In the lead up to her keynote presentation at AusIMM’s International Women’s Day Event Series in Melbourne, Brooke Boney continues to move the needle for underrepresented people in both the media industry and as an advocate for cultural change in Australia.
A proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman, Brooke Boney says she owes her success to developing clear goals from the beginning which has led to a brilliant career in journalism and being a host on Channel 9’s Today show.
‘I think it’s essential to have strong values around your work and what your goals are. For me, that meant better representation of Aboriginal people in the media. I think it plays a significant part in how we see ourselves and how we see the world.’
Starting out at NITV, Brooke looked up to other Indigenous women carving their own path and found a true role model in Senator Malarndirri McCarthy. ‘She was always so kind and helpful. She was delighted to share space and help people grow. She would lift others to help them realise their potential. I found that so inspiring.’
With diversity and inclusion at the forefront of Brooke’s agenda, she feels a more inclusive approach to workplace policies will create a supportive environment for all women to progress in their career.
‘The way we think about policies in the workplace is important. We need to create more space at the table for women. On an interpersonal level, we need to encourage one another. Mutual support elevates success; it’s infectious!’
‘I think it comes down to a cultural shift that needs to happen. There are things that we can all do individually. Sometimes it’s about having conversations; sometimes it’s about making space for different kinds of women. Many things have traditionally held women back – subtle sexist jokes, pay inequality, non-existent maternity leave. Fostering workplace equality relies on a company-led policy shift.’
Brooke also discusses the importance of acknowledging intersectionality as part of the equality conversation to create true, significant change.
‘I was in the US recently, and something that was so confronting is that a lot of the most vulnerable people get left behind. It made me think about the way our country treats our most vulnerable people. The only way to have an inclusive conversation is to make sure there is as much representation of as many different kinds of people as possible.’
Brooke is inspired by the International Women’s Day ‘Each for Equal’ as Australia continues to work towards workplace gender quality with movement in challenging stereotypes, broadening perceptions and changing situations.
‘Change happens slowly. It can feel like things take forever, but that’s how you create real, lasting cultural shifts.’
‘I believe it is essential, and that goes beyond the fact it’s “the right thing to do”. There is so much evidence that points to better results when workplaces are more balanced and diverse. I think it’s a poignant reminder to the business sector that if you want to survive and you want to grow, then gender balance within your workforce must be a priority consideration.’