Jane Caro said something very powerful at an International Women’s Day event this week.

  “Stop thinking you’re fabulous. You’re not. You are ordinary people, just as we are ordinary people. The extraordinary pressure on women to be ‘fabulous’ isn’t helping.  Just be you. And laugh! Mock everything. Don’t be hurt, don’t be outraged.” – Jane

I love this because when we free ourselves from the shackles of ‘the pursuit of fabulous’ we begin to realise we’re part of something much bigger than ourselves.

This International Women’s Day’s theme is ‘make it happen.’ Shall we try and shake things up a bit?Who’s in?

First let me share some important facts:

Twenty years ago there was a big deal conference on Women in Beijing which produced a Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries.

Sadly, nothing they aspired to has come to fruition.

In 2015..

ONLY one in five MPs are women.

WOMEN are paid to 10 to 30 per cent less than men. In Australia, it is now a record 18.8 per cent according to last week’s released figures.

TWO-THIRDS of the world’s illiterate are women.

ONE IN THREE of us have experienced violence.

There are many issues we have to face but a national survey of some of top business women (Telstra Business Women’s Award alumni) have ranked the most important.

1/ Stop domestic violence

2/ Supporting women to pursue leadership roles

3/ Achieving gender pay equity

4/ Eliminating existing gender stereotypes,

5/ Encouraging more women to explore non traditional female careers

6/  Encouraging more men to equally share family responsibilities

I spoke with several Telstra Business Women’s Award Alumni about some of the issues this week:


Lord Mayor of Hobart (only the 2nd in Hobart’s history)

On the Gender Pay Gap:

Generally it’s because we’re not demanding it. If you’re doing the same job as a man, then you’re entitled to it and we as women should be saying enough is enough!

I do think there are quite a few high-profile men supporting that concept.


CEO of not-for-profit Rise Network

IWD Day Priority:

“Eradicating domestic violence, eradicating domestic violence and eradicating domestic violence.

I’d really like to think somewhere as sophisticated and developed as Australia would be turning its mind to improvements and enhancements but instead the most basic, fundamental human right  isn’t addressed. We’re still dealing with the fact that one in three women are suffering some form of violence so that’s why I just think it’s so important.


CEO Inspired Adventures

On Domestic Violence:

“There are so many different levels of violence going on, there’s the really overt violence but then there’s low-grade oppression of women in our local neighbourhoods and people don’t even realise that is actually classified as domestic violence.

It’s about raising those issues, educating people, educating men and women and bringing those themes to the forefront.”


CEO Enlighten Education which empowers teen girls

On IWD 2015

A feminist I admire, Jane Caro, recently said, “The job of feminism is to re-attach men to their humanity and women to their power.”

I couldn’t agree more and when I heard this I was so affirmed!’

One of the things that I made it my personal mission to achieve this year was to educate our young women on why feminism matters; because when one looks at rates of female participation in politics, the widening pay gap between female and male executives, and the appalling statistics on domestic violence it’s clear the work is far from done.


CEO Business Chicks

“I have a challenge for you all this weekend. Instead of marking International Women’s Day by trying to do as much as you can and change the world: just stop.

You don’t have to be the perfect mother, partner, sister or daughter. You don’t have to clean the house and cook a perfectly nutritionally balanced meal. You don’t have to blow-dry your hair, volunteer for the local charity and get back to emails as soon as you receive them. Let’s stop chasing fabulous for just one day. World domination can wait until Monday.”

Did you see Engaging Women talking domestic violence on SKY news Hinch Live last week? Watch it over here .. Lucky enough to be asked back again tonight talking gender pay gap, Paul Murray is on as well, 9pm on Foxtel.

Work with us

Martine Harte is founder of Engaging Women, a platform for social good.
She is a dedicated voice in the advancement of women & girls. Contact

Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.