The sky feels heavy in more ways than one.

March 2, 2022

By Jamila Rizvi


March 2, 2022

By Jamila Rizvi

Hello friends,

The sky feels heavy this week and not only because clouds full of rain continue to dump their contents across the eastern states. After two years where our news has been dominated by a single story, recent days have brought fresh reasons to worry and more people who need our help.

To those of you who are living in flood affected areas, Future Women sends our love and support. It feels rather meaningless to send mere good wishes when almost 50,000 are without power, 15,000 homes water damaged and 13 people (at the time of writing) have lost their lives. Nonetheless, you are in our thoughts.

For those wanting to help friends and family who have been impacted, I found this article from The Conversation useful. More generally, we all have work to do when it comes to stopping dangerous climate change and demanding better of our governments. This piece from New Scientist is a good reminder that there is never a wrong time to talk about the catastrophic warming of our planet and its consequences.

Beyond our own borders, the world has become a less stable and secure place since our last correspondence. Helen McCabe and Sally Spicer spoke with ABC journalist Matt Bevan on The Download yesterday about what’s been happening in the Ukraine. (The conversation is worth watching back here). If you’re a little behind the news or simply confused then this short explanation, or this more detailed one, will help.

The incursion by the Russian military into Ukraine was seemingly unexpected by most commentators and foreign policy pundits. If you – along with the rest of the world – are wondering what is driving Russian President Vladimir Putin, then this episode of The Daily is worth a listen. If you want advice on how to help the people of Ukraine, Time Magazine has published this useful collection of links.

It feels almost crass to speak of other news, but as always the world keeps turning even in the darkest of hours. I dove deep on Kentanji Brown Jackson, who will likely be confirmed as the first Black woman appointed to the US Supreme Court. This piece from the New York Times about how her experience of high school debate shored up her future in the law is worthy of your attention.

On the subject of extraordinary women of colour, our annual International Women’s Day First Nations breakfast, sponsored by Witchery, is on today. While tickets have sold out and by the time you’ve read this the event has likely wrapped, I want to give a shout out to our own Madison Howarth. Madison is a Wonnarua and Yuin woman and watching her confidence and skill grow as a presenter, including as facilitator of this special event, is a true joy.

If you did miss out on attending the breakfast, then never fear, there’s plenty more where that came from. Next week is our Future Women Leadership Summit, where more than forty incredible speakers are on the bill, ready to wow our audiences both online and in person. Tickets are still available but you betta be quick! Big thanks to our presenting partner, Commonwealth Bank, our major partner Salesforce, our partner Hachette and our charity partner Plan International.

Before I go, let me share some lighter and brighter news. SmartCompany have been surveying people about office jargon which is absolutely a sensible use of time. Merit of the study aside, it turns out 89 percent of us use jargon and 55 percent admit having caught ourselves using a sentence we’re sick of. The worst offenders? ASAP, keep me in the loop, circle back and the new normal. May we banish these phrases to the dustbin of history.

The glorious AFLW Indigenous Round was this week and this quote from The Guardian resonated with me. ‘At a time when it is too easy to fall into despair and cynicism, and when so many are asking “what does any of this even mean?”, Indigenous round is a reminder that stopping to connect, acknowledge culture and platform First Nations communities – women in particular – is in itself healing. Sitting down to watch the footy this weekend felt like a balm.’ Bravo bravo.

There were also some joyful Australian airport reunions this week as international borders were opened once again and families put back together again. The videos turned me into a hot, sobbing mess but it was totally worth the runny mascara. Rihanna is also redefining maternity fashion in such an impossibly chic way, she almost makes me miss pregnancy. Okay, not quite…

Until next time,

Jamila Rizvi
Chief of Content, Community and Online Learning, Future Women