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Dani Matthews 27/11/2023 2:01:18 PM 3 min read

empowering women in multinationals

Abundium recently hosted a Women in Multinationals (WIM) Summit.

Sharing some thoughts from my opening address to help further spread the energy as we look to help supercharge gender equality further!

What does it take for women to break through the glass ceiling? What does this mean for women and their families, whatever that looks look? Can women have it all?

I believe you can have it all in the long term.

As Marianne Williamson famously said – “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.....

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We need to all rise together.

From my own experience and leading our Abundium Women CEO sisterhood community over the past few years, I’ve reflected helpful ingredients to lead with impact include taking some risks, understanding your values and purpose, prioritising self-care, building a support team including a bench of mentors, knowing your boundaries, being authentic in your leadership and the power of belief!

Belief has been one of the things I’ve had to work on the most and finding my voice. As Gabby Bernstein says:

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What we really believe, not what we think we should believe. For me this has involved lots of reflection, meditation, coaching, mentoring and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Importantly too is understanding your values and purpose. All the women CEOs I’ve come across in our sisterhood community are really passionate about their field, this makes the commitment to the roles easier with one describing recently "this role doesn’t feel like work."

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Don’t try and change your leadership style to fit into the system, the system needs to change with us rising together. It’s about finding and using your voice to be the change which you want to see.

Some questions I’ve been challenging myself on with the lead up to our Women in Multinationals Summit, now extending to others:

  • What have you done in the last month / week / day to help accelerate the careers of women in multinationals?
  • What’s on your individual and team scorecards to help drive progress in this area?
  • How are you looking after yourself to help shine your light further?

As Indra Nooyi said:

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Australia needs help as the stats below show, despite all the effort there is still a long way to go. Just over half of our population is female, we know that women graduate from university in greater numbers than men and with higher overall results. So what are the snakes and ladders in organisations that mean women reach the top in such tiny numbers compared to men? What does it take for them to get there?  What does doing this feel like?


As Albert Einstein famously once said:

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Studies have consistently found including from McKinsey that gender diversity in leadership results in better financial performance.

Also helping increase productivity, enhance collaboration, inspire organisational dedication, and improve fairness.

Let’s lead with empathetic ambition Australia, set bold action, influence across our borders and work hard to close the gap.

Let’s build on the energy of the Matilda’s captivating the nation and having a compassionate and strong former female PM Jacinda Ardern lead our neighbours in New Zealand and lean into our natural empathy as a leadership superpower.

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To all the women in multinationals out there, the sky’s your limit, lead authentically, lean into your natural empathy, look for those values aligned hell yeah opportunities that light you up, we need to unleash the power of female leadership further to help create a better world.

To finish in the words of seven times world champion surfer Layne Beachley who joined us earlier this year for a conversation:

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Let’s lean into those hell yeahs, jump on the rollercoaster, fasten our seatbelts for the highs and lows and not forget to enjoy the ride!

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Dani Matthews

Dani Matthews, Co-Founder & Chief Impact Officer at Abundium, leads our impact initiatives with and for our multinational and not-for-profit community to tenfold leadership impact for an abundant world. Driven, compassionate and socially minded, Dani is on a mission to ‘be the change’ and help inspire positive impact including the transition to net zero in this critical decade of action. She recently completed a Cambridge University Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions short course and leads a cross-industry ‘Climate Warriors’ community amongst many other initiatives. Dani was recently honoured as an Adjunct Associate Professor (Industry) @ UTS Business School and is excited for our "Leading Strategic Action on Climate and Sustainability" Short Course collaboration.

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