A project by Australian aged care advocates Amanda Terranova and Samantha Bowen, #celebratingwomeninagedcare aims to share inspiring stories of women working in the industry in 2019.
Sharing a passion for the sector’s future, the pair formed a strong friendship after a colleague introduced them via Twitter five years ago.
Both women also featured in Dr Kirstin Ferguson's 2017 #CelebratingWomen project, which saw her profile two women from every walk of life every day for a year.
Inspired by Dr Ferguson’s initiative and fed up with the negativity directed at the aged care industry, Ms Terranova and Ms Bowen teamed up to put their own spin on the project, launching #celebratingwomeninagedcare on 1 January.
“We just really loved Dr Ferguson’s commitment to providing a channel which celebrates and supports women,” Ms Bowen, founder of Acorn Network, says.
“When we looked at aged care we realised that women make up over 80 percent of the workforce, compared to the national average of 50 percent, and not a lot of them are transitioning into executive or leadership roles.”
“We wanted to make sure everyone in our workforce, from care workers to journalists, people in head offices and consultants are all recognised for the work they do.”
“Especially with the Royal Commission this year, we want to make sure we share positive stories, even though we are seeing negative stories in the mainstream media.”
Ms Terranova, Director of Marketing and Brand at Mirus Australia, says the project will honour women who rise above challenges to provide care to others, and who empower others to do the same. People are encouraged to nominate inspiring women in their networks or women can nominate themselves to be celebrated in the campaign.
“We are committed to our #celebratingwomeninagedcare values, which underpin everything we will do now and in the future with this campaign,” she says.
“Including women who step up and around everyday challenges, who go above and beyond, women who are tenacious, loving and courageous and individuals who identify or express themselves as women.”
Only a week in, the project has received profiles from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Ms Bowen says she’s excited to see the range of women who have reached out in the early days of the project.
“It’s going to be an awesome year of building our tribe,” she says.
“There are so many positive stories so far. People who’ve started their own businesses, IT consultants, and some who have started as care workers and worked their way up into management roles,” she says.
“It’s amazing to see the variety of people who are stepping up.”
Ms Bowen says celebrating women in the workforce has a positive flow-on effect.
“We’re saying to women, ‘we admire you, please help us celebrate you’ and a lot feel very humbled because they don’t see themselves being recognised in their work,” she says.
“It’s not always the flashy stuff, it’s the grit, determination and everyday things.
“Celebrating women in the industry is a positive spark that will pass the bat onto emerging leaders from all generations to see the potential and opportunities in aged care.”
For more information about #celebratingwomeninagedcare, head to their website.
Are you a woman working in the aged care industry or know someone you think should be featured? Join the campaign or nominate someone here.
Every profile submitted in 2019 will be featured in the social media campaign.