International Women’s Day has come around again, and this year we are being encouraged to #BreakTheBias.

The theme asks us to imagine “a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination”.

The reality still stands that we are not quite there yet, with the financial services industry alone seeing  the largest pay gap at 27.5 per cent total remuneration and 21.2 per cent for base salary, according to data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Statistics such as this show us that we all need to work harder to challenge both the conscious and unconscious bias that leads to such inequality, not just in the workplace but also in everyday life.

It is although great to see our clients pushing on the agenda to change the ‘male-dominated’ stereotype that the financial industry sector seems to fall under, to allow for greater gender diversity and equality. Just recently, Fitzpatricks Group CEO Jodie Blackledge spoke about the need for better flexibility and the initiatives the industry should undertake to allow for greater gender diversity.

Whilst the long-term outlook for gender equality is positive, there are still some challenges ahead.

In anticipation of this important day, we asked the Madden team to reflect upon what working in a team full of women means to them and why IWD should continue to be celebrated.

What has working in a female dominated agency taught you?

Carlotta Vittori (Agency Director) – “As a new mum and a woman who has mainly worked with women, I think we are so much more capable than we allow or give ourselves credit for at times. Being surrounded by a group of likeminded and supportive women truly shows and reminds you that the sky really is the limit.”

Natasha Sahetapy (Senior Account Manager) – “Women are so much more capable and powerful than we think”

Taryn Silver (Senior Account Manager) – “In order to succeed in business we need to embrace our fierce side”

Mary-Ann Heaney (Intern) – “Coming into a female dominated agency, I have noticed that everyone brings their own strengths and talents, meaning that when we work together we are unstoppable!”

If you were to write a media pitch on why IWD should still be celebrated what angle would you take?

Taryn Silver (Senior Account Manager) – “I’d probably turn to one of my favourite fierce female clients to get their take but if I had to choose: We can’t stop celebrating international women’s day until we are truly a diverse society”.

Natasha Sahetapy (Senior Account Manager) – “We have only scratched the surface of this topic – there are so many more unseen things that women face / overcome / navigate that we haven’t explored yet”.

Carlotta Vittori (Agency Director) – “Women celebrating women should happen more than once a year, but it’s a great reminder to the world about our worth. We are not quite here yet and the more voices we hear, the louder it will get”.

Isabella Paparo (Account Coordinator) – “I would touch on the history of IWD, gender inequality and why it is important to notice this issue, and how celebrating IWD or project on how celebrating the event can decrease issues surrounding gender equality. I would also make notable mentions of inspirational women figures and why we should celebrate these people and the impact they have made on ourselves and society as a whole”.

Sarah Lagana (Account Executive) – “Approximately 72 countries do not allow women to open a bank account – an activity that females in Australia consider to be so ordinary. As gender equality clearly still does not yet exist anywhere in the world, IWD should certainly continue to be commemorated”.

Mary-Ann Heaney (Intern) – “I would really focus on the ‘international’ aspect of International Women’s Day. Whilst Australia still has quite a way to go in terms of gender equality, I often think it is easy to forget how well off we are in comparison to other countries. Whilst not neglecting to continue to look at issues on home soil I think we should look more into helping women in countries abroad in order to bring them up to speed in the area of gender equality. We cannot stop celebrating IWD until every woman across the globe feels empowered and free of bias that holds them back not only in the workplace but also in life more generally”.