Cannabiz recently launched its Women in Cannabis initiative. Cannabiz co-founder and chief innovation officer Kim McKay explains the rationale behind the campaign.

The powerful thing about creating something from the ground up is that you don’t have to fix legacy issues. You get the opportunity to build it from the beginning.

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That’s why I admire the cannabis industry: gender equality has been baked in from the start. I want to celebrate the incredible achievements of Women in Cannabis, not because we don’t have a voice – we do. Women are leaders in this industry. It’s about celebrating how much power we have, and sharing this with up-and-coming women.

Cannabiz co-founder and chief innovation officer Kim McKay

When we first considered launching Cannabiz, some of the key players we talked to were women: not by choice, but because we wanted to speak to the people at the top, and many of them happened to be women.

Bold and brave women have made this industry what it is today. Let’s celebrate that and shine a spotlight on it. Let’s use this industry as a guiding light for others. It’s only emerging industries that have this opportunity. There aren’t any traditions to break, only new ones to make. Let’s make the most of this opportunity.

Through Women in Cannabis we are committing to play our part in sustaining and building on the equality we see in our industry and how we can let this be an example to corporate Australia – remembering that only 32% of ASX board places are taken by women and there has been NO increase on this in more than two years.

If the predictions are correct and we see ourselves in a multi-billion industry in a few years’ time, we need to work hard to ensure that the gender diverse foundation we have isn’t lost.

We can’t let our industry become another bastion of male privilege. We believe that industries and businesses with diverse leadership stand a better chance in the future.

We have an opportunity, not only to usher in an era of medicinal cannabis and create great change to the lives of Australians, BUT to redefine corporate Australia.

Cannabiz wants us all to do our part. Our mission is to shine a spotlight on opportunity and we will do this through five key pillars:

Our Platform: ensuring female voices are amplified through our editorial and events.
Our Process: decision making is balanced and diverse
Our Perception: our marketing will reflect the faces and voices of our industry.
Our PR team will promote the industry to mainstream media using the stories of female founders and CEOs to educate how our industry is leading the way.
Our Partners: we will seek a 50/50 ratio of board members, advisors, consultants and investors in Cannabiz.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...