Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay is buzzing with anticipation for one of its most exciting events of the year, the International Women's Day Business Lunch hosted by the Resource Industry Network.
This year's theme of #EmbraceEquity promises to be thought-provoking and inspiring, as industry leaders, professionals, and community members come together to celebrate the progress of women in the METS and resources sector.
The event promises to be a dynamic and entertaining affair, with an incredible lineup of speakers and an emcee who is sure to keep the audience laughing.
Kat Davidson, the event emcee, is a highly experienced comedian with more than 25 years of experience. She is known for her brilliant stories and her ability to keep her audience laughing no matter who is in the audience. Kat has shared the stage with some of the world's best comics, including Stephen K Amos, Steven Wright, and Dave Hughes. She has headlined the best comedy clubs in Australia and Canada and can also be regularly found at sea performing for huge crowds on P&O Cruise ships.
Katie Brennan, the keynote speaker, is a headline player in the AFLW and has been involved in speaking in different formats and across different audiences. As a leader and captain across two inaugural AFLW clubs, Western Bulldogs and Richmond Tigers, Katie is well-versed in the challenges and hardships that leadership can bring. She is passionate about high-performance culture and applies her learned techniques and mindset not only to her professional but also to her personal life.
With the theme of #EmbraceEquity, this year's event encourages everyone to work towards creating a world where women are safe and included, and where their contributions are valued and celebrated.
Comedy is often considered a male-dominated industry, but women like Kat Davidson are paving the way for a new generation of comedians. With over a decade of experience in the media industry, including 15 years with the ABC, Davidson has become a prominent figure in the media and Australian comedy. In a recent interview with Mackay Life Editor, Amanda Wright, she discussed the changes she has seen in the industry's attitudes towards women and the challenges still facing female comedians.
Since joining the ABC in 2008, Kat has witnessed a shift in attitudes towards women in media.
"It's vastly improved, where it's at the point, in the best possible way, that gender is irrelevant," she said. In her experience, hiring decisions are now based solely on merit, regardless of gender.
However, when it comes to comedy, there are still gender barriers that need to be broken.
"Sadly yes, we're not quite there yet in the world of comedy," she lamented. While the industry itself can pose challenges, it's often the audience who perpetuates the gender divide.
"I had someone say to me 'you're the best female comedian I've ever seen,' and I know they meant it as a compliment, but why did it have to be female comedian?" she said.
Despite the challenges, Kat finds inspiration and support from other comedians, particularly during her stints on P&O Cruise Ships. "The atmosphere on the ships is great. It's three days out at sea which gives you the opportunity to bond with other comedians and be supportive of one another," she shared.
Kat is excited to emcee the RIN’s IWD business lunch here in Mackay next week.
"We're reaching a point where we can move past a simple celebration of women and really champion achievement while looking at how we can learn, how we can promote equity, how we find strength and grow," she said.
As a mother balancing a busy career, Kat acknowledges the challenge of being away from her daughter for work. However, she finds that having honest conversations with her daughter about her work and goals helps to maintain a balance.
"I want her to see me succeed in the world and know what the sacrifices were all for, so she can know she too can pursue a career and family, if she chooses, to fill her with the belief anything is possible," she said.
Despite the challenges she faces, she remains hopeful and focused on promoting equity and supporting other women in the media and comedy.