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Week of June 19th, 2017




Welcome to our final 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.

Australia’s gender shame: 13 ASX 200 boards with no women – Sydney Morning Herald 

There are still 13 companies on the ASX 200 that have no female directors, and six have not had a female director in the past two years. That is the latest result of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) gender diversity report, which revealed the monthly appointment rate for women dipped in the first half of the year, hovering around 30 per cent (compared to 44 per cent during 2016). This equates to just 17 female appointments compared to 40 male appointments in the first five months of 2017. AICD chairman Elizabeth Proust said the drop was of “significant concern” and would make it harder to hit the AICD’s target is for 30 per cent board representation by the end of 2018. “If the monthly new appointment rate continues to hover … then we won’t achieve our target until 2019,” she said. Read More

Check your male privilege with one questionnaire – ABC News

Do you ever worry that having children will affect your career? Or have you been called “bossy” when you tried to be assertive at work? If the answer is no, you might be experiencing some gender privilege in the workplace, according to a new report from Diversity Council Australia (DCA). The Men Make a Difference paper aims to get blokes on board with addressing gender equality and offers tips for how they can do so. Associate Professor Michael Flood was one of the researchers on the report and told News Breakfast that while some men said they were committed to equality at work, they needed to do more to follow through. “One issue is some men come on board but their commitments are token, they haven’t done their homework,” he said. “We argue that for men, for example, to be a male champion of change, to be a senior advocate for this issue, they’ve got to put their own house in order, and they’ve got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.” Read More

The Average Mid-Forties Male College Graduate Earns 55% More Than His Female Counterparts – Harvard Business Review 

The existence of gender pay gap in the U.S. and other countries is clear. Most studies show that women earn roughly 20% less than comparable men. But there is far less agreement on why this happens and how the gap can be closed. Is the gender pay gap due to more valuable (but hard to measure) labor market skills that men have or is it due to different “choices” regarding career-versus-family tradeoffs? And what about labor market discrimination against women? We may never fully understand the various drivers behind the gender pay gap, but it is nevertheless instructive to learn how men and women’s earnings evolve during the first 20 years of their careers. Using enormous Census Bureau databases that allow researchers to track individual firms and their workers over time, the gender gap in average quarterly earnings from was studied 1995 to 2008. Researchers found that the earnings gap between college-educated men and women at the start of their careers is small, but by the time these individuals reach their career peak the gender pay gap is very large. The average male college graduate by his early forties earns roughly 55% percent more than the average college graduate female. Read More

After 50 years of Indigenous affairs, ‘We need to do better’ – The Mandarin 

The 50th anniversary of the referendum that made Indigenous affairs a federal policy concern has prompted a lot of reflection on what governments have done with that role and, more importantly, consideration of how policymakers and public servants can do better. In the view of Australian Public Service head Martin Parkinson, the 90.77% affirmative vote both “provided opportunities for us to begin to right the wrongs” caused by British colonisation and assured the prime minister that nearly every citizen wanted the national government to try and do so. “We may have created the opportunity in ’67 but we haven’t actually delivered on it,” Parkinson added on Friday, opening a public administration seminar at Old Parliament House marking half a century of Indigenous policy. The keynote address came from his new deputy secretary for Indigenous affairs, Ian Anderson, an Aboriginal University of Melbourne professor who became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) last week for “distinguished service to the Indigenous community” as a doctor, health researcher and role model. Read More

David Gonski is “diametrically opposed” to quotas. Carol Schwartz says they’re the “only answer”. – Women’s Agenda 

Business leader David Gonski is “diametrically opposed” to the idea of legislating on gender quotas. “Legislation should not be telling private companies who to put on their boards, nor how many of a particular type of person, or indeed what gender, geography or persuasion that person should be,” the ANZ Chairman says on the latest episode of the University of Melbourne’s podcast, The Policy Shop. Gonski was joined on the podcast by author and academic Cordelia Fine and RBA board member and founder of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, Carol Schwartz. Disagreeing with Gonski, Carol Schwartz stated that quotas are the “perfect” solution to this underrepresentation. In order to tackle the underlying belief systems and unconscious bias that keep women from leadership roles, Schwartz says there needs to be a “paradigm shift which will actually move the dial.” For that, “the only answer is quotas,” she says. Read More 

7 Practical Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Process – Harvard Business Review 

A vast body of research shows that the hiring process is biased and unfair. Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in whom we hire. But there are steps you can take to recognize and reduce these biases. So where should you start? And how can you help others on your team do the same? Unconscious biases have a critical and “problematic” effect on our judgment, says Francesca Gino, professor at Harvard Business School. “They cause us to make decisions in favor of one person or group to the detriment of others.” In the workplace, this “can stymie diversity, recruiting, promotion, and retention efforts.” Left unchecked, biases can also shape a company or industry’s culture and norms, says Iris Bohnet, director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of What Works: Gender Equality by Design. Read More

‘At 36 weeks pregnant, I started a new job’ – The Mandarin 

An inclusive mindset is everything, Sally Hasler told Women’s Agenda. Her experience with the Victorian government taught her positive stories can happen when someone is willing to start the conversation. While we know that it is illegal to discriminate against a woman on the basis of pregnancy, the reality can be quite different. We need to challenge the mindset that pregnancy and maternity leave is a disadvantage for the employer. If we as a society are committed to truly opening up employment opportunities to women and boosting women’s workforce participation in Australia, we need to think more openly about employing pregnant women. Women are pregnant, or about to be pregnant, for extended periods of time at the most critical and demanding stage of their career. Simply relying on legislation, yet practising something else, won’t change the status quo. Read More