Ambitious, pioneering and in their power; this International Women’s Day we’ve gathered 7 of the most brilliant women around us to talk womanhood. From gender equality to shifting perspectives, discover the wisdom this stellar lineup has learned along the way.
Founder of cult clean beauty brand, Emma Lewisham.
What have you learned from the women around you? I resonate with the quote from Byron Katie: ‘It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.’ Self-love is a skill that will take you far in your life. If you can love, respect and forgive yourself, you will find inner peace and contentment. I’ve learnt this from having role models, like my grandmother and mother, in my life, who have lived this mantra.
How can we move the conversation of gender equality forward? For me, it’s taking ownership of my role in moving the world towards a fairer world. I believe every individual can make a difference through their everyday actions. To do so, I believe in “doing the work” – so educating ourselves through reading, listening to podcasts and speaking to people from different cultures and experiences. We cannot expect the person in the minority to do this for us. Secondly, showing up and standing up; being an active advocate for those less fortunate and privileged than us.
Model, Friend of David Jones and WWF Australia Partner
Can you describe a joy of womanhood? The relationships and bonds I am so fortunate to have with the incredible women in my life.
What have you learned from the women around you? Independence, patience, love. That strength and kindness are not two separate entities. You are capable of anything you set your mind to.
What’s a part of yourself you’ve learned to love? My sensitive nature, understanding this is a strength, not a weakness.
“Focus on our children, give our boys and girls equal opportunities, treat them equally, teach them respect for each other.”
Georgia Hack, GM of Marketing Communications David Jones, on how we can move the conversation of gender equality forward
Pioneer of the inner beauty movement and founder of the Beauty Chef
What have you learned from the women around you? When I experience moments of doubt or uncertainty, I channel the strong, indomitable women who boldly conquered mountains before me, traversing the untraversed, pushing through the rough terrain, ignoring the naysayers, and those that have fearlessly, passionately and joyfully pursued their passions.
How can we move the conversation of gender equality forward? For me, International Women’s Day highlights the right of every girl and woman to feel and be safe and to have the choice and freedom to set goals and soar up their mountain—while along the way, being acknowledged fairly and equally. Mothers, artists, carers, teachers, businesswomen, scientists, tradeswomen; International Women’s Day acknowledges the brilliance and resilience of all women and conveys how far we’ve come, as well as how far we have to go. Importantly, it illuminates and celebrates the great wins, the inherent awesomeness and absolute beauty of being a ‘she’.
General Manager Marketing Communications, David Jones
Can you describe a joy of womanhood? One of the greatest joys of womanhood for me has been becoming a mother to a perfect bundle of JOY, my son Thomas who is now 5. I will never forget those first moments with him in my arms in absolute awe of what my body had achieved and how incredible it was to be a woman.
What have you learned from the women around you? That it is so important to surround yourself with positive women who support and lift you up, and that at work and in life, it is the hustle and the heart that truly sets you apart.
What’s a part of yourself you’ve learned to love? Being emotional and feeling it all, very deeply.
“Confidence makes me feel most beautiful, but confidence in many different forms: feeling confident in my own skin, being content in my own company, and feeling confident when expressing my thoughts and feelings to others.”
Shamini Rajarethnam, CEO of Rationale on what makes her feel most beautiful
CEO of Rationale, one of Australia’s most innovative skincare brands
Can you describe a joy of womanhood? I think it’s natural to feel as though we’re always juggling and trying to wear so many different hats in maintaining different areas of life. One of the biggest joys of womanhood, for me, has been developing a stronger sense of understanding and kindness towards myself – recognising that we have different expectations of ourselves at various points in life.
What’s a part of yourself you’ve learned to love? My voice. When I was younger, I always held back from participating in conversations or sharing my opinions for fear of what people would think. I’ve learned to really embrace my voice now, and am unapologetic of speaking up and articulating exactly what I think and feel.
Founder of the coveted fragrance and candle business, Lumira
What have you learned from the women around you? I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible and inspiring group of female friends, family and colleagues. Whether our relationships are personal or professional, there’s a real emphasis on supporting one another, and showing respect and love. Above all, I’ve learned that being kind can seem simple but it’s actually the most important quality.
How can we move the conversation of gender equality forward? It begins with a shift in perception, where we approach one another as individuals, first and foremost, instead of via preconceived ideas of gender. As humans, we all have different personalities and priorities in life, and this should be respected and celebrated.
“I’ve always been a perfectionist but I’ve learned to balance this with a need to act. If we always wait for the perfect moment, we can miss out on so many experiences and opportunities to learn and grow.”
Almira Armstrong of Lumira on a part of herself she’s learned to love
Amy Jean Linnehan
Brow expert and founder of her namesake brand, Amy Jean Brows.
What have you learned from the women around you? That we are all capable of extraordinary achievements, that our vulnerabilities oftentimes prove to be our greatest strengths, and camaraderie and friendship never go out of style.
How can we move the conversation of gender equality forward? There’s so much to be said for national policies and school curriculums, but I truly believe the conversation around gender equality begins with education in the home. When a child observes parents making equal contributions in supporting the household, they begin to recognise parents’ gender as irrelevant, and the nature of equality becomes an organic, accepted concept. It’s not about asserting that we are all exactly the same, with exactly the same interests or personalities, but that we are all deserving of equal love, support and respect, as well as responsibilities and opportunities.
Friend of David Jones and model on-the-rise
Can you describe a joy of womanhood? A joy of womanhood for me is how intertwined and celebrating we are towards one another. I love lifting other women up and sparking conversations to make one another feel good.
What have you learned from the women around you? The women around me are strong beings, growing up I’ve always looked up to my grandma, mother and aunties for guidance along the way. They’re all forthright in their own way and so incredibly strong, I’m so lucky to have them in my life.
David Jones will be donating 100% of profits from the sales of three exclusively designed, limited-edition t-shirts by Camilla and Marc, Bassike and Camilla, to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and vital funds to support research. Plus, shop more great brands in this curated edit, founded by inspiring women.