As the push for true gender equality continues, CEOs of major Australian organisations make drastic moves.
The Male Champions of Change – a collaboration between the leaders of the Commonwealth Bank, The Australian Army, Woolworths, IBM Australia and a number of other major Australia organisations – have made a commitment to tear-down the male domination of the corporate world.
The leaders have committed to making sure each manager in their organisation adds at least one woman to their team as jobs become available, News Ltd reported.
The ‘plus-one pledge’ has been devised by Elizabeth Broderick, sex discrimination commissioner, and shares its namesake with a similar project in New Zealand, spearheaded by ANZ New Zealand.
The move will affect a vast amount of Australian workers, with additional incentives such as bonuses for managers who meet/exceed gender targets also being initiated by some business leaders.
The move is not unwarranted, with experts indicating that despite discussions over greater gender diversity in leadership positions, little is changing.
“The rhetoric for change is getting louder but it’s not translating into effective action: the wheels are spinning,” Frances Feenstra, chair of The 100% Project, said.
Feenstra, whose organisation is leading the Level the Playing Field Symposium in Victoria, stated that leaders continue to appoint those within their own networks, effectively blocking the majority of women from getting a shot.
“In the past decade there has been almost no progress in the participation of women in senior corporate roles. Less than 10% of senior executives are women, the majority of ASX500 companies have no women board members, women CEO’s are rare and the gender pay gap remains unchanged,” Feenstra added. “We’ve had enough talking. We need to point to real change that’s taking place.”
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