Six Degrees network
The Six Degrees Network encourages, supports and promotes the inclusion of women by providing leadership, mentoring, education and knowledge-sharing opportunities for our people and our clients.
Referencing the "six degrees of separation" that exists between each of us, the Network aims to foster these connections by creating a forum where we can listen, contribute and learn.
Events & activities
International Women's Day 2019 – #BalanceforBetter with Mariam Veiszadeh
Sparke Helmore hosted its flagship International Women’s Day client event with Mariam Veiszadeh as this year’s guest speaker. Mariam is known to many as a lawyer, Muslim, refugee and fierce D&I advocate, and is now Members & Advisory Director at the Diversity Council Australia.
Mariam spoke to a room of 133 clients and guests, sharing her insights on societal privilege, power, and what it means to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to inclusion. In her authentic and very personal address, Mariam looked at the impacts of intersectionality on her experience, and explained how acknowledging bias, prejudice and societal barriers to inclusion are critical to level the playing field for all.
It was a beautiful and inspiring evening.
International Women's Day 2018 – with Julia Baird
Sparke Helmore celebrated IWD 2018 by inviting prominent journalist, broadcaster and host of ABC's "The Drum", Julia Baird, to speak with an audience of almost 100 employees and clients.
In line with the IWD theme #pressforprogress, Julia spoke on a wide variety of topics affecting women today and through history. Julia's thought-provoking talk also focused on the media representation of women in politics and the different standards to which they are held. She encouraged women to not apologise, but “occupy their space and forget about likeability” and to “lead from wherever they stand."
International Women's Day 2017 – with Kitty Chiller
On Tuesday 7 March 2017, Sparke Helmore hosted a special IWD event through our Six Degrees initiative for clients in Sydney. Guest speaker Kitty Chiller, a former Olympian and sporting champion, shared her experiences in the world of elite sport.
Kitty is a 12-time national pentathlon champion, seven-time World Cup medalist and six-time World Cup finalist. She was ranked number one in the world from 1996 to1998 and competed in modern pentathlon at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. She was appointed to Deputy Chef de Mission for the 2012 Australian Olympic Team (with swimmer Chris Fydler) and to Chef de Mission for the 2016 Rio Games—her leadership reinvigorated the culture of Australia's Olympic Team.
Kitty captivated the audience as she told the story of her involvement in the Olympics, from athlete to leader. As the first female Chef de Mission during the 2016 Rio Games, Kitty faced significant scrutiny. However, she embraced the challenge ahead of her and, through her leadership of the team, became a living example of this year's IWD theme, be bold for change. In retelling her story, Kitty said that her key to success was to trust your good intentions...harness the support around you and not waver from the mandate.
International Women's Day 2016 – with David Morrison
On Thursday 10 March 2016, we hosted a special IWD event in Sydney with guest speaker David Morrison, 2016 Australian of the Year and Chair of the Diversity Council of Australia. He shared his very personal story of how and why he became a champion for gender equality and diversity more widely, captivating the 150-strong audience of our clients and staff.
Talking about his time as Chief of Army from 2011 to 2015, David shared that he was confronted with the issue that women have made up less than 10% of the Army over the past century. He realised that a significant factor affecting this low figure was the Army's culture of exclusivity and set his sights on finding the language that would make its culture inclusive. He discovered this language of change after visiting soldiers serving in Afghanistan; "more diverse, more inclusive workforces are more capable...It's about encouraging people to offer their views that would be different from the status quo's, to disrupt complacent thinking, and to try and solve tomorrow's problems with tomorrow's solutions".