International Women's Day is Tuesday 8 March, an annual event that aims to recognise and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, while increasing awareness and calling for more action and progress towards gender equality.
In Australia the number of women business operators has increased by 46% in the last decade compared to just 27% for male business owners and women now make up over a third (34%) of all business operators. This means that women are contributing to our country's economy and culture more than ever - an important fact that needs to be acknowledged.
While our core business at Bits of Australia, is about supporting and promoting Australian-made, our mission is to also help increase awareness and influence change for issues that affect us and our suppliers. So, while we continue to champion Australian-made we have identified four additional areas of focus for our business. These areas include: small business, women in business, our environment and Indigenous culture.
As a female owned and operated business, we experience first hand many of the challenges and barriers that face women in the business world. About 70% of our suppliers are also women working independently or running small businesses of their own. That's why this International Women's Day we are standing up and calling for more support and recognition for our hard work and successes.
We recently surveyed our suppliers and found that about three-quarters of our female suppliers said that work-life-balance remains their biggest challenge and barrier to their success. Self-confidence and not being taken seriously as well as access to finance, business knowledge and resources at the start stage stage and to support the ongoing running of the business were also identified as issues for our suppliers.
But it's not all bad news. Despite these issues, we are all running successful and unique businesses while also supporting an important campaign - Australian-made! Combined, we have hundreds of years of small business experience and thousands of stories to share and we think it's about time that we elevate and highlight these achievements to help us grow, learn and progress further, both professionally and personally.
Do you know a successful woman in business? Don't forget to send her a note this Friday and let her know she's doing a great job! You can also support our amazing female suppliers by shopping online with Bits of Australia - shop now.