Email Phone MENU

Share this article:

As International Women’s Day provides a useful opportunity to reinforce the fact that everyone has a role to play in forging a more gender-balanced world, we wanted to take this opportunity to have open and honest discussions with all of our team members to hear what they thought about the meaning of the day, what gender equality means to them and to celebrate how we are all working together to ensure our company culture is continually evolving ensuring we are inclusive of all.

Here is what our team had to say:


David Ohandjanian

I’m lucky to have been raised with two beautiful, intelligent and successful businesswomen in my life. My mother and sister are a real inspiration to me and I feel like I have learned an incredible amount from them.

At Adao Design Agency we celebrate the gender diversity in our team, especially as we function in the incredibly male-focused tech sector.  Our female team members bring incredible skills and fresh perspectives that drive our success.

I’m happy to reveal that two-thirds of our management team at Adao are female and primarily responsible for managing the team and leading the organisation on a day-to-day basis. They are trusted leaders and are well respected by the team.

I truly believe in equality when it comes to salary, promotions and respect towards women in the workplace. I’m adamant that we keep this belief as we continue to grow and today we truly celebrate the amazing women in our workforce.


Mel Greenlaw

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is for me is a chance to both reflect on past and present oppression within societies across the globe, how far we’ve grown from that and celebrate the inspirational figures that got us to this point. But most importantly it’s a chance to highlight the modern issues women face such as the global gender pay gap, the general treatment of women at work, womens’ safety on the streets and on nights out for example, to reach true gender equality.

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Gender equality to me means that both genders are able to achieve the same levels of success based on their skills and abilities rather than their gender, without taking a pay cut or making personal sacrifices to break the glass ceiling. In social settings it’s fair, equal treatment and ensuring that women feel as safe as men do when walking down the street for example, and a sense of equal empowerment that nothing is out of reach for all.

Proudest career/life achievements?
Playing football from a young age at a good level back when the girls game was (and still is) massively underfunded, wasn’t promoted in school PE let alone shown much on TV. Pushing back on the local club when they wanted to fold our team. Or successfully working within 2 male dominated industries since graduating university, the vape/digital industry and now digital marketing at Adao Design Agency.


Brendan Kedwards

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
It means that the women in my life have the exact same opportunities as me, and are allowed to exist without compromise or being bothered just like me.

Proudest career/life achievements?
Graduating from University during COVID.

Any other thoughts?
Every person has the right to exist and be the way they want to be (as long as they’re not hurting others obvs). The fact that some people aren’t because of what they’re born with or what they choose to identify as is honestly one of the most absurd things about today.

We, as a society, would be lost without women, God knows I’d never get anything done if it wasn’t for my partner, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without my Mom.


Rachel Major

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A celebration of how far we have come but also how far we have to go

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Work in progress

Proudest career/life achievements?
I work in a very busy managerial full-time role in a male-dominated industry, and am an integral part of the business growth. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am supportive of my husband’s business. I am a homemaker. I am a hockey player. I am proud to be a strong woman.


James Hughes

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, it is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political success of all Women in the World. #GirlPower – It is a time to celebrate the world moving forwards with inclusion and equality, but also a time to remember those in the past who fought for Women’s Rights.

What does Gender Equality mean to you? I believe it is vital for people of all genders to have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. It is about ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to make the most of their lives, and their talents, and be ‘heard’ regardless of their gender. I believe that a world with balanced Gender Equality would bring better local & worldwide decisions with things such as our healthcare systems, politics, infrastructure, workplace environments and business success. Making for a better, happier, inclusive society. Can I get an A-men up in here?!

Proudest career/life achievements? Proudest life achievement would probably be circumnavigating the world on 3 separate occasions during a previous career performing as Lead Vocalist/Production show performer onboard Cruise Ships. I made the most amazing memories I will never forget including climbing The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sky-Diving in New Zealand, Swimming with Reef Sharks in the French Polynesian Islands and visiting The Lost City of Petra. During this time I also made lifelong friends with a diverse group of people from different backgrounds & cultures.

Anything else to add? Most of my friends are Women… How could I not be a fan of International Womens Day! “Who run the world? Girls!” 💁🏼‍♀️🦄


Isha Shende

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Gender equality to me is having equality in basic rights. Little things like not having to think 10 times to stroll down the street when it’s darker without fear, just like men, would get us closer to gender equality, in my opinion. While the world is moving towards the idea of encouraging inclusivity and equal rights for all genders, what I feel this has done is, only just create another “law” in place for people to follow – but just like every other law/rule – no one follows it because they truly believe it should exist but follow it because they have to. That is what I believe is happening with “Gender equality” nowadays. It has devolved into simply another corporate social responsibility. While it is encouraging that the economy is now considering broader elements such as equal opportunities, equal wages, paternity leaves, and some countries even providing paid time off each month to women menstruating are some of the great initiatives – however, what we must remember is that this is not an initiative; it is a fight for basic human rights that we should all have regardless of gender.

Proudest career/life achievements?
One of the things i really feel proud about in my career (so far) – Being the lone female in the marketing department in my previous role was challenging. I was not only the only girl, but I was also considerably younger. In the corporate world, the two things didn’t really go hand in hand – and everything I said/proposed would be disregarded with statements like, “you’re young, and have no experience, therefore we won’t really implement what you’ve recommended,” which left me gutted most of the time. Except for the one occasion when I held firm and made sure to push my ideas to the BOD without worrying about the feedback or retaliation for speaking up out of turn. Fortunately, it worked favourably, and my proposals were positively embraced and even taken into consideration, so much so that the strategy I designed is still being followed long after I left.


Tom Buxton

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is an important reminder of the progress that has been made towards gender equality and the work that still needs to be done. It serves as a time to reflect on the challenges women continue to face globally and the need for continued efforts to promote women’s rights and empowerment.

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Gender equality is essential for creating a fair and just society that benefits everyone. It ensures that individuals are not discriminated against based on their gender and can reach their full potential. Gender equality is also critical for promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable development goals.

Proudest career/life achievements?
My proudest career achievement was joining Adao Design Agency back in 2020.


Shelley Gow

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women who have broken stereotypes and changed perceptions

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Gender equality means treating everyone equally, irrespective of their gender

Proudest career/life achievements?
My biggest life achievement is that I have been able to create a happy and settled life for myself and my son, I have been able to do it on my own whilst working and being the sole homemaker.


Cameron Parkes

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Empowerment of Women

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
Gender equality means to me that different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally.

Proudest career/life achievements?
Getting my first design job



Owain Powell

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A force for good! In recent years, we’ve seen more exposure for women’s sports (being televised), gender pay gaps narrowing and a great number of women holding senior positions in blue chip enterprises.

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
In my 38 years, I’ve witnessed the evolution of female empowerment in the workplace, which can only be a positive thing. Why shouldn’t women have as much of an opportunity to succeed as men? Personally it means quite a lot; with my wife coming from a country (Brazil) where the woman’s role is traditionally seen as the housewife, and (if they do get employment) it’s in menial work i.e. cleaning, clerical/admin. She’s worked to fight the status quo and is flying high in an investment bank. I’m proud of her achievements and witness first-hand, the effort that goes into being successful. It’s also great that large organisations such as the one she works at recognises her on the merit of her work/output; and encourages success and growth/promotions up the company structure. This can only be a positive thing for women to now be rewarded on the quality/output of their work and not held back because of their gender.


Sarah Law

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To open up important discussions around gender inequality and celebrate the achievements of women.

What does Gender Equality mean to you?
The rise of women is not about the fall of men, everyone can play a role in forging gender parity

Proudest career/life achievements?
Winning a business person of the year award in 2016, becoming the Head of Digital at Adao Design Agency!

Anything else to add?
Many years ago as a female business owner, I experienced a huge amount of gender-based adversity which really knocked my confidence and self-esteem and led me to question whether I really wanted a career in the digital space at all. From comments about business failure due to being a woman, to statements that my ovaries would impact my ability to perform; there was constant gender-based criticism within the industry and I genuinely felt that I couldn’t progress with it anymore.

Six years ago when I closed the business and joined Adao, the team here worked hard to ensure I felt valued, heard, and constantly reminded me that I belonged both in a position of leadership here and also in the digital space. Not only do we have a brilliant community of men and women who are striving to create an equal, balanced workplace, but Dave has also supported me and my growth, which has led to my role evolving into the Head of Digital and supporting in the wider business plan objectives and helping to continually spearhead new company initiatives and ensure we always have a diverse and equal culture inclusive of every-single-body!

Share this article: