gender diversity

The Great Debate: It’s not about the money, money, money…

From the Broad Agenda Blog and published on 30 June 2017

Written By: Megan Deas

COMMENTARY:  Actually, it was all about the money at the AIM Great Debate Canberra on 23June 2017 when six strong, intelligent and passionate women from various backgrounds got together to debate whether equal pay will close the gender gap.

With great wit and light-hearted banter, the panellists kept the audience entertained while providing evidence for both sides of the pay gap argument. A friendly and fun debate, the sense of camaraderie was evident on the podium, with zingy one-liners as the only daggers fired.

We here at BroadAgenda naturally love us a good debate, and were more than happy to cheer our Chief Editor Virginia Haussegger AM on as she joined forces with the negative team. Here’s our recap of the day.


Great video explaining gender bias - Janet Crawford

Curious about gender bias?  Janet Crawford is a gender and unconscious bias expert and here is a great explanation from the Webstock 2015 Conference in New Zealand.

My standout takeaway?

"Media is not benign. Because it is this sort of imagery  that brains use in our unconscious calculation of who belongs where and what competence looks like."  - referring to Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer's youthful blonde looks, and Fortune magazine's need to reassure us that she is indeed competent.

Elizabeth Broderick led change by making gender equity a contest - SMH Sept 2015 (Annabel Crabb)

The reality is that diversity in all its forms is a societal issue - and gender diversity is not just about women. So while there are some skeptics of the Male Champions of Change program, my personal belief is that until we involve everyone in solving this nothing much will change. Power, in all its forms, is challenging to let go of whether you are a man or a woman, so convincing men that they need to step down from leadership and give someone else a go, is not going to be easy if you yelling from the sidelines so to speak.

Once again - I'm a big fan of Annabel Crabb's writing. Here's more.

Extract from Sydney Morning Herald 

Annabel Crabb - 5 September 2015

"Sex discrimination commissioner created a new club for male business leaders, who then vied to one-up each other.

For a person whose job it is to promote the interests of women, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has spent an awful lot of time thinking about and talking to men.

Has her approach been provocative? Indisputably. Controversial? Sure. Worth it? I reckon – and here's why."


Men will sleep easier if there's a 50/50 quota - SMH Aug 2015 (Annabel Crabb)

As always Annabel Crabb serves up meaty topics with a dose of humour helping us keep the conversation bright and breezy on big issues.

Extract from Sydney Morning Herald

Annabel Crabb 22 August 2015

"There are a lot of arguments against having formal quotas or targets for women in business and politics. Some are very convincing; that's why this continues to be a vexed debate. It's easy to recoil at the idea of quotas; the idea of a central government reaching in to twiddle the managerial knobs of a private enterprise is as essentially-chilling as the idea of a central government telling individuals whom they may or may not sleep with." 


Challenging Meritocracy with UN Women and Autopia

On Wednesday 22 July in Melbourne I attended the Driving Gender Diversity breakfast presented by UN Women Australia and sponsored by Autopia  where they presented their report which challenges the notion of meritocracy.

We heard from a range of experts on the notion of meritocracy and why its an outdated and flawed notion full of unconscious bias.  In my mind this means so much when it comes to Associations planning industry conferences as frequently our industry conferences are full of white men in suits on the stage with an implied message that anglo saxon males are the only experts. While this is not the platform for that particular argument or debate (read more) it was exciting to hear both the theoretical and practical examples of why meritocracy is flawed and what we can do about it.

With thanks to our speaker panel: 

  • Julie McKay, Executive Director, UN Women Australia
  • Prof Robert Wood, Director, Centre for Ethical Leadership
  • Dimity Hodge, Australian Practice Leader - Leadership Advisory Services, Spencer Stuart
  • Air Commander Alan Clements, Commandant, Australian Defence Force Academy

If you want a copy of the report you can download it here.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution