by Madison Watt
WOMEN from around the region gathered at the Family Support Centre yesterday to share stories of their success, and their struggles against inequality.
The high tea event was held in honour of International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women.
Inspirational tales of tackling workplace sexism and paving the way for other women were heard.
Attendee Vicki Mayne spoke about her mother, Pauline Reardon, who was one of the first female racing stewards in Toowoomba.
"Mum was a trailblazer, she was also one of the first female riders in the ladies races,” Ms Mayne said.
"She was a single mum and was always strong.
"Knowing that mum had the strength to do what she did gave me confidence.”
Mrs Reardon was also in attendance, and told of her experiences in the male-dominated racing industry.
"Other male stewards wouldn't take me to Warwick and other places because they'd say 'people would talk',” she said.
"Though there certainly are more females now (in the industry), but female jockeys are still shunned.”
Another talking point was the importance of women supporting other women on every level in society, whether it be at home or in parliament.
"It's sad when you can't find women who champion other women,” Ms Mayne said.
Chinchilla Family Support Centre youth worker Jesse McLennan said it was crucial to empower women in the community and to connect with other women.
"We believe that all women should be able to put their best feet forward and we have so many brilliant females in our society, that we really just want to promote them and celebrate them.”