The recent 50|50 Future Leaders event held by Leaders in Heels in Sydney saw some of the country’s top leaders (male and female) discussing gender equality in the workplace.
The panel speakers were keen to share actions you can take today that will pave the way for a 50|50 future of equal gender representation in leadership roles.
Here they are:
ONE: ARTICULATE YOUR ASPIRATIONS
“Every woman should articulate her career aspirations in the workplace. Then, ask and encourage the next woman in your path to do the same.” Diana Ryall, AM Founder and Managing Director, Xplore for Success
TWO: CREATE CHANGE IN YOUR ORGANISATION
“Take the ‘Plus One Pledge’ and add a woman to your team. Also, make yourself known as the manager that makes flexibility mainstream.” Andrew Stevens, Non-executive Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand
THREE: INTERROGATE YOUR COMPANY’S POLICIES
“Go and ask your HR department and your managers about their policies on gender equality. Intel has a policy that ensures all middle management roles include at least one female in the recruitment process. Do you have that policy?” Kate Burleigh, Managing Director, Intel Australia/ New Zealand
FOUR: CALL OUT BAD BEHAVIOUR
“What we need here is a culture change – each and every one of us has to change. Have the courage to say no to discrimination and call it out when you see it happening.” Gordon Cairns, Chairman, Origin Energy
FIVE: EDUCATE YOUNGER GENERATIONS
“Work with the children in your life to understand gender equality – show your sons in particular that equality is the only path forward.” Elizabeth Broderick (Chair), Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
SIX: DON”T WAIT FOR CHANGE TO HAPPEN – TAKE ACTION
“Don’t wait for someone else to change things for you. Decide to make the change yourself and go and do something about it.” Cassandra Kelly, Co-founder and Joint CEO, Pottinger
An enthusiastic audience member also offered some great advice:
“Pay rises don’t just happen, you need to ask for one – every year!”
The event had a particular focus on encouraging men to participate in the gender debate. The audience comprised 24% men and 76% women.
The men were all encouraged to take action and engage with other men in their organisations to open up conversations about workplace equality.
What also came up in the discussion was the need for women to support and empower other women, which traditionally has not been a strong point.
Cassandra Kelly through her work with The Glass Elevator, and Diana Ryall from Xplore for Success were both passionate advocates on this issue. Diana strongly believes that women should empower each other.
“Be a little bit selfless and think about how you can support another woman. Be authentic in your encouragement. It’s time for a new movement: Behind every strong woman should be another strong woman” She said.
Thank you to all the wonderful panel members and their inspiring advice.
Read more about the 50|50 Future Leaders event here.
What are you going to do today to build a 50|50 future?
We encourage you to share your comments below.
Sally Miles – Sally is the Women’s Editor at Leaders in Heels. She is a Sydney-based mum to two children, wife to one husband, renovator to half a house and squeezes in full-time work as a publisher amid the chaos.