SBW Bay FM Interview

Some of us are longer-term locals and some are more recently arrived.  Some of us are retired or semi-retired and some are still in the midst of our professional lives.

SBW interview on BAY FM – written by Kate Ramsay

A short while ago Margot Cairns and I were interviewed by Phil Daly in his show on Bay FM called Byron Business, People and Lifestyle about SBW.  Here’s a summary of what we talked about:

Who we are:

SBW is a network of women largely drawn from the 350 women who are current subscribers to Sourdough Business Pathways.  Margot and I are members of the managing Committee.

Our vision is of a world where women embrace their value to build economic sustainablity for themselves and their community.

Our purpose is to support women to build successful businesses for themselves so that, together, we can create a new and sustainable economy.

Why is a group for women necessary?

  1. Providing a safe container for women to learn and grow
  2. Women operate in a world made by men for men. We need to find a way to operate that suits us.
  3. The world is changing – and women have an important role to play in creating a new and better world.
  4. The Dalai Lama has said that ‘The world will be saved by western women’ and women need support to do this.

Research and Statistics

(i) Gender pay gap:

  • The female wage is currently 75% of the male wage in Australia.
  • Australian women typically lose 90% of their wages for every extra day they use childcare, and in many cases women actually pay to work because of the high cost of childcare.
  • On retirement, a male and female who graduated on the same day, the male will have earned $1million more than the female during their legal careers. This of course means the female’s superannuation will also be less than the male’s.

(ii) There are currently only 14 female CEOs leading an ASX 200 company in Australia.

(iii) In the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Index, Australia’s gender equality ranking was 16th in 2006 and had plummeted to 46th in 2016. We currently sit at 39th.

(iii) Women still carry the domestic burden while their men ‘help’. Add to that the indisputable fact that women bear the children and, because of the way work is currently structured, this affects women’s career progress.

(iv) Due to our conditioning as little girls we women have been taught to respond and react rather than to take the lead.  Fast forward to organisational life, this means that women are less likely to speak up in groups than men.  They are also less likely to ask for help, and they tend not to negotiate confidently for their salary increases – further contributing to the gender pay gap.

Our services – Mentoring, Educating & Networking:

  • Free, monthly Women’s Hubs (end of the day gatherings so women can attend after work) that offer either a guest speaker or a facilitator on a topic.
  • One-on-one mentoring through the Sourdough Business Pathways program
  • Subsidised workshops and lunches for networking
  • lab – In 2017 and 2018 SBW convened and facilitated a women only hub here in the Byron Shire. About 50 women have now graduated in U.lab which is a free MOOC (massive open online course) hosted by MIT in Boston.  Later in the year we are planning a hub for both women and men to do the 2019 U.lab.

The Managing Committee

We are a group of nine women of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Some of us are longer-term locals and some are more recently arrived.  Some of us are retired or semi-retired and some are still in the midst of our professional lives.

Our meetings are at times extremely lively because, although we are as one in being passionate about supporting businesswomen in this region and beyond, we all have strong views about how best to go about this. This makes for rich and lively discussions that ultimately lead to more creative outcomes than if we all thought alike and always agreed.