Switch on to Switch

Switch on to Switch
SWITCH was established by three Melbourne women, Sarah Baston, Yolande Abeling and Jenny Pearn- to combat the negative, competitive and overly territorial practices some women display to each other. Each of the founders had experienced, during their careers, this negative behaviour and felt it was unnecessary, yet commonplace.

"I'd much rather work for a man" or "men are so much easier to work with", are comments the founders had heard repeatedly and wanted to address.

SWITCH Founder Sarah Baston described the importance of mentoring by likening it to the epic of Star Wars. "Star Wars best encapsulates the possibilities of mentoring and support - we all benefit from an obe-wan-kanobe! When Luke Sky Walker doubted his own ability to save the Galaxy by destroying the Empire's Death Star with a one-in-a-million shot - he does not do it alone. He hears obe-wan-kenobe's words of advice and encouragement," said Ms Baston.

Yet unlike their male counterparts in the workplace, females do not always provide mentoring and support to their female co-workers. SWITCH Founder, Yolande Abeling found "as a young woman in a large corporation, I was becoming increasingly frustrated at the tendency for women to 'close ranks' against other women within the workplace.

"I observed that this behaviour was not emulated by men who seemed to be better able to work together and mutually support each other's careers. On a number of occasions, I had experienced being on the "outside" of a circle of women and how difficult and not to mention unpleasant this can make your working life.

"I also observed that most of the women who made it to the top were referred to as "ball breakers" which gives the impression that you have to be like this to succeed in the corporate world. Discussing this with the SWITCH co-founders it became clear that I was not alone in my sentiments," enthused Ms Abeling.

Convinced that there was a better way for women to work together and achieve mutual (not mutually exclusive!) success SWITCH was established to inspire more powerful and productive practices for women in the workplace - SWITCH.

The meaning behind the word SWITCH (which is also an acronym for Successful Women Inspiring Today's Corporate Harmony) is to signify 'turning on a light switch' in the minds of women to change the way we relate to each other in business.

SWITCH simply aims to create entertaining forums where women (in paid and unpaid work) can be inspired to adopt improved working practices and where the value of mentoring and support is promoted.



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