Women in Leadership: Vinnies recognises International Women’s Day
Monday 8 March 2020
At Vinnies NSW, we are incredibly proud of all the women who contribute to our aspiration of bringing about a more just and compassionate society.
As volunteers, women given of their time to keep our Vinnies Shops running; as members, women offer support and advocate for change; as staff, women dedicate their careers in our support services; as members of the Executive Leadership Team, women lead by example in shaping the culture for all our people to follow.
Women play an active role across all levels of our work with 65% of our staff and 57% of our members identifying as female.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day originated in 1911 as a protest movement among women fighting for better working rights. Over time, the day has celebrated the achievements of women striving to bring about meaningful change and highlighted the challenges that stand in the way of equality.
This year’s theme is Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
Kate is one of the esteemed members of our Executive Leadership Team at Vinnies NSW.
Having spent more than a decade in the public service, her ambition to work for an organisation providing direct service to people in need and advocating for policy reform and structural change led her join the Society three years ago.
Tasked with overseeing our Corporate Services directorate, Kate’s diverse role ranges from work health and safety, policy and advocacy, and governance.
As a leader, she strives to create a workplace that is flexible, collaborative and empowering.
“There are several ways that we can work toward a gender equal future at Vinnies: by ensuring our own work practices support equality for women; by doing what we can to support women whose lives and employment have been disrupted by COVID; and by continuing to advocate for structural change that supports equality,” says Kate.
Charity has been a big part of Dhara’s life.
Volunteering during her youth in Mumbai before taking up a career in fundraising, her connection to Vinnies began in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.
“When there were earthquakes in New Zealand [in 2011] I worked for Vinnies as a volunteer where we used to go to people’s houses and check on them for trauma [and] counselling.,” Dhara reflects.
“I really liked what Vinnies was doing at the time, it… left a good impression on me.”
Shifting across the Tasman with her family two years ago, her role as our Major Gifts and Philanthropy manager involves building relationships with donors to raise funds for various services run by Vinnies throughout the state.
Working closely with the Society’s leadership team, she believes her experience in the workplace has changed over time for the better.
“Women have become more confident and more expressive in delivering their views and ideas. The leadership at Vinnies – both male and female – has been amazing.”
Joining Vinnies on the eve of her retirement, Helen has volunteered as a manager at one of our Vinnies Shops on the north coast for more than a decade.
“I really enjoyed what I was doing and felt like what we were achieving together as a team was meaningful and helping people in our community,” Helen reflects.
“That was in 2008 – I’m still here and still loving it!”
Forming close bonds with fellow volunteers from all walks of life, Helen finds satisfaction in the camaraderie and collective spirit of volunteering where everyone has the opportunity to voice how the shop can improve.
“For me, [International Women’s Day] acts as an opportunity to reflect and admire the women in my family who have had constant strength and resilience. I am one lucky lady to have been able to learn from them and hopefully encourage others to strive for equality in all aspects of our daily lives.”
Young people have always played an important role in the work we do at Vinnies.
Jacinta is one of the many youth members who continue our legacy of shaping a more just and compassionate society.
Working in collaboration with our Youth and Social Justice Teams after starting out as a volunteer in high school, Jacinta is an emerging leader committed to leading by example and within a group – not above it.
“As we rebuild our society, our economy, and our world, now is the time for everyone to take note of our incredible input, and listen to what we have to say,” states Jacinta.
“Working towards a gender equal future means ensuring that we afford equal opportunity, equal progress and equal rights to all.”
Find out more about International Women’s Day, which takes place on 8th March each year.