I have a science degree, and I remember being a minority in the lecture theatre during my degree, I was a maths and science teacher and I remember being a minority in the staff room and having to battle the concept that girls aren’t as good at maths and science as boys. Now I am surrounded by women working in science, women leading their business units, and there is no question that girls are great at science and business.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. I am the HR Manager at Commercial Eyes, and I want to take the opportunity to celebrate the super smart, super successful, women that lead the business and that I get to work with.
The IWD 2019 theme is “Gender Balance”. At Commercial Eyes we work in the Life Sciences Sector, In the report by AusBiotech ‘Australia’s Life Sciences Sector Snapshot 2017’, they found that on average, women represent 50 per cent of the workforce across the entire sector; however female representation decreases as seniority levels increase’. Commercial Eyes is bucking this trend. Instead of female representation dropping as seniority levels increase, at Commercial Eyes it increases! 85% of our management team are women.
I see two key factors that I think have contributed to the strong representation of women in the Commercial Eyes management team.
When Andrew Carter, Managing Director of Commercial Eyes started the business in 2001, he worked with a talent pool of women looking for flexibility that was not at the time readily available in the industry. Incredibly talented women who wanted to balance work and family. – Flexible work practices were essential to Commercial Eyes’ early success and have gone on to become one of the companies’ core values. Today 37% of the CEPL employees work part time or casual, and many more access flexible work practices including altered core hours, and working remotely, to enable them to manage work and life.
They say, ‘success begets success’, at Commercial Eyes the question of women in leadership – is not one that needs to be pondered, because it is happening every day. Having so many women in key business leadership roles, provides role modelling and mentors for others. It’s easier to climb the mountain when you see that someone else has done it. The great thing is that as a consulting firm the female members of our management team engage with people across the sector every day, providing role modelling and inspiration beyond our doors.
It is a pleasure to be working in this environment with such great women.