April, 2024
April 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Tracey O’Brien: This international women’s day threw me the best curveball yet, and it came from none other than my 14-year-old son
Mar 11, 2024, 20:55

Tracey O’Brien: This international women’s day threw me the best curveball yet, and it came from none other than my 14-year-old son

Tracey O’Brien, NSW Chief Cancer Officer, posted on LinkedIn:

“This international women’s day threw me the best curveball yet, and it came from none other than my 14-year-old son, mid-hamburger bite! Amongst empowering events and inspiring talks with incredible women, his candid, unexpected insights gave me hope for accelerating progress. I felt caught off guard, humbled, and bursting with pride in the space of a few sentences.

Don’t get me wrong; standing shoulder to shoulder with my incredible female colleagues at the Cancer Institute NSW was uplifting – please check out the video below – and I was frequently moved to hear the passionate voices of a younger generation of women speak at events, more determined and articulate than I recall being at a similar career stage.

I was also grateful to hear shared wisdom in a moderated discussion by FW (Future Women) Helen McCabe from leaders at NSW Health, Susan Pearce, Bee Lim and Vanessa Janissen, who are shaping the future of health care. Yet interwoven in each event were sobering reminders of the harsh realities of economic gender disparity, wage gaps, workplace discrimination, the burden of unpaid care work and the sickening persistence of violence against women and girls.

Then came the dinner conversation. I mentioned International Women ‘s Day, expecting maybe a grunt or nod. His response? A casual “Yeah, I know. We had a whole school special assembly about it” My interest was piqued – a whole assembly at an all-boys school with over 1200 students. “That’s amazing! What did you learn? Only to get “Nothing – I wasn’t even listening,” Ugh! Not my first rodeo with teenage boys, I persisted, admittedly deflated and a little cranky. “Do you remember anything that was said?” And then he said…… he recalled a graph where Australia ranked 43rd in the global gender pay gap, and he thought that was ‘pretty shit’. He said there was a need for more women in politics, citing Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel as role models. He said it was wrong that women in Afghanistan aren’t allowed to be educated, and there was an urgent need to stop violence against women and this was the responsibility of all men.

His awareness and concern, despite the imperfections of the world, filled me with the hope that the men of tomorrow won’t just be part of the conversation but also share carriage of solutions and just maybe, one day, we won’t need to have International Women’s Day at all! So here’s to unexpected sparks of optimism, candid conversations over dinner and the power of each small ripple to create waves of change.”

Source: Tracey O’Brien/LinkedIn