Happy International Women's Day! Over the past week, we have been catching up with — and celebrating — the women behind The Actors Centre and you can read more of their stories here. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Each for Equal; promoting that an equal world is an enabled world. For the final instalment in this series, we sat down with Amanda Davey, Chief Executive, who tells us about the women she admires, as well as what she believes to be some of the most pressing issues facing equality.
Tell us a little bit about your role at The Actors Centre.
My role is Chief Executive. I lead the organisation, working strategically and operationally to define/develop/implement the artistic, financial, managerial and developmental aspects of the organisation, its work/programme.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me its about it’s about empowerment and choice, every woman should feel they have the right to make choices about their lives, and how they choose to live. Sadly, this is not the case, I hope that by coming together on this day to celebrate all women, we acknowledge those who are in less privileged positions than ourselves, those who do not have the right to choose, or in fact have any right(s) at all.
Who is a woman that you admire?
I have two.
Kim Shattuck, lead singer, guitarist of punk band, the Muffs. She sadly passed away last year but was fierce, creative, talented, and tough. In a male dominated world, she rocked the hardest, had the best stage presence, and made it look easy.
Louise Lecavalier, contemporary dancer/dance artist, her physicality and raw acrobatic movement particularly with La La La Human Steps blew me away, it still does.
Who are some of the women that have helped you along your career path?
I am incredibly lucky to have been brought up in a home where I was encouraged to do anything/be anyone I wanted to be. That support/backing has been immeasurable in shaping who I am today. I have some incredibly strong women (I don’t want to name them, but they know who they are) in my life, family, friends, ex colleagues, managers, and mentors who continue to support and challenge (that’s also important). Their input continues to develop my thinking and their ongoing critical feedback and nurturing is always welcomed.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women in the industry today?
I don’t think it is possible to cite just one however, the lack of woman in positions of power is a challenge. The lack of women in senior positions within organisations, business, in boardrooms, and politics continues/will continue to hinder progress on a range of issues from pay to discrimination in all its forms.
What piece of advice would you give to young women entering the workforce today?
You are good enough, work hard, speak your mind, hold your head up high, keep going but allow yourself to be vulnerable, be confident in your abilities, be yourself.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Failure is part of the learning, it’s how you move forward, and learn from those mistakes, that’s important.
What, in your opinion, is the most pressing issue facing women’s equality today?
Argh! So many things – the patriarchy, we still live in a male dominated society/world where it is expected that women should understand/acknowledge their position/role. That women are less qualified, less competent than, and subservient to men, that strong independent women are a problem that need dealing with.
Women are always pitted against one another, there is a (patriarchal) thought that there is not enough room for us all. We should support one another and be each other’s greatest advocates.
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