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Gender diversity - where does your boss stand?

Gender diversity - where does your boss stand? “Breasts not the Best Recruitment Strategy” – That was the title of an article my colleague recently wrote for an HR magazine. Don’t get me wrong it was a very good article but do we still need to sensationalise our titles to get people interested in the whole gender issue?

I concede I am a white Anglo-Celtic male and at my next birthday I can raise my bat to the pavilion with an age reflecting a half decent cricket score but by now the gender issue was meant to be sorted or at least, looking back to when I was at Uni, that is what I thought.

To test the waters, at a recent social gathering I started a discussion on the need for quotas to get more women executives in place (because if we don’t have more good women executives it is hard to have more good women board members) and I was knocked over that I gained speed and then lost altitude very quickly.

The women at the event (and some were very successful professionals), were more interested in discussing mortgage rates and Naplan results! To top it off, a prominent barrister slapped me on the back and said “still a socialist at heart, hey?”

I won’t share what I said back in case there are any kids reading this.

As I sank back into a dark corner, a very successful business women (who owns her own successful marketing business) came up to me and said “Nigel, it is so much more complex than you think – it’s not always smart to push the issue too much or too openly – a lot depends on who your boss is.”

We ended up having a very meaningful conversation, which I am pleased to say lots of people slowly joined into. Which brings me round to the big question – where is your boss on the issue of gender diversity (irrespective of their gender):

  • are they paying it lip service and only asking you what they have to do?
  • are they paying it passionate lip service and asking about the business case?
  • is it the way they think, feel and live?
Look forward to hearing your views.

Nigel Ward
Managing Director – Workplace Relations
Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors

Posted: 21/06/2011 10:20:58 AM by Nigel Ward | with 1 comments
Comments
Karen Scott Davie
I recently attended the Company Directors conference and was pleased to see an increase in the number of women directors. Out of 470 participants about 20-25% were women, a big improvement on prior years.
Agree with Nigel, whilst diversity is important, it is equality critical to develop diversity for senior management roles for leadership roles.
6/09/2011 3:32:43 PM

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