International Women's Day

Each year, International Women's Day is recognised on 8 March. The day brings together global governments, women's organisations, businesses and charities together under the banner of International Women's Day.

Throughout every year we celebrate many days of recognition at Scotch. As a single gender boys' college, I believe it is critical that on days such as International Women's Day, we must stop and acknowledge the incredible role women have played and continue to play in the formation of our School, boys, staff, OSC and the wider community. Today Scotch has approximately 53% female employees across both teaching and non-teaching roles.

The most poignant reminder about the role of women in our community can be traced back to our very foundation. In Building a Tradition (p2), the written history of our College, we are reminded that Scotch owes its very foundation to a discussion that took place between Jane Alexander and her husband the Hon William Alexander, then a MLA of WA. History records that 'Mrs Alexander was a most devout Presbyterian and, within the constraints that being1890s-janet-alexander-3-1.jpg a good wife and mother implied in the late nineteenth century, a woman of action.' It was Jane Alexander, not her husband, who approached the Revd. David Ross who represented the Presbyterian Church of WA, and offered 500 pounds to commence Scotch College.

As they say in the classics 'the rest is history'. As a result of the resolve of a strong female advocate here we stand in 2018 as a leading Independent Boys' School, with a $50m+ turnover that has graduated some 15,000 students across Australia and the globe.

The sun.co.uk points out that 'with the recent scandals in Hollywood, and the World Economic Forums' Global Gender Gap Report showing that it will take 217 years to close the gender parity gap, it's more important than ever that we aim for progress. The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #PressforProgress. The website argues: 'We can't be complacent. Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity.'

As the person writing this reflection, I give thanks every day to the role my mother played in the formation of her son. Furthermore, I have watched in awe at the achievements of my wife and daughter.  In terms of my professional career, it was a woman who gave me the biggest break. I have no doubt whatsoever, that no male would have had the courage to give me the role she did.

On International Women's Day, I encourage our boys, and everyone associated with this great College, to stop and take time to reflect on the role significant women have played in their formation; their families, their teachers or significant female role models within the wider community.

Let me conclude by sharing a quote from Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, 'Gender equality is not only an issue for women and girls.'

To all of the women in our lives, thank you for everything you represent.