Editor’s Welcome Page 2
Male Champions of Change Page 3
First Time Father Page 10
Not the Droids You’re Looking For Page 1...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 2 June 2013
Welcome to the June 2013 edition of Beyond The Spin. While
collating this issue,...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 3 June 2013
In 2009, Australia’s Federal Sex Discrimination
Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderic...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 4 June 2013
Exhibit 1: Elevating women's representation in leadership - a journey. Page 5, O...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 5 June 2013
As a result of these actions groups, a number of
key themes were identified:
 V...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 6 June 2013
 There is a need to consciously review
processes, practices, behaviours and cul...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 7 June 2013
From Right (foreground) to Left (background):
David Thodey, CEO, Telstra Ltd
Gia...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 8 June 2013
the focus of changing masculine attitudes,
behaviour or skills is often overlook...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 9 June 2013
ADVERTISEMENT
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 10 June 2013
A Book Commentary by Bryson J Hall
I went to New York for my 30th birthday. I h...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 11 June 2013
once the baby was born. How would our roles
be divided once my partner finished...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 12 June 2013
new born and Mum to help adjust to the new
lifestyle. When I first found out ab...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 13 June 2013
A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in
some market research on "What ...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 14 June 2013
Being a HomeDad (my preferred title) and
primary carer of our son, I clearly ha...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 15 June 2013
Are Equity and Equality the same?
When I first started in my professional work ...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 16 June 2013
We know that assumptions, bias and
discrimination ensure that not everyone has
...
Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 17 June 2013
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Beyond the Spin!
Please tell us what you...
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Beyond the spin issue 12 - june 2013

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In 2009, Australia’s Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, brought together 12 of Australia’s most senior male leaders for the purpose of increasing gender equality and the representation of women in leadership within Australia. They are the Male Champions of Change

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Beyond the spin issue 12 - june 2013

  1. 1. Editor’s Welcome Page 2 Male Champions of Change Page 3 First Time Father Page 10 Not the Droids You’re Looking For Page 13 In My Opinion Page 15 The Man Edition We share three men’s interesting reflections and observations on the gender issue.
  2. 2. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 2 June 2013 Welcome to the June 2013 edition of Beyond The Spin. While collating this issue, the gender debate has really stepped up to a new level in Australian media and politics! What a whirlwind of debate the past few weeks have been. In this edition, I have invited a series of male writers to contribute their ideas and observations on the topics of leadership, parenthood and gender roles. Looking at this edition in its entirety, I am glad I did, as when we talk about ‘gender equality’, this is often too easily translated into ‘women’s issues’. Despite this, the narrow definition of gender roles restricts both men and women’s opportunity to expand beyond these prescribed expectations. The division of professional and caring work into fairly distinct domains ensure that barriers exist for either gender to move outside of what is socially ‘normal’. At The 100% Project, we believe that women will only achieve their fair share of leadership roles in Australian business and society when men join the call for change. It is well known that women’s participation at work is greatly affected by their disproportionately high level of domestic and caring responsibilities. It is becoming more clear that the home and work spheres are interdependent, with a change in one area needing to balance by a shift in the other. For this reason, gender equality is not just a ‘women’s issue’ – it is about 100% of Australia’s talent contributing to our social and economic future. This is precisely why I set out to create this “Man Edition” of Beyond The Spin. On the following pages, you will find the reflections of three men who provide some very interesting observations. Firstly, James Heathers takes a look at the Male champions of Change initiative and ponders the role that male leaders play in driving change in Australian workplaces. The topic of transition to parenthood from a Dad’s perspective is explored by Bryson Hall’s commentary of the book “First Time Fathers”. We also have an article by JP Bechtold, who gives us some insight on what it is like to be a HomeDad who experiences prejudice as a result of not fitting the stereotype of a primary carer. Finally, I share my thoughts on why Equity and Equality are two very challenging concepts to apply in an organisational context. I hope you enjoy reading this edition, as it has been very rewarding to create. As always, I welcome your feedback, insights and contributions at any time. Cecelia Herbert
  3. 3. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 3 June 2013 In 2009, Australia’s Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, brought together 12 of Australia’s most senior male leaders for the purpose of increasing gender equality and the representation of women in leadership within Australia. They are the Male Champions of Change. A curious decision, on its face, to have powerful men talking about gender issues and engaging them to change the system that has facilitated their own ascension. Is it cheeky to ask if these men would be required to dismantle the process that has assisted them in gaining a professional advantage? Do I need to ask if the systemic dominance of men in business helped them gain their positions of power? How precisely would one approach this task? It seems this initiative coincided with emerging evidence that gender equality and greater representation of women at senior levels is more than just the right thing to do, but good business practice. Engaging male leaders in this process is doubly imperative. Firstly gender equality is not - forgive me for this - “a women’s issue”, and secondly, this is where power currently resides. Men are needed at all levels and are obviously required on board with any agenda of equality. In 2011, this group established a charter that set out how they would advance gender equality in their organisations: Building gender equity into business strategy, changing workplace cultures, committing to increases in the number of women at senior levels, recruiting diverse talent, addressing violence and harassment, focusing on work/life balance challenges and being public advocates. In the same year, a research report was released, clearly aimed at other male leaders to get on board and become involved with change. This report outlined a detailed, yet clear model of the stages of the diversity journey for organisations: 1) getting in the game, 2) getting serious and 3) capturing the diversity advantage1 . This model and associated research provided practical advice and case studies to guide organisations through various phases of change. Instead of just launching the report, a letter from business leaders to their colleagues called ‘Our experiences in elevating the representation of women in leadership’ was released. I suppose you could read this as a message from male leaders to other male leaders - we are doing this and so should you. 1 You can read the report in more detail here: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/our-experiences- elevating-representation-women-leadership-letter-business- leaders-2011 James is a scientist, PhD student and professional middle class white male. by James Heathers
  4. 4. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 4 June 2013 Exhibit 1: Elevating women's representation in leadership - a journey. Page 5, Our experiences in elevating the representation of women in leadership, Male Champions of Change, 2011
  5. 5. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 5 June 2013 As a result of these actions groups, a number of key themes were identified:  Visible CEO leadership makes a huge difference, but their top teams are often not as committed;  Having an inclusive and supportive leadership is a career accelerator for women. But it is the exception, when it should be the norm; Beyond this initial launch, The Male Champions of Change have continued on this journey. As a result of the work done in 2011, Working in Action groups were formed to explore the key themes in more detail. Action groups were established across multiple organisations to focus on three core themes: Mainstreaming Flexibility, The Role of the Leader and Game-Changers (you can read more about these in table 1 below).
  6. 6. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 6 June 2013  There is a need to consciously review processes, practices, behaviours and cultures to ensure they expressly value and support women and promote their advancement;  Flexible work is critical for retaining and advancing women but it’s still considered outside the main game;  Parental leave, caring responsibilities and entrenched cultural norms act as a silent 'career killer';  Lack of affordable, accessible and flexible childcare options force many women to deprioritise their careers. The focus of 2013 for the Male Champions of Change is ‘driving execution’. This means executing and measuring the specific initiatives that have been identified over the past few years. In November this year, they have committed to releasing a ‘warts and all’ report of the outcomes of the initiative so far. The impact of this initiative is not overly easy to assess at this stage, given that it could manifest in so many different ways and these improvements can be attributed to many things, such as cultural and legislative change. There is no question however that over the past few years, discussions around gender equality have become more frequent and constructive in both social and organisational contexts. Between 2010 and 2012, we have seen some halfway decent increases in women’s representation. The percentage of board directorships held by women in the ASX200 has jumped from 8.3% to 15.7%2 , executive key management personnel positions held by women has risen from 8.0% to 9.7%3 . However, it is important to note that amendments to include diversity in the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations were made in 2010 as well, which are often cited as having an impact on this data. While we are seeing some changes in large companies, those below the ASX200 are not gaining ground as fast. Our experiences in elevating the representation of women in leadership (2011) Cover; Getty Images. One of the greatest challenges that these leaders face is in this initiative is to be the fish that see the water: Many of the barriers faced by women, such as stereotypes, bias and discrimination remain invisible to those who do not experience them, yet they occur right in front of us every day. Masculine norms in these environments advantage those who are adaptable to them. The emphasis on supporting women and changing the systems around them are worthy pursuits, but it can be argued that 2 http://www.companydirectors.com.au/Director-Resource-Centre/Governance-and-Director-Issues/Board-Diversity/Statistics 3 http://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2012_CENSUS%20REPORT.pdf
  7. 7. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 7 June 2013 From Right (foreground) to Left (background): David Thodey, CEO, Telstra Ltd Giam Swiegers, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Australia Andrew Stevens, Managing Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand Stephen Roberts, Chief Country Officer, Citi Australia David Peever, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Australia Grant O’Brien, incoming CEO, Woolworths Ltd Ralph Norris, CEO Commonwealth Bank Kevin McCann, Chair & Non-Executive Director Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Stephen Fitzgerald, CEO, Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd Gordon Cairns, Non-Executive Director Photo Credit: AusHumanRights, Male Champions of Change Launch, October 12, 2011 The Male Champions of Change
  8. 8. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 8 June 2013 the focus of changing masculine attitudes, behaviour or skills is often overlooked. If these leaders are to be true champions of change, an authentic engagement with their pursuit would result in changes within themselves. How many of them work flexibly? How many of them have stay at home wives? How many of them have publicly acknowledged their identification with diverse groups (such as religion or sexuality)? How many of them acknowledge the impact of their own bias? To engage in such a process incurs a risk of admitting that - and this may really stick in the throat - that you may have arrived where you are partly because of factors totally unrelated to your competence. A man who took this risk is Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO; Chief of the Australian Army. In March this year Lieutenant General Morrison made a speech at the United Nations International Women’s Day Conference in New York: “I can never fully imagine, much less experience, the issues faced by any woman. I was born male in an advanced Western nation, to comfortably well off parents. I have never routinely experienced discrimination in my career, nor the apprehension of violence in my personal life. Far too many women regardless of nationality, religion, or class status have known both. Most benefits of masculinity and patriarchy have accrued to me. Nonetheless, I hope those considerable limitations in my perspective can in part be offset by my sincere intent to support women in my organisation to thrive in the absence of both.4 ” It’s almost a relief to be able to read this in plain text. If this is a risky admission, it pays off entirely in the respect it confers for its honesty and sincerity. If the head of such an avowedly masculine work culture can acknowledge such a thing with clear eyes, it is entirely possible elsewhere. For a male leader to make such an admission implies a level of authenticity in addressing some of the core features of business and society that are key to the positive change that this initiative seeks to make. This level of buy-in, understanding and commitment to gender equality from CEOs is a fundamental step, yet something not often witnessed by male leaders in Australia. Addendum: This article was written on June 8, 2013 and it was four days later that Lieutenant General Morrison released THAT video about unacceptable behaviour in the Army, which went instantly viral and for good reason. If you haven’t seen it yet, please watch it. This was alarmingly well timed to demonstrate what was originally written above – a strong stance and authentic leadership on these topics is wanted and needed. The response to the video has been instant and overwhelmingly positive, and certainly the collective respect for Lt. Gen. Morrison has grown exponentially as a result of this. Fingers crossed other leaders will take heed and follow suit. Click image to view on You Tube. 4 http://www.army.gov.au/Our-work/Speeches-and-transcripts/~/media/Files/Speeches/CA_UNIWD_8-9MAR2013.pdf
  9. 9. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 9 June 2013 ADVERTISEMENT
  10. 10. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 10 June 2013 A Book Commentary by Bryson J Hall I went to New York for my 30th birthday. I had always wanted to go. It was an icon that had been the star of many films, songs, art, with a rich history and grand architecture. When I spoke to people they raved about it, and I started to become apprehensive about building up my expectations only for them to be let down. I told a friend who had been to New York about this and he said, “Don’t worry, you can build up your expectations about New York as much as you like, you’ll still be blown away.” And I was. As I watch my partner’s belly expand with our first child, bizarrely, my feelings towards fatherhood are the same. Like New York, many people have been there and done it. They’ve had their own experiences, all varied with positives and negatives. When I speak to friends about first time fatherhood they find it difficult to convey what their experiences were. I get ‘life-changing’ and ‘no sleep’ the most. The ‘no sleep’ I get. The ‘life-changing’ is a different matter. When I was first given the book ‘First-time Father’ I was quite sceptical. I didn’t think I needed to read a book about being a father. I felt I could just talk to friends and family and get by. I mean this has been done for a long time, this fatherhood stuff, surely there’s nothing new that a book is going to tell me. However I decided to give it a go, and try to think about it in a broader context. Would I read a book about New York? Of course! I didn’t want to go somewhere I’d never been before without a bit of research, no matter how famous and well known the place was. ‘First-time Father’ is written by Dr Graeme Russell and Tony White. They are psychologists that have dealt directly with families, men and their role as a father. They have done a lot of research in this field and spoken to a lot of first- time fathers who share their experiences in the book. It is very practical, straightforward and clear with a lot of helpful tips for a hands-on approach. Basically it comes down to information and communication. For example, if you take an interest in knowing what is happening during pregnancy then you can communicate effectively with your partner about how she is feeling and what she’s going through. My partner and I had discussed a lot of things before having a baby: names, education, disciplining and our work options. What we hadn’t really discussed was the day-to-day stuff by Dr Graeme Russell and Tony White Bryson is a multi-talented writer/producer/ director with many diverse projects under his belt. Having completed a Bachelor in Media Production at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Bryson went on to complete his Masters in Media Arts and Production at UTS, Sydney. He then worked as a freelance producer working for companies such as Belvoir St Theatre, IKEA and Nickelodeon. He is now full-time at the ABC as a writer/ producer on the successful children's program 'Giggle and Hoot'. By Bryson J Hall
  11. 11. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 11 June 2013 once the baby was born. How would our roles be divided once my partner finished work and became the primary carer? How hands-on would I be as a dad? I know I want to be as helpful as I can but did that mean getting up during the night with my partner when the baby is crying when I have work the next day? The book does cover this and there are no easy answers, just communication with your partner about expectations and needs. Russell, G. and White, T. (2012). First-Time Father: The essential guide for the new dad. Warriewood NSW: Finch Publishing. Read more about the book here: http://finch.com.au/books/first-time-father-0 For me, it’s about being realistic and seeing how things go. Maybe we get a good sleeper (please please please). Maybe we get a patchy sleeper (uh oh). Maybe we get both. The main thing is how my partner is coping. If she is doing well, then maybe I’ll roll over and go back to sleep when the baby cries and my partner gets up. If not, then I’ll get up and do what I can. I do know that at all other times I want to be a doting dad. I want to spend time with my child and get to know my child. If I’m missing out during the week, I want some good catch up time during the weekend, like a nice long walk in the morning while my partner has a sleep. This was something echoed in the book with fathers relishing this one-on-one time. We also discussed who was going to be the primary carer of our child. At one stage, my partner was only going to have 6 months off work and then I would become the primary carer. This was based on the fact my partner earns more money than I do and I had more potential for flexible work. When I discuss this with people they are usually shocked. It is still not very common for the father to be the primary carer. We have now decided that my partner will take up to a year off, and then we’ll see how things go. One important thing that does come out in the book is that there is an expectation that the mother will instinctively know what she is doing. This is not the case at all and women are as much in the dark as the men going into parenthood. I guess this myth comes about as women have been the majority of primary carers, and just like anything you do every day, you become pretty good at it. When men are the primary carers, they get pretty good at it too; they’re just not the majority. The book also encourages fathers to take paternity leave to spend time at home with the
  12. 12. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 12 June 2013 new born and Mum to help adjust to the new lifestyle. When I first found out about the two weeks paternity leave I got at work, I felt my work-mates were being cheated. I got two-weeks off for having a baby? It seemed unfair and I spoke to them about it. They had a completely different opinion to me, and gave me another perspective. They believed the workplace should be supporting dads, and that it was equal to anyone who chooses to have a baby. They also reminded me it wouldn’t be ‘two-weeks off’ as such – this was no holiday to New York I was going on. The book also gives very practical advice on the options available to dads wanting to be there more for their child and their partner. One option is both parents moving into part-time work. This is not for everyone, but it’s a great idea that frees up time for both mum and dad to equally take on the tasks of work and parenting. It also keeps both parents in the workforce and their careers on track. My partner and I are yet to discuss these options in detail and I am not sure of how flexible her work hours are or if there is a possibility of part- time work. However, I know for me there may be an opportunity to have more flexibility in my work. The book discusses studies that have gone into flexible work hours and that having more flexibility allows us to work long hours without the negative impact. The book also goes into detail about the right of leave for men and women in Australia for primary carers. Having finished reading the booking I was very thankful I did. It isn’t a ‘parenting’ book and rarely goes into detail about how to be a father to your child, which I appreciated. It was more about the information of what is going to happen at every stage of becoming a father, and the practicalities involved. Having first-hand accounts of different dads of different ages and work backgrounds gives an intimate personal feel, and they certainly have some great insights. The book brings up things and is always very encouraging to talk about things with your partner. It all comes down to information and communication. So as I prepare for my next life-changing adventure into Fatherhood, do I feel like I am any more prepared? Well, no, probably not. But I don’t feel completely ignorant. I do know I am very excited and I can’t wait to be a dad, and what’s great is I can’t build it up enough. I’m still going to be blown away.
  13. 13. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 13 June 2013 A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in some market research on "What parents are feeding their babies." I guess just to make sure the answer is food and not something bizarre like potted plants or bicycle parts. One of the Mum's in our Mother's Group was holding it at her place and we all had to confirm our attendance. A couple hours of our time, answer a few questions and pocket a little cash. No big deal... Or so I thought... That queasy feeling you get in your gut when you sense something is not quite right (impending doom, earthquakes or anything with Tori Spelling in it) first reared its worrisome head when I was told to expect a phone call from the Market Researchers beforehand to go over a few questions ... and no such call happened. For me at least, but for everyone else who'd confirmed their attendance, they'd all been contacted within a day or two. Almost a week later (and the day before the market research was happening), I finally got the call. "We've been talking about you all week," they told me. Wow, what an opening statement, they sure know how to make you feel popular. "Sorry we took this long to get back to you, but we've been going back and forward between us and the client all week on whether or not you could attend." -- What the? Hmm, what possible reason could it be? My level of high intellect? My elevated age demographic? My outstanding driving record? Incredibly good looks? No ... the reason I'd thrown them such a curve ball, made them break into a sweat and caused such a week-long kerfuffle at HQ was simply this... I'm a Dad. Oh yeah, no you di'n't? ... I'm afraid they did. Even though the market research is about what parents are feeding their kids, their angle specifically is, "What new Mum's are feeding their kids?" And here I was thinking what's important here is what we're feeding our kids, not who's feeding them. Silly me. I felt like I'd just been OB-1'd from Star Wars, "these are not the droids you're looking for..." Justin P Bechtold is a comedian, screenwriter and HomeDad. After 9 failed attempts at IVF, a few miscarriages and a visit to a witch doctor, all to no avail, he and his wife decided to have holidays every year instead of kids. After one month of living in Bali, his wife fell pregnant naturally and they now have a beautiful healthy miracle baby boy. Justin keeps a comedic blog of a first time Dad's adventures in fatherhood at the ripe old "middle-age" of 40, at www.40YrOldDad.com. By Justin P Bechtold
  14. 14. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 14 June 2013 Being a HomeDad (my preferred title) and primary carer of our son, I clearly have no qualifications, input, or any idea about feeding a child. In fact, when I'm at home with my son and he's hungry, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and skulk back into the corner of the room, right? The fact that he's 10 months old and still alive is an absolute miracle. What kind of insight can a Dad like me possibly offer? However, after much discussion between them and the client (really, this was something that was in need of discussion?), they were willing to let me attend because I was the primary carer for my child. Well, thank you very much. I feel so privileged. And here's the real kicker ... the market research was for a new brand of Baby Formula. You know what that is, right? Something that someone, anyone, either a Mum or a Dad, can put into a bottle and feed their kid. Crazy. Well, it's feeding time right now, so I'll have to go boil the bicycle chain so it's easier for him to swallow.
  15. 15. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 15 June 2013 Are Equity and Equality the same? When I first started in my professional work in the diversity space, a colleague picked me up on mistakenly using the terms ‘equity’ and ‘equality’ interchangeably – “they are similar, but not the same” he told me. How incredibly correct he was and what a bombshell moment that was for me. So what’s the big deal? Well, EQUALITY implies that everyone will be treated the same, no matter what their difference. While this seems like an ideal situation, treating everyone the same ignores their differences. If we lived in an ideal world where differences didn’t matter, then this would be fine. But we don’t. Sometimes our differences can lead to advantages or disadvantages. When we treat people fairly, it means that we recognise and accommodate their differences, so that we have fair outcomes. This is EQUITY. Recognising that people are not the same and accepting that differences (such as gender, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.) may disadvantage some people from the get go, means that we can start a process in which we can achieve fair and equal outcomes. This has been playing on my mind a bit recently, as even though this sounds so reasonable, initiatives that aim to create equal outcomes for men and women are often met with resistance and negative criticism. I often hear of negative backlash against workplace initiatives to support women or deal with sex-based discrimination, being seen as “special treatment’. Shifting from an equality perspective to an equity perspective means looking at the way we do things, in light of the differing outcomes for men and women. At face value, many work practices (such as performance assessment) appear objective and fair. However, these can result in an unexpected differing impact on men and women in the workplace. These can be seen though gender gaps in performance ratings or pay. To close these gaps, we need to address the causes of them and make adjustments that ensure equal outcomes. This often means supporting women in the workplace or putting in mechanisms such as targets or quotas. I was reminded of the equity vs. equality debate recently when I read a blog post on MARC (Men Advocating for Change – a Catlyst.org blog). Michael Kimmel discussed why so many are afraid of equity. It is a challenge to the deep seated belief in a meritocracy - that power be distributed on the basis of ability. The idea of equitable practice challenges the assumption that everyone already has a fair chance. Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein
  16. 16. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 16 June 2013 We know that assumptions, bias and discrimination ensure that not everyone has even opportunity, and we can do things to address the barriers for true talent being rewarded. As Kimmel points out, equity does not mean the removal of difference – it recognises and accommodates it. It also does not mean that everyone will get the same (equal) reward, regardless of their merit. It means that the playing field is level and individuals can excel based on talent, not on their demographics. There is no question that taking action to support one group over another can lead to social conflict1 . Even those who are beneficiaries of the support will often resist it because it brings into question their competence, leading people to assume they got where they are because of preferential treatment. However this does not seem like enough of a reason to do nothing. We know from research that female leaders generally have their competence questioned anyway2 and people attribute their success to external factors such as luck or having assistance3 . As Anne Summers so eloquently explained, merit appears to be such an objective criterion, yet it seems to carry with it a certain bias that disadvantages women in the workplace. Not addressing this discrepancy and assuming that women just need to work harder / smarter / better is incredibly flawed. These biases will not naturally disappear unless measures are taken to counteract their impact on gender equality. Given that economic modelling has determined that the largest predictor of the gender pay gap is just ‘being a woman’4 and it has been predicted that if we continue the way we are, we will reach gender equality in Australia by 2300, doing nothing is not an option for me. So what can we do about it? For me, the big shift comes when we accept that workplaces are not meritocracies5 . Women still have to work against masculine stereotypes of leadership and social / cultural expectations attached their role in the family. Beyond this, when a strategy for making our workplaces more fair is created, we need to reflect on why there is often such a negative backlash towards them. Is this perceived as a threat to power? Do we genuinely believe that the current status quo gives everyone a fair chance? Are people just scared of change? Finally, we need to encourage our society and the organisations we are involved with to start addressing these challenges in a meaningful way. This means setting the expectation that they will push beyond their comfort levels and engage in real change. It seems as though we need to have the conversation as to why people are resistant to initiatives that seek equitable outcomes. At The 100% Project, we are curious as to why quotas evoke such a negative response. We are looking for both men and women to share their views on leadership gender quotas and the potential drivers behind people’s reactions to them. You can be part of this research by clicking here (it takes around 10-15min to complete). 1 Kravitz, D. A. (2008). The Diversity-Validity Dilemma: Beyond Selection – The Role of Affirmative Action. Personnel Psychology. Vol 61 (1): 143-151. 2 Catalyst (2007). The Double Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t. http://www.catalyst.org/publication/83/the-double-bind-dilemma-for- women-in-leadership-damned-if-you-do-doomed-if-you-dont 3 Kulich, C., Ryan, M. K. & Haslam, S. A. (2007), Where is the Romance for Women Leaders? The Effects of Gender on Leadership Attributions and Performance-Based Pay. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 56: 582–601. 4 Cassells, R., Miranti, R. Nepal, B. and Tanton, R. (2009) AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report She Works Hard for the Money. Issue 22. Retrieved April 14, 2013: http://www.natsem.canberra.edu.au 5 For more information on this, check out Chapter 1 in: Fox, Catherine (2012). 7 Myths About Women and Work; NewSouth Publishing; Sydney
  17. 17. Beyond the Spin Issue 12 Page 17 June 2013 We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Beyond the Spin! Please tell us what you think and send us your ideas for future issues. cecelia.herbert@the100percentproject.com.au. Call us on: 03 9645 7981 Email us at: info@the100percentproject.com.au Visit our website: www.the100percentproject.com.au The 100% Project Show your support for improving the gender balance in leadership of Australian companies by becoming a Champion of the 100% Project! Visit our website to find out how: www.the100percentproject.com.au You can also find us on Facebook andTwitter:

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