Suzi Finkelstein on the importance of amplification​

Have you heard of synchronous lightning bugs? They are little, glowing bugs that normally reside in Indonesia and Tennessee, USA.

Researchers have found that when these bugs light up by themselves, they have a 3% chance of survival. But when they form a group and all light up together, they have an 86% chance of survival. This is because they are stronger, and far more visible, together.

These bugs are quite literally the living embodiment of the power of amplification.

Amplify: to make larger, greater, or stronger

Synonyms: turn up, increase, boost, step up, raise, magnify, intensify, escalate, or heighten.

I am seeing more evidence that amplification is what we need to be doing for our female leaders and for ourselves. After reading Women Kind by Catherine Fox and Dr Kirstin Ferguson, I am understanding this concept more and more and I am witnessing transformation first hand.

Listening to participants across our programs, I hear the difference it makes when:

  • their idea or input gets endorsed by someone else
  • the achievement is shared
  • they receive an invite in recognition to the work they have done
  • their name is referred.


Sadly, it is more common for the opposite to be true. Hopefully, this isn’t the norm for you:

  • your idea is ignored until someone else suggests it
  • you get overlooked for opportunities
  • your name isn’t included in the email
  • achievements don’t receive the accolades.


The missing ingredient is owning and articulating the wins, and helping others to do the same. If we can start this practice, then we can ensure that this can be the norm rather than the outlier.

With all this in mind, our Symposium series for 2019 has a focus on amplifying female leadership. When you think about it, it’s the perfect place for this to happen. Why else go to a Symposium other than to be inspired? This inspiration comes from the people you sit with as well as the stories and presentations we hear from the podium.

Laurie Dalton White, the global founder of the Conferences for Women, once said, “Something special happens when you see that you are not alone. Making connections and building relationships with other attendees and speakers increases capacity.” My experience at the symposiums always echoes this sentiment.

Here at WLA, we value diversity and female leaders so much that we don’t just develop them, we advocate for them, and we passionately campaign for gender equity in the workplace.

Our #100daysforchange campaign last year allowed us to amplify the efforts that individuals and workplaces were making to advance gender equity in their workplace, industry sector and community. A conservative estimate sees 200,000 Australian workers being positively and tangibly affected by that impact - which shows just how far a bit of amplification can go.

This really is the theme of this series. It’s about the importance and impact of celebrating women. The collective potential is huge, so please think about how YOU can amplify someone today.

Suzi Finkelstein: Her 2019 Words

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