I am excited to announce some news - I've been named a winner in the The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014 - it's for my work in promoting appearance diversity through writing and speaking. Read the news story here.
It is an honour to be named as a Westpac Financial Review Woman of Influence - the calibre of women is outstanding. It is great to see the diversity of winners. Many women I admire are current and past year winners - some I am lucky to call friends and mentors. Congratulations to them all.
I have worked hard at blogging and branching out to showcase appearance diversity and promote inclusion. I would like there to be a greater representation of diversity in the media, so we can normalise appearance diversity. Body image and diversity is so much more than fat and thin, and it's so good that powerful women in the media like Turia Pitt, Francesca Martinez and Stella Young are bringing diversity into the mainstream.
I also think blogging is at the forefront of diversity in the media- showcasing all types of people - their image and stories - and I'm so glad to be a part of this. It's so good to be able to make our own media so our stories are told fairly and without exploitation. I'd like wider society to see beauty in those who look different through getting to know their stories.
Thank you to Westpac and the team of judges for recognising me. Thank you to my wonderful online community (especially those people who have contributed guest posts about living with Ichthyosis or a visible difference) and my friends and blog/activism colleagues for helping me on my journey - your support is so appreciated. Thank you to my amazing employer who supports the work I do outside of my day job. And thank you to the people I love the most - Adam and my Mum and Dad - for always being my biggest fans.
Now in its third year, the 100 Women of Influence Awards celebrate outstanding women from a wide variety of sectors across Australia. There are ten categories: Board/Management, Public Policy, Young Leader, Social Enterprise and Not-for-profit, Philanthropy, Global Influence, Innovation, Local/Regional Community, Diversity and Business Enterprise. Entrants into the awards were assessed by a panel of esteemed judges and have been recognised based on their outstanding ability to demonstrate vision, leadership, innovation and action in and beyond their fields.
Gail Kelly, Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer said, "The breadth and calibre of our 100 Women of Influence for 2014 is remarkable.
"It is such a privilege to be able to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions these women are making to Australia. The 2014 winners will join the now 300 strong, prestigious alumni of these awards.
"With over 40% of leadership roles at Westpac filled by females, I am fortunate to be surrounded by inspirational women every day. We are blessed to have such great numbers of influential women doing incredible things in many industries and organisations right across Australia", Gail Kelly said.
On Wednesday 22 October, a gala event will be held at Sydney’s Town Hall to celebrate these women and the significant impact that each has made within their chosen field. The ten category winners and overall winner for the year will also be announced on the evening.
For further information please visit: www.100womenofinfluence.com.au.