The Blog

We Lead – Diversity and Inclusion with Jemimah Ashleigh

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jemimah Ashleigh and I am the global authority on visibility. I am an award-winning entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, best-selling author and the Founder of The Visibility Lab. My why is very simple. Women are often told they are “too much”, that they can’t do things “like a man”, that their opinion doesn’t count, they get spoken over the top of, and told to sit down. But what is it to do things “like a man” anyway? Is it to be successful? Is it to have the loudest voice in the room? Is it to make sure they are seen? I am this and more, however, despite going on to create Tangs Design, my own ethical handmade jewellery business after 10 years in law enforcement, and then starting The Business Experiment Podcast, which in 2017 was named Australia’s number #2 business podcast, as a woman, I was stilling fighting for visibility. It’s harder to get a place at the table. Even I’ve been denied a place at the table. It was time for the game to change. “We are building our own damn table”! My focus shifted to working with game-changing women entrepreneurs (and men who support them!) as they deserve to be celebrated. Women need to be seen on stages, in media outlets and around the world, and I was determined to make this happen. I have been featured in over 200+ media outlets, a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, as well as co-founder of Who Run The World. I know how to be seen and heard, and now I am making sure other women entrepreneurs are seen and heard also. They will never be too much, they are more than capable, their opinion will count, no one will be speaking over the top of them, and they damn sure won’t be sitting down, except to take their place at the table. This is what The Visibility Lab promotes – women need to be SEEN and HEARD.

2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?

My mother was widowed when she was 6 months pregnant with me. I was raised by a single woman for most of my start in life. I’ve always been drawn to inspiring women, but it took until my late 20’s for me to realise there were not enough professional women role models in my life. I spent a lot of time researching and learning about women who were killing it. My biggest role models are now: Miki Agrawal, the entrepreneur powerhouse and author of Disrupt-Her, Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, US Vice President Kamala Harris (HARRIS FOR 2024), RBG (I miss her every day) and Jameela Jamil.

3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

Women are immediately at a disadvantage in business and leadership. Women have a 97% failure of start-ups in business in the first five years. This is twice the rate of our male counterparts. Women are still doing 85% of all household tasks and childcare activities in the home. Men outnumber female CEO and Board members 10:1 ratio in the Forbes 500 companies. Why is this? We have been told to be quiet, not to rock the status quo. We aren’t told to advocate for ourselves and sell ourselves. I would argue women need to own their power and skills and remind people just who YOU are.

4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?

That it is needed more than ever. I’m not advocating for anything more than the opportunity for equal opportunities. And we are making headways on this – but it remains painfully slow. We are still behind on the pay gap. We are still not providing women with the same opportunities, let alone LGBTIQA+ or people of colour. There are things we can do to proactively assist diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The first is the practical recruitment opportunities. Blind recruitment drives, education for staff and recruiters on gender bias education and using companies that specialise in this area can help mitigate these issues. We can also learn why it’s important – and not just for the ‘benefit’ to women. In 2020, it was identified that Boards that comprise of a woman or a person of colour, perform 35% more efficiently! And these statistics can be found in every aspect of a business. There are no negatives to diversity and inclusion occurring.

5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?

I could talk about this forever. I am SO passionate about women and making sure they are in the right rooms. This is why I do what I do.

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