Sophia Ha: International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge
February 23, 2021 | People at Mirus Australia
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
In support of International Women’s Day 2021, the team at Mirus Australia, as we have done in past years, will facilitate conversations among the team to raise awareness of gender equality.
Please meet Sophia Ha, Consultant, Workforce at Mirus Australia as she shares her thoughts on challenges and opportunities that women face in a modern world…
(1) What does the phrase #ChooseToChallenge mean to you personally?
The phrase #ChooseToChallenge means to me, challenge the status quo and challenge yourself – don’t be afraid to speak up. I believe that life begins at the end of your comfort zone and in the context of IWD, I believe that the issues we as women face are often uncomfortable; they are uncomfortable to face and confront, and uncomfortable to speak about. But I choose to challenge that by hopefully making these situations or conversations more comfortable for the women I come across in life to speak about, to shed light on, and to collectively minimise the occurrence of.
(2) Have you or someone you know faced gender bias, either personally or professionally? What was their response and key takeout from that experience?
I think that many of my female friend’s lives, and mine included, are dotted with experiences of gender bias. However, in a professional context, I am not aware of any explicit instances of this occurring.
However a good friend is pregnant and so is my sister, and that has been an eye-opener in terms of the challenges that women face in the workplace in relation to pregnancy and what it means for their career progression.
(3) Who are you inspired by? And what have they done to challenge for a better world?
I am inspired by many people, but I find that I am most often inspired by everyday women who hustle for their right to be at the table. I am inspired by women and men who empower and uplift those around them to be fearless in their fight toward gender equality.
I am especially inspired by women from minority backgrounds who are statistically more disadvantaged in the workplace and who strive with grit to be the driver of change.
(4) What role or impact will you be playing this year in relation to women’s rights or gender equality?
This year and every year I try to lead by example in terms of women’s rights and gender equality. I think it is equally as important to empower women, as it is to continue to bring light to the challenges that we face. I strive to not only be courageous in my approach but also spread that courageousness to my fellow female peers as we are ultimately stronger together. I do love the phrase; ‘Women Support Women’ and I do try to embody that.
A challenged world is an alert world. How will you choose to challenge? Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. Let us celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.