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Week of April 3rd, 2017

Welcome to our news, research & resources round-up, where consultant Hannah E. Lawson shares the latest collection of news relevant to gender, diversity & inclusion in Australia and the World.

Can a four-year-old be sexist? – The Conversation 

The Victorian government has announced it plans to teach its Respectful Relationship program to preschoolers as a way to target and prevent sexist behaviour among children aged three and four years old. The program – which is taught to teenagers in schools – more broadly aims to tackle issues around family violence, and also to develop young people’s social skills and promote respectful relationships. The justification for extending this program into preschool settings, according to the document released by the state government, is that; “As young children learn about gender, they may also begin to enact sexist values, beliefs and attitudes that may contribute to disrespect and gender inequality.” By providing an environment in which gender equality is both taught and modelled, it is argued that beliefs about gender and gender differences can be changed to support more respectful relationships with others from a young age, and decrease the risk of sexist and violent behaviour in the future. Read More

Why the gap in numbers when it comes to the pay gap? – Women’s Agenda 

Australia seems to lack consistency when it comes to reporting the difference between what men and women are paid – that is, the gender pay gap. As it stands, the data most often used to reflect the national gender pay gap is based on Average Weekly Full-Time Earnings data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). From this we get a 2016 gender pay gap of 16 per cent. This figure comes from a sample of about 5700 employers, designed to represent 8 million full-time workers, of which only 2.9 million are women. While the ABS does not produce its own gender pay gap, the data used to come up with that 16 per cent is recognized by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) and is also used in the Financy Women’s Index. But it’s not the same figure reported globally by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which has Australia’s latest gender pay gap at 15.4 per cent, based on the latest available data from 2014. Read More

Indigenous groups rally for certainty for one of the ‘things that work’ – The Mandarin 

Yet another report has come out praising the success of federally funded Working on Country program in turning around environmental damage in Indigenous Protected Areas, most of which is caused by introduced animals and plants. The Country Needs People campaign, a rallying point for about 30 organisations that support Indigenous rangers and IPAs, made its latest stand for a larger and more stable funding stream at Parliament House on Thursday. The document they launched provides an update on the environmental value of IPAs and the role played by Indigenous rangers through 14 case studies. It’s just the latest in a line of reports suggesting the twin initiatives provide consistently positive social, economic and environmental benefits. Through maintaining clean waterways, regenerating natural vegetation and supporting endangered species, the program gives Indigenous rangers a powerful way to maintain their endangered cultures while performing a valuable role in modern Australia. Read More

Women are just as ambitious as men, unless companies hold them back – Canberra Times 

A new Boston Consulting survey of more than 200,000 employees including 141,000 women from 189 countries has found women are just as ambitious as men when they start their careers. But their ambition can start to lag if they work for companies that fail to nurture and encourage that ambition. The new report, Dispelling the Myths of the Gender “Ambition Gap”, warns that corporations that fail to embrace diversity are a cause of declining ambition. The survey showed that the ambition gap between women and men aged 30 to 40 was 17 per cent at firms that employees felt were least progressive on gender diversity. At these firms, 66 per cent of women sought promotion, compared with 83 per cent of men. But there was almost no ambition gap between women and men aged 30 to 40 at firms where employees felt gender diversity was improving. In these firms, 85 per cent of women had sought promotion, compared with 87 per cent of men. Read More 

Disability Groups Call For Royal Commission Into Violence Against People With Disability – WWDA

The ABC Four Corners report, ‘Fighting the System’ exposed more evidence of the appalling levels of violence and abuse against people with disability in Australia.  This is only the tip of the iceberg. In light of the graphic and disturbing cases revealed this evening, Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia), calls on the Federal Government to reconsider its recent refusal to conduct a Royal Commission into violence and abuse of people with disability. The 2015 Senate Committee Inquiry into violence and abuse against people with disability in institutional and residential settings found that violence and abuse was prolific and hidden. The central recommendation of the committee was the establishment of a Royal Commission. The Federal Government ruled out a Royal Commission in its response to the Senate Inquiry earlier this month. Read More


Learn more about The May Group’s Advancing Women program and resources, to recognise the personal and public value of women achieving their full potential, reaching their professional goals, and taking up more senior positions in our society.