Advancing Women in Business held a Parliamentary Reception on Tuesday night as part of a larger week of celebrations for International Women's Day.
We were ushered into a room stacked with portraits of Queensland pollies with the only female entrant being the Queen. Why didn't Anna Bligh make the cut or our current Premier. The guests were contrary to the portraits with just a few token men in the crowd.
The idea was to talk with other women business owners, enjoy some pleasant music and listen to some female leaders. I was delighted to meet Suzie Collins, whose organisation Rural Sky, tends to mental health in the Goondiwindi region. Before Aunty Carol Currie welcomed us to country, she and I had a chat about family, death, cancer, Beaudesert, Fingal, Fraser Island, Straddie and Jagera which is the name for the brown snake that is the Brisbane river. This wise elder cared deeply about community and the welfare of children - it was a pleasure to spend time with her. One of the last conversations I had got me thinking. This woman had wondered why women were reluctant to talk about being business owners in general conversation, her point was that men often spoke with ease about being a business owner. I'm comfortable talking about Mindsettle in networking situations yet in other situations only talk about business if prompted. Perhaps for me it's a resistance to being defined/judged by what you do or how or even if you earn money.
Shannon Fentiman (Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development) was our host with special guests Louise Broekman, Managing Director of the Advisory Board Centre, along with the founders of the Femeconomy, Jade and Alanna. These speakers inspired us with their thoughtful words and exhortations about the value of community and collaborations. The motto of the night was "you can't be what you cannot see".