How are people especially women and young girls supposed to excel in life and in their chosen career or business if they are told by society they are naturally not good enough if born and/or live in western Sydney?

Growing up in greater western Sydney, you are branded a few things by default. Not by your fellow ‘westies’, but by those from the inner city, eastern suburbs and north shore.

You are seen as (and often told) that you are less educated, less worthy, less intelligent … essentially less valuable.

I call it the western Sydney stigma. One night a few years ago, I was at a very high profile event in the eastern suburbs. The host introduced me to her guests as “Amanda Rose… she’s from Parramatta, but that’s okay because she is very smart, educated, gorgeous and connected.”

If you know me, you know my facial expressions really do give away how I am feeling and her introduction made my eyes roll so hard they threatened to backflip me.

I was NOT impressed. I thought to myself, this has to change. How are people especially women and young girls supposed to excel in life and in their chosen career or business if they are told by society they are naturally not good enough if born and/or live in western Sydney? This is why I started Western Sydney Women.

The western Sydney stigma is classism pure and simple: prejudice against groups of people based on a supposed ‘class’ defined by where they live. Classism of course also includes bias based on racial, economic, educational, or ethnic standards, but often those are also wrapped up in ‘where you’re from’.

This stigma against being from western Sydney has impacted people’s confidence and self worth. It is an elitist view that where you live, how much money you have and simply believing you are better than someone else means you are.

Yeah… no. Women have been forced to lie or hide many things about their life in order to secure work. Nothing more as much as where they are from when it comes to living in the west.

But as Dylan sang: ‘the times, they are a changing’. The more people from western Sydney speak up about where they are from and how proud they are of that fact, the more power we will have.

Western Sydney has over three million people. That is one huge powerhouse. If we work together to create our own opportunities, we won’t need anyone else. In fact we probably never did the rest of Sydney just wanted us to believe they were the important part.

Now people in the other areas are finding they have to cross their boundaries – both suburban and prejudicial and come ‘all the way out west’ to get a piece of the action. The west is the new frontier for business and growth.

See Amanda's TEDx presentation on this topic HERE

Contact Amanda Rose by visiting www.amandarose.com.au

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