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Blog

14 August 2018

What Matters Most

By Avril Henry

Many people I know here in Australia and around the world are having a challenging year – ill health, financial difficulties, job insecurity, loss of loved ones and increasing dissatisfaction and disengagement with political leadership around the world. At times it feels as though the world is becoming less tolerant, less generous, less kind, more judgmental, more impatient and more willing to exclude anyone who doesn’t “fit in”, whatever that means. My family and I have not been immune to these challenges, and many times I have felt my patience and resilience tested.

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2 May 2018

In its 28th year, the Global Summit of Women was held in Sydney, Australia, with over 1,000 women attending from more than 65 countries. It was three days of sharing, networking, wisdom and fun. I have had the privilege of attending three summits and being a speaker at each of them – Beijing (2010), Paris (2013) and Sydney (2018). At every summit, I have met amazing women from around the world, made new friends and learnt so much from each of them. Every woman attending the conference, every facilitator, moderator and speaker were incredible, smart, generous and often humorous, way too many to mention specifically by name. This month’s newsletter seeks to share a few of the lessons and wisdom from this year’s Summit.

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6 March 2018

What's The Lesson

By Avril Henry

Building on my January mantra of:“Find the joy in every day and situation, no matter the circumstances,” my mantra for February has been “What’s the Lesson?” I had decided that following some demanding situations at the end of 2017 that I would find the joy in every situation, and was delighted to find that there is always joy in every situation and every day. This got me thinking that if we were asking ourselves to find the joy, and the circumstances were challenging, then we should also ask ourselves “What’s the lesson?”

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1 February 2018

FIND THE JOY

By Avril Henry

As part of reflecting on the year that was 2017, I decided that in 2018, I would create and adopt a mantra for each month, then reflect on its effectiveness at the end of each month. I thought I would share with you how that has worked in the first month of 2018.

January’s mantra:

Find the joy in every day and situation, no matter the circumstances. 

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28 June 2017

Time for reflection is very important for our mental, physical and emotional well-being, and our ability to engage in self-care. I think it is indicative of our “busyness” that the number one workers compensation claims today are stress related, rather than physical injuries. Stress is also the most significant contributor to ill health. And yet we work harder and harder, much of which is driven by fear of loss of security through loss of employment. Yes, things are challenging economically in Australia and around the world, however, I believe there is too much fear-mongering and negativity, which simply compounds many irrational fears.

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12 April 2017

As a nation, this month we will unite for the celebration and remembrance of Anzac Day and those who have died for the freedom of this great country in which we live.  A past federal Treasurer speaking on Anzac Day a few years ago said Australian ideals had been both tested and proved at Gallipoli.  Further, he said: “What emerged was a moral value that rapidly established itself as our supreme national virtue: a combination of bravery, resilience, the ability to improvise, and the duty to stick together in hard times and protect your friends.” 

As someone who has lived my adult life in Australia, and who regards herself as a very patriotic Australian, these words resonated with me about what it means to be Australian – brave, resilient, adaptable, sticking together, looking after your mates, persevering , courageous and reaching out to our community!

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9 March 2017

Be Bold For Change

By Avril Henry

Six key tips to be bold for gender equality change without fear of losing your job

If women are not willing to be bold, nothing will change. Given the glacial pace of change for women in the workplace, including politics, at the current rate of change it will be over 100 years before we have gender equality in leadership roles, and it is projected that it will be over 300 years before we have pay equity! A working woman will earn $1 Million less than her male peers, and will retire with over 50% less in superannuation than men. Women need to be bold, fearless, and above all relinquish the desire to be all things to all people, in order to change things for themselves and other women!

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1 August 2016

I have just returned from a 4-day visit to Hong Kong where yet again I was starkly reminded of how technology is controlling a significant part of our daily lives, both professionally and personally.

As we sat at dinner in a Michelin star Chinese restaurant, with beautiful surroundings, classical music, exceptional service and delicious food, I noticed with frustration and sadness that at every table, except the one occupied by myself and my two friends,  people were on their mobile phones, either texting or on social media.

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27 May 2016

I asked a number of Gen Y female entrepreneurs on social media the following two questions:

  1. What are your top 3 issues for the election?

  2. Are you engaged, disengaged or disillusioned with the current election campaign? Why?

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12 April 2016

“It is better to remain quiet and be thought of a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt”

Anonymous

Most of us don’t actually listen, we simply hear. This means that we comprehend less than 50% of every verbal conversation we have, so much of the message is either forgotten or lost. Many of us practice the art of “half an ear” or “stunned mullet” listening. We are so busy these days that I believe our capacity and willingness to truly listen has diminished significantly in the last two decades. I truly believe that the greatest gift you can give anyone – your team members, peers, clients, partners, children and friends is to actively listen with intent, and to be truly 100% present.

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8 March 2016

Yes, that is correct – we need quotas for men! As we approach yet another International Women’s Day, and face questions such as:

  • “When is International Men’s Day?” to which I usually respond with: “The other 364 days of the year!”
  • “Should we have targets, or quotas?”
  • “Won’t quotas result in reverse discrimination against men?”
  • “Aren’t we risking not selecting people based on merit if we have quotas?”
  • “Aren’t most women themselves against quotas?” READ MORE
24 February 2016

I have always found it both perplexing and amusing that the people who have the most to say about feminism, misogyny, sexual harassment and gender discrimination are people who have NEVER experienced it – often men! And they tell you to: “Lighten up and get over it.” I am hugely in favour of experiential learning where you are introduced to the experience in a controlled environment, and have an insight (not the real thing) into what it may feel like.

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17 February 2016

Over the past few months the media has been flooded with stories of corruption, bad behaviour and a complete lack of integrity in sport, politics and business! What must young people think when they look to supposed role models of leadership? I know what they are thinking because they tell me. Generation Y and now Generation Z (born 1996 – 2010) see no people in politics and business who they want to emulate, and now they are beginning to lose confidence in sports heroes too. And why wouldn’t they. What they are seeing is not what they would like to become as leaders themselves!

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27 January 2016

Congratulations to David Morrison on being named Australian of the Year 2016. Many have seen this as a great choice given David’s public commitment to gender equality, even being called an "equality warrior", while others in the media (and probably quietly in private conversations) have said it was a "politically correct" decision. I disagree with the latter. I know that David Morrison does care deeply about wounded soldiers; those suffering from PTSD; he loves the soldiers, male and female; and can care about all these things simultaneously. He does not have to choose one over the other, unlike the suggestion by a journalist in one of today’s papers.

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19 November 2015

Over the past decade I have interviewed over 100 effective and inspiring leaders prior to, and subsequent to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) about what enabled them to transform their organisations and actively engage their people, in both the good times and more challenging times. These leaders have been from different industries and organisations; and what my analysis has shown is that they share twelve identifiable characteristics that have shaped their transformational leadership.

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10 November 2015

Is it just me, or are others over the use of the three latest buzz words: innovation, disruption and inclusion? If you are not using these words in everyday language you are so not cool, and out of touch! But let’s examine each of these words carefully, because unless they are truly new, we are just calling something by a different name!

To examine these three words I went to the Thesaurus to seek the most common synonyms for each of these words. Not surprisingly many of the synonyms used words and descriptors that we all already know and use. 

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1 September 2015

There are currently a multitude of articles, interviews and conversations taking place in Australia and around the world about greater gender equality. This is a good thing because when we start talking about difficult, challenging topics it means we are thinking about it more, and therefore questioning the status quo.

Though the past four decades have seen significant generational shifts with more women entering the global workforce, we have a long way to go and much needs to be done to advance women to senior leadership roles. The promising news is that the number of women is growing, albeit it in middle management roles rather than at senior levels. READ MORE

13 August 2015

Call me a nerd, but I love watching The Great Australian Spelling Bee on Channel 10 at the moment.  And here is why it is such a joy to watch – children with talent, selected on merit not gender, race or colour, displaying good sportsmanship, teamwork and good manners! I believe we are born equal as human beings, and until children are exposed to racism, discrimination and bullying, they are completely unaware of it! I believe racism, prejudice and misogyny are learned behaviours.

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23 July 2015

Over the past 5 years more than 200 women have completed my Great Leaders Are Made (GLAM) women’s leadership development program. More than 40% of them have been promoted or received a pay rise within 13 months of completing the program, or have gone on to be offered a more senior role in another organisation with greater responsibilities and remuneration than the previous role.

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13 July 2015

In my latest book Leadership Revelations III How We Achieve the Gender Tipping Point, I interviewed 91 women from 10 countries, and across four generations, from Veterans to Generation Y, to ascertain the most common myths about women at work that are simply wrong! Here is a summary of those myths, by generation and internationally:

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