16 October 2018
The annual She Leads High Conference is a one-day leadership event for young women, including female identifying and non-binary people, in years 9 and 10. The event will take place at the University of Canberra’s Ann Harding Conference Centre on 1 November 2018.
In this interview, we talk to Shibanni Dave, one of our speed networkers at the upcoming 2018 She Leads High Conference. Shibanni is a young woman driven by her passion for diversity in people, cultures and perspectives. Her interest in the woman centric leadership spaces has led her to being involved with several organisations in various capacities. Currently the Director of Communication for the ANU Women in Leadership organisation, Shibanni is a strong believer of the role of communication in understanding the world. With a particular focus on global intersectional issues and their links to business, she is studying a Bachelor of Business and IR at the Australian National University.
Describe your leadership journey in 30 words or less.
A journey not without its challenges, but challenges I wouldn’t hesitate to face again because they have been foundational to the that person I have become today.
Why is it important that we increase the number of girls and women in leadership positions? How does this impact upon gender equality?
You cannot make a change at the ground level, unless there is a change from the top down. The evolution can only come through with a diverse representation in the rooms where the decisions are being made. Being a woman in leadership means that you are at the table when decisions that affect women are being made, and your voice and opinion holds weight. The more women we have that exercise their right as leaders to make a difference, the better the impact for everyone.
If there was one resource that you recommend every future girl/woman leader would read or view what would it be?
Some of the work by the Guerrilla Girls. Not only does it inspire you to want to achieve more as a woman, it highlights why it is so important.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself in high school, what would it be?
It’s okay to fail. You aren’t going to win everything or do things perfectly all the time. Often, we live with the attitude that being wrong is the worst thing possible and that coming second is unacceptable. But often, I have found that if I failed at something the first time, took a step back and tried again – not only did I do so much better but I was happier during the whole process. This is because if I went back in order to redo it, I knew it really was something I actually wanted to do.