This month, we celebrated International Women’s Day – a day to challenge the status quo on gender equality and inclusivity across all facets of life. With women in the spotlight, we caught up with three Beach Street staff members to share their thoughts on International Women’s Day and this year’s #breakthebias theme, their experiences with gender equality and who inspires them the most…
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day was #breakthebias, what does that mean to you?
As a mother of daughters and granddaughters, Practice Manager Lee Hayes hopes messages like #breakthebias will empower the younger generations of women to continue to fight for a more equitable, meaningful and fulfilling life.
For receptionist Serena Meyrick, #breakthebias is about celebrating and valuing the differences in our communities and being stronger in this unity.
“How boring would it be if every human was the same?” she says.
“Even though we come from different backgrounds, nationalities, upbringings, religions and genders, we are equally beautiful and are all needed in our society.”
#breakthebias is about creating an equilibrium between man and women, according to receptionist Georgina Faaui. “It’s about creating a world where women’s voices are heard and their opinions are valued just as much as mens.”
What has your experience been with gender equality in both work and life?
Lee says she feels privileged to have seen and experienced the changes in gender equality in the workplace over time.
“It has given me the ability to change the way I think about my value in the workplace and the confidence to voice those thoughts to my colleagues,” she says.
For Serena, gender inequality has never been an issue in her work or home life, with both environments fostering and encouraging a team work mentality. “This is particularly the case at home. No one job is for the wife or husband, we both help where it’s needed to support each other,” she said.
While she has experienced gender bias in previous workplaces, Georgina says she feels valued, listened to and respected at work at Beach Street Family Practice. In her day-to-day life, Georgina says she experiences gender inequality often. “Whether it’s not being listened to, questioned, or ‘expected’ to cook and clean,” she says.
Unfortunately, like so many women, Georgina is also familiar with harassment. “I often experience men either saying, hinting or doing inappropriate things towards me that are completely unacceptable,” she says.
Are there any inspirational women or men at Beach Street that you’d like to mention?
It’s the next generation of young women at Beach Street Family Practice that inspire Lee every day. “They are strong, independent, caring and genuine in their approach to life and their work,” she says.
Serena says it’s too hard to pick just one as she is inspired by each and every one of the Beach Street team every day. “No matter what job title or gender, this is an inclusive practice and everyone is treated with respect and care.”
Georgina would like to give a special shout-out to Kelly on the nursing team.
“Kelly is always positive, always willing to help, always smiling and is so kind and caring to everyone!”
She is also inspired by Dr Singh. “I am inspired by his charisma, his dedication to work and the team and, of course, his infectious laugh!”
Beach Street Family Practice is built on foundations of inclusivity and respect, acknowledging and accepting the differences in religious beliefs, values and lifestyles of all our patients and staff members.