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Special Guest Q&A: JOURNEY TO WORTHY's Vanessa Haldane on International Women's Day

Special Guest Q&A: JOURNEY TO WORTHY's Vanessa Haldane on International Women's Day

Q. In light of this year's theme, "Inspire Inclusion," how has your journey as a woman in business inspired a sense of community or support among your peers?

A. When I started Journey To Worthy, inclusion, community and giving back were at the forefront, when creating products and planning events.

All of our campaigns and Worthiness shoots are inclusive and diverse , with our models coming directly from the JTW community.

The community is also included in the “giving back” portion of our business. When a customer purchases a product from JTW they are giving back to women in crisis situations, through the JTW Care Pack Initiative. Every care pack contains essential and self care items plus a note from our community - reminding them of their worth. Many women within our community are small business owners and there’s never competition - only community. We all have a story and we can all help ourselves, whilst helping others 😍

Q. Considering the theme, what specific advice do you have for women entrepreneurs seeking to build supportive networks and connections within their industries?

A. Step outside the network you currently have. When starting out it’s easy to stick with who, and what we know, and swim in the same circles.

Go to networking events, even if alone, join in online discussions on forums/pages offering your opinion/advice.

LISTEN to others and never ever be above learning or admitting you were wrong, or made a mistake.

Q. On International Women's Day 2024, how do you envision women supporting and uplifting each other in the business world?

A. I think there’s a few ways women can support each other in the business world - and I think it’s important to remove personal gain from any of them.

  1. Connect your colleague with a fellow business owner who you think could be impactful and mutually beneficial to each other
  2. Elevate the voice/s of other business women
  3. Shop from female run/founded businesses
  4. Celebrate other businesses successes
  5. Respectfully ask “for more” from businesses not challenging stereotypes or not being inclusive in their campaigns - whether female run or not.

The standards that we walk by are the standards we accept and we can, respectfully, encourage more from fellow business owners. It comes back to the last point on the second question:

“LISTEN to others and never ever be above learning or admitting you were wrong, or made a mistake.”

Q. Reflecting on your experiences, how has being a woman in business allowed you to contribute unique perspectives or innovations within your industry?

A. I started JTW because there was literally nothing like it here on the Gold Coast. Every event I went to had the same people, the same topics of conversation and absolutely no environment was accessible to all. Nor would everyone feel comfortable, or included, when attending.

Starting this business has allowed a safe space for ALL women and non binary people, to feel not only included but desired and worthy of attendance to events we organise. Our speaking panel at events is , again, made up of women within our community. The topics we discuss challenge attendees to listen to an alternative point of view and REALLY LISTEN to the voices of other women and their experiences.

Q. In the context of "Inspire Inclusion," can you share a personal story or achievement that highlights the power of collaboration and unity among women entrepreneurs?

A. Absolutely and I’m not even joking when I say it involves Nat’V and founder Sandy ❤️

Our events literally rely on the support of other business women - as we do not run them for profit and solely exist to bring women together, contribute to the Care Pack Initiative and create change.

Nat’V Basics jumped at the chance to support our events and, in 2023, were our naming sponsor. We wanted our JTW community to love Nat’V as much as we did so created a spectacular moment showcasing Nat’V during the events inclusive and diverse fashion show. Attendees were able to meet Sandy and her staff and learn more about the products and Nat’Vs commitment to sustainability.

It truly was a collaborative effort with other female founded businesses such as SQ°N and Proud Poppy also supporting the event and showcasing their products.

Offering the chance to showcase other businesses to my community was amazing. A true example of accepting support whilst offering it too.

It was so empowering to be around these strong knowledgeable business women, who I know I can learn a lot from and continue to be inspired by every day - not just IWD ❤️

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Next article International Women's Day "Inspire Inclusion" 8th March 2024

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