I am 60.  I was born in an era where there was a lot of gender discrimination, and let’s face it, there still is.  I was raised by two very strong parents who worked together as a partnership.  On Sunday evenings my father could often be seen doing the ironing whilst my mother was cooking the evening meal.

We were brought up to believe there should never be any gender stereotypes, or any stereotypes for that matter.
We were encouraged to believe that we could do anything we put our minds to as long as we put in the hard work. I grew up mainly in Canberra but spent a few years in Singapore where I experienced racial bullying at school. Though the worst discrimination I received was when I moved to Sydney.
I worked several administration and hospitality jobs to pay for my education. At one of the jobs, I remember finding out that I was being paid less than my male counter part. This seemed odd to me as we were doing the same job. When I asked my manager, their response was “they may occasionally have to lift heavy things whilst on shift”.  At the time I accepted it, though if I was in a similar situation now I would certainly challenge it.
After graduating I worked for many great organisations, although there were still traces of discrimination; I was told in one job that an internal opportunity would have been perfect for me if I was a man.
Being in HR, I have used my position to challenge these views. I have done so quietly and in a considered way, finding respectful dialogue a good means to understand different views, enabling me to offer alternative perspectives. This approach won me the respect of many of my senior managers and was also effective in changing the views and behaviours of managers who held old-fashioned stereotypes, often without giving them much thought.
In 1992 I was in a HR position in the IT industry. When I announced my pregnancy, most colleagues and managers were delighted to hear this. However, there were a few who did not share this view. Two of the senior executives and some other colleagues were quite vitriolic about the situation. Even though it was just a few in the organisation, they were influential and I soon felt pressured to not take maternity leave, and I left. 
I quickly went from feeling like I was a respected professional to a problem, because I was pregnant.
I ended up joining a smaller organisation, which had a much more progressive management team. I was employed in a more senior role and I was able to role model that with planning and prioritizing, it was possible to combine work and parenting.
For the past 28 years, I haven’t experienced any direct gender discrimination. Though as a senior HR manager I have certainly witnessed it, and I have continued to challenge the individuals who hold these antiquated and ignorant views.
Three of the most successful organisations that I have worked with have had women CEOs. I have been involved in the recruitment of CEOs and never has their gender been a mention. They are hired based on their intellect, leadership capabilities and achievements.
Despite this mostly positive experience, there are workplaces where gender discrimination is rife. It is up to people like me in my privileged position as a senior Human Resources leader, to champion the cause for empowering and enabling the potential of all humans, regardless of their gender, age or ethnicity.