profitable businesses, make a difference and impact if that’s what they want to do, and to support their families, their communities, and those who matter to them most.
Shannon Dunn 20:37
So today, I will be gathering with a small group of women and business locally for a networking lunch to recognize International Women’s Day. And I can’t wait to see what kind of conversations get sparked and the things that we ended up talking about. Early this week as I mentioned, I hosted a conversation about self leadership and International Women’s Day with business in my Facebook community, the She Leads She Thrives community, and it was so valuable to hear their experiences and thoughts on International Women’s Day. So I’ll add a link to this if you want to watch the recording or the replay in the show notes so that you can tune in if you’re interested in hearing that conversation, and also being a part of our Facebook community.
Self leadership and International Women’s Day conversation: https://www.facebook.com/680540745/videos/763114782053933/
Shannon Dunn 21:14
Now, a week ago, I was at an event with over 300 women to focus on what International Women’s Day is truly about. And these events at this time of year are important. But what I do, you do and we all do each and every day, is what matters most and leads to the change that we all wish to see.
Shannon Dunn 21:32
So again, what can and will you do to contribute to a more gender equitable world. International Women’s Day is powered by the collective efforts of us all. Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity is what makes it such an impactful day and impactful movement. Now Gloria Simon, you may have heard of her, world renowned feminist journalist and activist once explained, the story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
Shannon Dunn 22:05
So you know, making International Women’s Day your day, every day and doing what you can to truly bring a positive difference forward and make a change for women, is something that we can all contribute to every single human being. So I hope today’s episode got you thinking, got you considering, reflecting and choosing as a self-led soul you are, to make a choice and to take action in response to that choice.
Shannon Dunn 22:26
If you have anything you’d like to ask, share or connect, you know, reach out, my DMs as I say every week are always open. And also you know, reach out on Instagram that’s probably the easiest place for you to find me into message me. @shannon_thethrivefactor or reach out to team through effort to email@example.com and I know I’ll get your message.
Shannon Dunn 22:46
Next week I’m back with a very special guest. She’s a licensed Thrive Factor coach and a phenomenal woman with the biggest heart and her determination to match when it comes to self discovery, self compassion and living your best life. But for today though, this is a wrap. Thanks for tuning in, for supporting the show and helping us achieve in excess of 20,000 downloads across 24 episodes. With listeners in 24 countries, at our fifth month since launch birthday earlier this week on the 6th of March. I really I can’t wait to see where we’re at at the end of this year 2023. But remember, your voice is valuable You are needed in this world. You matter so much. You deserve to thrive. And big love to every one of you no matter where you’re at in the world. You’re a superstar – never forget that.
Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.
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