At the official launch of Women’s Agenda on September 13 at Sydney Town Hall I announced that we were also launching the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. Editor Angela Priestley posted a story on the website to notify our growing readership (now 30,000+ readers* ) and by the end of the day we were taking registrations of interest faster than we could keep up.
Women in business were sending me notes of congratulations, executive friends and former colleagues were phoning to discuss. Angela’s post was shared across the gamut of social media networks. We could see that there was an appetite for our brand of female celebration.
In the midst of all of this a couple of people questioned our initiative. Apparently there’s not enough room in the market for so many female-focused achievement awards.
The underlying premise of Women’s Agenda is women supporting women. We believe it’s fundamental to the bigger picture of achieving gender equity in business and public leadership. It’s the reason we celebrate and will continue to celebrate every award that promotes female achievement, every organisation that champions gender equity and every person who mentors a woman to achieve her potential. We will feature photo galleries and stories about the awards we are apparently competing with. We will write articles about books written for career-focused women, even if the author is an apparent competitor. We wouldn’t be true to what we have set out to be if we were to do otherwise.
It is also true that not every successful woman has entered the existing group of awards aimed at women, possibly because awards owned by corporations are viewed differently to those run by independent media organisations. The Telstra Womens Business Awards is a brilliant initiative that we will continue to support but it is unlikely that a senior woman who works at Optus or Vodafone, for example, will enter. As well, the AFR Women of Influence awards are a welcome event from a publication aimed at and read primarily by men. But due to the nature of its audience it is highly likely that those awards won’t reach all of the women who have signed up for a daily newsletter from a website that is focused on changing their lives 24/7.
So I make no apology for creating the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. And I would encourage other women’s media to do the same. Let’s get the achievements of women out in the public and let’s do it often. Winners will be announced on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2013.
* GA September, 2012, seven weeks after launch with not a cent spent purchasing traffic.
Have you entered the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards yet? Nominate as many brilliant women, mentors, change champions and female-friendly employers as you can so we can bring about change together, and fast.