Between luncheons with The Hon Joe Hockey and interviews with female blacksmiths and globetrotting families we’ve had a pretty productive week in the office. If your week has been as busy as ours, we’re sure you will be looking forward chilling out with some of the latest women’s news to keep you motivated.
1. Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland – best places to be a mother
Mother’s Day is almost upon us, and with so many hard working mums out there it is pretty easy to see why we need a special day to honour everything they do for their children. While we’re putting together and unwrapping our Mother’s Day gifts, Australians can give themselves a pat on the back for making it to number ten on the Save the Children list of the World’s Best Places to be a Mother! Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands scored the top five spots due to their high rates of female representation in politics and their exceptional health and education systems. But with the recent report showing births are more life-threatening for Aboriginal mothers, we have a bit of work to do if we want to catch up.
Unfortunately, African countries did make up the majority of the lowest ranked places to be a mother. However, with women working harder than ever before to get their voices heard and businesses off the ground, female entrepreneurs are on their way to making big changes. Suzi Wokabi is one of those women, having started Suzibeauty from scratch in Nairobi. Since its humble beginnings, Suzibeauty has grown to stock 13 outlets with make-up supplies across Kenya and have recently begun exporting their products to Australia. Read up on Wokabi’s business plans here.
3. Can blindness put life in better perspective?
What would you do if you lost your vision? Not many of us would answer that question with “start my own business” but that is exactly what Gennese Williams decided to do after an acute case of corneal hydrops left her blind. Following on from her successful career in beauty, music and management, Williams’ loss of vision gave her a chance to put her life into perspective and turn her career around. Realising she wanted to be her own boss, Williams founded the management and consulting agency MGW London in 2010 which has since gone from strength to strength. Read up on Williams’ business tips and advice here.
4. Appreciating Arab women
Last month was Women’s Appreciation Month (WAM) in Saudi Arabia. Initiated by the Saudi based fashion label femi9 in 2011, WAM aims to give women the recognition they deserve for their contributions to society. This year’s celebrations were dedicated to women in the start-up phase of business, granting three up-and-coming entrepreneurs funding and business advice through the Growing Initiatives Awards. To learn more about the competition and other events held during WAM, the official sponsor, Jeddah Beauty has all the gossip, or check out the Arab News.
5. French women don’t get stressed
It isn’t true. They do get stressed. We all do. However, in France they have To Do Today, a company that designs and implements work-life balance and well-being programs for the workplace. Founded by Stéphanie Cardot in 2001, To Do Today advises businesses on the best fitness, well-being and childcare facilities to suit their staff and clients. So how did Cardot establish such a successful organisation while still balancing her own personal and professional lives? Click here to find out!