Break the Bias this International Women's Day

Published on Tuesday, 8 March 2022 at 6:00:00 PM

Shire of Mundaring respectfully acknowledges Tuesday 8 March as International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day aims to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity and fundraise for female-focused charities.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.

Today, the International Women’s Day community asks us to imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

The Shire acknowledges the valuable contribution female employees and Councillors make in the Shire.

It is the second time the Shire has had an equal gender representation on Council, with six of the 12 Councillors being female.

The last time the Shire had equal gender representation on Council was from October to 2007 to October 2009.

The Shire had a female Shire President during that time, Cr Helen Dullard, who was Shire President for eight years.

We asked our female Councillors about the point of difference they bring to Council. Here’s what they shared:

Cr Paige McNeil – Central Ward

“While we have made solid gains towards gender equality, female leadership remains under-represented despite research confirming that more women in key decision-making positions delivers better governance and performance,” she said.

“As the Shire Deputy President, I actively empower women to step up with courage and back themselves. I’m a committed role model, driving change and promoting authentic leadership in an era of unprecedented challenges, amplifying the community voice and embracing the benefits of diversity to achieve sustainable outcomes and a legacy we can be proud of.”

Cr Amy Collins - Central Ward 

"Today on International Women’s Day, I am reflecting on our roles as friends, mums, sisters and daughters, carers, work colleagues and leaders," she said.

"We play such an important part in lifting up and inspiring each other. Encouraging the girls and women we know to be themselves, fearless, to speak up and know their worth. It starts early too, teaching girls that leadership and success come in many forms and they can forge their own path - we are only just beginning to see what women truly bring to the table."

Cr Neridah Zlatnik – East Ward

Cr Neridah Zlatnik said she believed the world is a better place when a person’s value is individual and merit based; not discounted or weighted by their gender, race, colour or creed.

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate diversity that creates innovation, creativity, equality and consideration in all aspects of our lives,” she said.

“Men and women think differently. They approach problems and challenges differently and they identify different solutions. Working together, appreciating and valuing the differences, provides the opportunity to create the best outcomes.”

Cr Trish Cook – South Ward

Cr Cook said she felt women in the workplace, and on Council, can break down gender biases in a world where institutions are infiltrated with unconscious systems and processes that value male attributes.

“A female can add value to the Council by being aware of the issue; having a positive attitude in identifying and challenging false meritocracy; and embracing opportunities to change institutional bias wherever it is recognised," she said.

“Councillors need to be vigilant about breaking institutional bias for the future of our daughters, sisters and mothers, to achieve parity and equity with our sons, brothers, and fathers. Gender equity will contribute in delivering better governance for our Shire of Mundaring residents and ratepayers.”

Cr Jo Cicchini – West Ward

Cr Jo Cicchini believes that everyone brings their own lived experience to Council.

“I am a mother of three children and have also been a step-mum to a severely disabled child, a single mum, a foster parents and I am a small business owner,” she said.

“Being a stay at home mum was a very important phase in my life, for a good part of 10 years, whilst also running my own business from home."

“I am a late bloomer to politics and recently ran for State Parliament for the seat of Midland at the last State Election. It’s never too late to have a career change and if you have a family, it’s just as important to nurture the short season of raising good kids into contributing adults, the important foundation of a good society. We are expected to work until the age of 67 and so there is no race in what you can achieve.”

Cr Karen Beale – West Ward

“For IWD2022 I will be celebrating how the women in our lives work together to achieve common goals. We need to promote collaboration as opposed to competition. I am very proud to be a part of a council with gender equality and hope it continues so we can provide a female perspective for our community.”

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