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Back In Motion celebrates International Women’s Day

Published: 08 March 2016 - Business Updates, Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Debbie Crawford with fellow directors at the Back In Motion Health Group annual conference

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating the contribution of our wonderfully talented female Practice Directors. We’re proud to offer an environment where physiotherapists are empowered and have the opportunity to lead their own business regardless of gender.

We caught up with some of our female leaders to ask them about their experiences and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Belinda Jefferies, Practice Manager | Back In Motion Rosny Park

“For me International Women's Day is about celebrating the diverse things women are achieving, thanking those pioneers that came before us and encouraging other women and girls to keep pushing for equality in all areas of life.

“I'm come from working in financial services which has always been a male-dominated industry so I have found working in the physiotherapy industry to be refreshing in its attitude to female leadership.

“I enjoy being able to create and maintain the type of work culture that means you like turning up for work every day and love being around your team.

“It is really important to find mentors and build a network - and work hard to maintain it. I used to be involved with a networking group that I ran called Corporate Chicks which was aimed at young, professional women aged 20-40. You can learn a lot and gain a lot of wisdom from women who are dealing with the same issues and situations as you - you can also have a lot of fun and build great relationships that last through all sorts of things such as career changes! 

“My advice: Put your hand up more, say yes to things that frighten you, listen to your gut.”

Long Lei, Practice Manager and Director | Back In Motion Clayton

“For me International Women’s Day is a celebration of our achievements; it's time to recognise gender equity.

“As the Director at Back In Motion Clayton, I see it as my role to empower my colleagues to achieve their goals whatever they may be. I also want to be a positive role model to younger female staff.

“The best part about being in a leadership role is that you never stop learning and growing. Being sure in your capabilities and having the confidence to ask for what you deserve is the key to drive you forward.

“My biggest challenge is balancing work and family. I always make sure I am the one who picks my son up from school. Achieving work-life balance requires careful planning and prioritisation. 

“My advice to others who want to lead in the allied health industry: Keep learning, you never know where it will take you.”

Brooke Williams, Director | Back In Motion Melbourne On Collins

“International Women’s Day for me is a celebration of just how far we’ve come with regards to our contribution to the workforce, pay rates, as well as the significant change in how women are perceived across all vocations. 

“I see my role as a challenge to promote myself as a woman in business, in a position of leadership and to not conform to the ideas that I have to either behave like one of the boys or have to go above and beyond to be noticed/promoted/awarded/recognised.

“I hope to challenge the view that you can’t be a woman in a position of leadership without some dirt on your hands. I think traditionally, women in positions of leadership come under far more scrutiny than their male counterparts. 

“I do my best to create a supportive environment for my staff by having an open door policy. Giving them the belief that they can do it, that they can achieve their goals, is a regular part of our mentoring sessions.

“My advice to other women in the industry is to honestly believe that you can be a leader in your field. Listen to podcasts, TED talks, read up as much as you can so you can be well prepared and understand the type of leader that you are. The more you understand about yourself and your management style, the better you’ll be at managing staff and adapting to their needs and ways in which they like to be lead and managed.”

Debbie Crawford, Director | Back In Motion Hobart on Murray

“I do see myself as a role model to other women in the sense that I believe my gender should not get in the way of me doing anything if I feel I am capable of doing it.

“I have worked with men’s sports teams in the days that there were no women involved and often the umpires thought it was fun to call me onto the field. I just refused to go unless I had a job to do and they soon learned to respect me. 

“Physio is actually a female-dominated profession so I feel like it has never posed any issues being a female or a leader. It is only in the wider community that I have faced challenges - most of these are having my opinion and authority deferred to a male if there is one present.

“I see women and men as equal but also different and we should be valued for our differences. I have never allowed being female stop me doing anything and try to pass this on to my female staff and also my daughter.

“Don’t ever see your gender as a disadvantage.”