May 21, 2024

Celebrating 16 wonderful women: the RISE Project

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that 16 of our staff members have been selected to take part in an exciting project which will provide opportunities to advance the professional careers of Culturally and Racially Marginalised (CARM) women.

A collage of 15 women, Spectrum staff members.

The RISE project – a partnership between the Diversity Council of Australia, Settlement Services International and Chief Executive Women – stands for Resilience, Inclusion, Support, and Empowerment. It is a groundbreaking program designed to address the systemic barriers faced by CARM women in their pursuit of career advancement.

So, what exactly is the RISE project, and why is it so important?

Research conducted by the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) has highlighted the stark reality that CARM women encounter significant obstacles when striving for leadership roles. Despite being ambitious, capable, and resilient, they often find themselves marginalized within Australian workplaces.

In fact, one DCA study shows that only a tiny fraction—just 1.5%—of all ASX senior executives are culturally diverse women. This statistic is not only disheartening but also indicative of the entrenched biases and structural barriers that hinder the progression of CARM women in leadership positions.

The RISE project aims to challenge these barriers head-on by collaborating with 25 organisations and 375 nominated CARM Women Middle Managers (WMM); among them, Spectrum and our 16 staff.

One of the key aspects of the RISE project is its emphasis on providing CARM women with access to influential social networks and opportunities for professional development. By creating a supportive environment where their voices are heard and their experiences valued, we are paving the way for meaningful change in our workplaces.

“The chance to hear from CARM professional women across Australia has been incredible,” said Immacolata Navazio, Executive Assistant.

“Last week we heard from Tharani Jegetheeswaran (a partner at Deloitte and Non Executive Director with Unicef and SSI),  and she was amazing! Her inspiring messages were that we should not be afraid to raise our voice; that we have the power to make a difference in the organisation.”

Spectrum’s participation in the RISE project underscores our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. RISE not only benefits our organisation but also contributes to a broader movement towards greater diversity and inclusion across industries. Through our collective efforts, we are striving to create a future where CARM women are not only represented but also celebrated in leadership roles.

Rebecca Power, Spectrum CEO agrees wholeheartedly. Following a recent online session where our staff joined over 100 other RISE participants, she said “It brings me such joy to be investing in the leadership careers of our staff – I know one day someone in that room will be doing my job and that makes me so happy.”

Spectrum is grateful for the opportunity afforded by RISE to showcase the incredible talent within our organisation. We are immensely proud of our RISE women (pictured above L to R, from top row): Amona Hassab, Mo Date, Ann Lafferty, Immacolata Navazio, Alia Elsayad, Roshni Chhetri, Ashwaq Mohamed, Saghar Moori, Selam Kestu, Mary-Anne Pham, Shaima’a Al-badri, Reham Ishag, Joyce Kipsang, Aiche Merhi, Harsha Gopinath and Cherry Ching (not pictured).

And we can’t wait to see how high you can fly!