Creating meaningful change both inside and outside of the agency

Helen Graney on creating meaningful change, including the belief that a focus on the women in our community is a valuable one.

Madeleine Albright famously said that there is “a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women”.

Personally, I agree with that statement and choose to commit a fair bit of time mentoring, coaching, and supporting young women as they tackle life and career challenges.

I have been on the receiving end of wonderful mentors throughout my career so, it fills my cup to pay it forward. And I hope that my advice and guidance have a positive impact.

I also believe that businesses can have a real and lasting impact on changing lives and that we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to do so.

It is an ‘opportunity’ because coming together to ‘do good’ galvanises a team, it unites people behind a bigger purpose and it makes people feel positive about working for you which, in turn attracts and retains talent. People care. A recent employee survey we conducted clearly showed that our team wants the agency to have a wider community impact and cares passionately about helping others in support of greater equality.  And business leaders can give them the means to demonstrate that.

I also call it a ‘responsibility’ because I have long held the belief that we should care about the wider community in which we exist and today’s focus on purpose-lead leadership and ESG points to the fact that it’s increasingly important – for employees, shareholders, clients, partners, customers, and consumers.

And when you form a relationship with an organisation that allows you to bring the talent of your people to the fore in purpose of helping someone in need, it’s quite simply a ‘win-win’.

As part of the agency’s focus on equality, we believe that a focus on the women in our community is a valuable one.  When women are given the confidence, skills, connections and support they so often miss out on, they achieve incredible things. They start-up and grow businesses, lift-up communities, and make the economy a more equal, inclusive place. All some women need is the same backing given to everyone else.

Founded by Mandy Richards in 2013, Global Sisters is an incredible organisation with a powerful vision of designing a world where every woman is provided the opportunity to create her own economic future.

They provide a genuine alternative for women who are unable to participate in mainstream employment or access decent, sustainable work. By removing structural and systemic barriers, Global Sisters makes self-employment a viable option for women.

From support at the earliest stage of business ideation, they back the women through a roadmap of programs, connected to business launch and development milestones over a 3+ year roadmap of Education, Incubation and Acceleration.

And as each of these blossoming businesses need brand strategy, creative and design, that’s where we’ve come in, giving our creatives and designers an opportunity to grow, stretch their creative wings and work on something deeply meaningful. We’ve helped four Sisters so far and we look forward to continuing and expanding the journey.

Through Global Sisters we are making a meaningful difference and that is important to our team. As of last year, Global Sisters has supported over 5,000 women as they move towards long-term economic security thus having a significant positive ripple effect on family and child poverty, homelessness, mental health, and domestic violence.

I am so proud that our team has helped contribute to that in some small way and thrilled that the people of this agency want to embrace both the opportunity and the obligation.

Madeleine’s viewpoint may appear harsh to some. On the other (less punitive) side, I’d argue that businesses that don’t find a way to help others are missing out on some seriously rewarding and enriching experiences. For us, helping others in a meaningful way is of clear reciprocal benefit – changing the world for those that need help and creating a legacy for the agency’s people and our brand.

Helen Graney, CEO of Jack Morton Australia and Weber Shandwick Australia


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