Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reporting survey


About the survey

This 15 question survey forms part of a research project that looks at how the new Australian WGEA (Workplace Gender Equality Agency) Gender Indicators will effect reporting organisations when they come into force in 2014. Its looks at the immediate preparation time required, when organisations expect to be ready, and if organisations think that the new indicators will require more administration work to complete the new report than the previous EOWA Employer of Choice for Women.

A final report consolidating this research will be completed for distribution to participants by January 2014. The report will be available to all respondents and published on the Diversity Program Review website at http://www.diversityprogramreview.com.

Please respond to the survey, your responses are valuable and appreciated.

Privacy and Ethics

This project will comply with the NH&MRC Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research; the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) and will also comply with the standards of participating university groups if applicable. On request, the researcher will provide all focus group, survey and interview participants with a copy of the study’s privacy statement outlining how personal information will be stored. The information in this survey will not be passed on or sold to any other organisation and will be used for the sole purpose of developing the WGEA Preparation Research Report.

In addition to this survey, Case Study data used to evaluate Gender Diversity Frameworks will remain the property of participating organizations, and the research team will not reproduce any data without their written consent. Any additional organisations participating in Case Studies will have an opportunity to approve the research proposal prior to commencement and the same ethical standards will apply.

Results so far

Most people, 43% think that the new gender indicators will take longer to report than the previous EOWA, with the majority estimating it will take more than 3 days.  50% of people said that they had a good understanding of the requirements with 43% acknowledging that the cost to report is minimal, but sadly that the benefits of reporting are also minimal, and 42% think that they will not be ready to report on the new indicators at February 2014.

Have you say here

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Gender equals Diversity – Diversity equals Flexibility – Flexibility equals Women – Equality equals Diversity = Diversity equals Flexibility…


Userpage icon for supporting gender equality.

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So this is the constant discussion I hear.  Gender equals Diversity – Diversity equals Flexibility – Flexibility equals (dialogues about) Women – Equality equals Diversity = Diversity equals Flexibility and so it goes around.  Problem is, Gender does not equal diversity.  Gender is a discussion about our constructed gendered roles and how those roles play out in society.  It is also about the way we see ourselves through our gendered lens of expectation.  Diversity is about the recognition of difference and how we value and respect that difference.  Organisational diversity is about leveraging that difference to improve business performance and business reach into new markets and new customers.

Flexibility is not a women’s issue, but I certainly understand the need and the push by many women to increase a level of flexibility in the workplace, and indeed, in society to make it easier for them to participate equality (and sometimes to just be in) the workplace.  But flexibility should not be solely attached to women as a ‘women’s issue’ because flexibility is a necessary part of the way that we live and the way that we do business.  We live in a fast pace, dynamically changing environment where technology has given us an incredible ability to work from anywhere – a way to be flexible and adaptable which in turn makes us more competitive and relevant in the workforce.  It makes organisations more flexible and adaptable and helps them to build resilience so why all the fuss and why do I still hear the ‘flexibility’ term used almost interchangeably with diversity and women?

Well I think its because people in general just haven’t recognised some basic facts;

  1. As I said the world has changed – we all need to be more flexible and adaptable so this means that people will want, and need to work in different ways
  2. It takes a male and a female to have a child and before you go off thinking ‘what about single sex parents’, the fact is that at the moment we can only have children when a male sperm fertilizers a female egg.  So regardless of who the ‘parents’ are – a male and female have been involved somewhere along the journey.  There aren’t too many immaculate conceptions going on out there in the world.  This means that there are always two parents – not one
  3. If someone doesn’t have and care for children then what the hell are we all doing here?  Not much point building businesses into larger businesses and building more houses and drilling for more oil when, well, we will run out of people to fuel the engine. Basic

So given that, I would think that children are a fairly basic requirement to ongoing life as we know it but that doesn’t mean that women are the only ones that need to do this job.  This idea is something that happened out of necessity when we had to hunt and fight for our food – the men went out to hunt and the women stayed home to build a family.  But this is no longer the case and technology has enabled most of us to live without needing to use our physical strength to work and get food, so really our work environments can be more gender diverse.

This leads me to the main point that flexibility is not a women only issue – it is an issue for the ongoing health of our society.  It is incredibly important that we include men in the discussion and make ‘flexible’ work environments for them so that they might have time to nurture the next generation too.  Yes, yes, not all men and women have children – I know, but should they be denied flexibility?  No, I don’t think so, who knows how they are inputting to society?

So going back to my first paragraph, diversity does not equal flexibility, but flexibility does help to increase diversity in our workplaces.   Gender does not equal diversity either, its just that the major need for diversity programs is because women have not had the same access to work environments and opportunities as men.  In a truly diverse environment, gender balance is only one component and these components will differ from environment to environment.  To me, diversity is about the acceptance of difference, and with that acceptance comes an ability to embed equality, flexibility, adaptability and resilience.

So next time you talk about the flexibility argument, consider what you are saying, because unfortunately for many, the diversity equals flexibility, equals women is just producing a further degradation of women’s ability to influence.

GENDER EQUALITY ESSENTIAL TO INCREASING ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY


Can you imagine a world where each morning you wake up and face a day where you find that you are going out into a world that throws obstacles in your way at every turn and when you try to explain those obstacles, you just cannot?  You know they exist, you feel the results of them; you know that some people treat you differently.  Sometimes people talk as if you don’t exist, or worse make light of what you are saying whilst you are standing there as if you aren’t there at all.  You know something is happening that feels like exclusion but when someone asks, you are not able to explain what you mean.  You know you could have a better job, you could have more money and you could feel more in charge of your life but somehow these simple things elude you.  People around you tell you that you should be grateful for what you have and that you should not worry.  You are so lucky and other people wish that they were just like you, but you feel that every day you are fighting against issues and inequalities that are sometimes overwhelming.  They drain you and worry you, and ultimately drag you down making you weary and less inclined to speak up again tomorrow.  In fact, the tiredness silences you.

Sadly, this is how many women feel way too often.  It might be that we do way more housework than our partners, and we are just sick of asking them to step up.  Alternatively, that you have put off something important so many times because you feel guilty that you aren’t doing what you should be doing, these thoughts of something better just get pushed to the background yet again, and you feel hopeless.  It is hard because there is a complex array of inequalities that are both seen and unseen and although it seems like some barriers have been removed, in practice they still exist and you feel constrained and not able to live up to your full potential.

It might be because you are just living over the poverty line as a single parent and each day is a struggle.  You feel you don’t have a voice and the more you try to get ahead the harder each day seems to get.  Each year another government policy comes into force that is supposed to ‘help you’, but instead creates even more complex issues for you to overcome, and you get more weary and less inclined to try each time another setback happens.

It might be that we feel we work really hard at our jobs, are highly educated and productive but are continually passed over for promotion year after year when we see the promotion go to someone we know is less productive and less capable.

On the other hand, that you hear on the news that ‘only 17 countries have a female President or Prime Minister and women’s average presence in parliaments across the globe is only 21% of the total ministers.  Recent actual voting data using the Chilean voter model, found that women were less likely to vote for a women than they would for a man’ regardless of policy (Francisco Pino, 2013)[i].  You wonder, “why don’t women support each other?”  All this makes you tired, tired of swimming upstream and fighting against the odds that seem so insurmountable that you think no one could ever win against them.

This is what life is like for many women, even the successful ones.

It is early days and we have centuries of behaviours and societal norms to change before we really see big changes in gender equality.  These behaviours exist for both men and women and can be as simple as the belief by young women that she has to wait for the man to ask her to marry, instead of just asking him.  All this waiting has the effect of silencing women, subordinating them to the backseat of decision-making.  Of marking time until ‘something changes’, and ultimately it prevents many women from getting ‘off the sidelines’[ii] and getting on with it.

In the workplace, many of our organisations are developing gender diversity policies to combat some of these issues.  Some are more successful than others are, but the important thing is that we have begun.  Now we need to really leverage these initiatives and turn theory and rhetoric into economic performance and a more equitable living condition for women and minorities.  I believe that by ‘silencing’ the weary women we are constraining our ability to resolve many of the organisational performance issues that hamper our economies, largely because our organisational leaders don’t hear women’s voices often and loud enough – the voices that provide alternative views and ways of thinking.

Australia has been relatively successful in increasing women’s participation in the workforce, but there is still a long way to go and many prejudices and discriminatory practices lie just beneath the surface.  The new gender indicators introduced by legislation in 2012 by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency WGEA, 2012[iii], previously known as EEO, seeks to unmask some of these underlying and often hidden issues.

“What is important to recognise is that an organisation’s gender culture is hidden behind the dominate rhetoric of equality, (Benschop and Doorewaad, 1998; Tienari et al., Ainsworth et al. (2009) in North-Samadizic (2011)[iv].  For example, in an analysis of reports to Australia’s EEO regulatory body, Ainsworth et al. (2009) demonstrated how organisations are blind to gender through unstated male norms that suppress gender differences“.  North-Samadizic (2011).  They gave the example of organisations stating in reports that gender is irrelevant or insignificant to the hiring and promotions process.”  Therefore, gender structure, gender identity and gender symbolisism can limit equality if it is present in the ‘gendered subtexts of organisational rhetoric’ (Taska 2011).

That is; although these organisations purport to have equality, assessments show there remains a bias’ in recruitment processes and within cultural behaviours themselves.  Gender Symbolism and subtexts, both verbal and behavioural convey a set of ‘meanings’ that can maintain gender inequalities by quietly working to prevent change in environments where women are seen as the ‘other’.  This plays into stranger theories where white male masculinity is the norm and the term ‘woman’ can hold less value that the term ‘man’.

Imagine this instead.

Now imagine a world where all the seen and unseen barriers to women’s success are removed and think about the incredible potential that is now unleashed.  With economies struggling all over the globe, isn’t it about time we smashed through these barriers and took advantage of this potential.  If women were a commodity (and sometimes they are seen as that), or assets in a storeroom any business would seek to improve that assets performance instead of marginalising it and leaving it to underperform.  We don’t see women as a natural and valuable resource.  We often see them as expendable as collateral damage in war or simply there to support others or provide menial labour, and worse we see them as a cost to society and our organisations because of their biology.  This valuable biology carries the promise of new life, the birthing of children without which there would be no need for discussions about performance, economics and politics because simply, there would be no humankind.

Why do we let the enormous potential of half this valuable population languish?

Just think for a moment what it would be like to be freed of the expectations of physical beauty and the never-ending focus on sexiness and youth and instead we welcomed experience and substance.  Imagine if it was just as easy for women to excel in their jobs and for female entrepreneurs to have the same access to capital as their male counterparts do because they are more able to tap into existing networks where capital raising is common.  Imagine a world where stay at home parents were valued, able to nurture their families without the threat of poverty or losing valuable job experience at every turn.  Imagine a world where we no longer referred to ‘the burden of childcare” and instead this cost was factored in across society because it is seen as valuable.

Our economies would benefit from new industries and new ways of thinking instead of the current system that fails us at regular intervals because it is built on the boom and bust mentality of status, greed and power instead of sustainability and common sense.  The finance sector takes pride in being able to predict the next bull or bear market instead of planning on sustainability and inclusion.

In short, gender equality is essential to increasing economic sustainability, increasing organisational performance and breathing new life into the way we think, work and live.

What a world it is going to be!

DOWNLOAD THE PAPER HERE


[i] PINO (2013), “Is there Gender Bias Among Voters?  Evidence from the Chilean Congressional Elections” White Paper VI Cosme-FEDEA Annual Workshop on Gender Economics, Madrid Spain

[ii] Off the Sidelines, a movement by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand http://www.offthesidelines.org/home

[iii] EEO, Equal Opportunity for Women, now known as Workplace Gender Equality Agency, http://www.wgea.gov.au/

[iv] Andrea North-Samardizic, Lucy Taksa, (2011), “the impact of gender culture on women’s career trajectories: an Australian case study”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 30 Iss: 3 pp. 196-216

FEMINISM, DIFFERENCE AND IDENTITY


 

Butler defines post-feminism in two ways.  The first draws on Feminist, Simone de Beauvoir’s claims, that “one is not born, but, rather, becomes a woman,” (Butler 1988, pg. 520).  Butler further explores the idea that various historical ‘acts’ that an individual performs throughout their life experience, builds our view of ourselves, reinforcing de Beauvoir assertion that one ‘becomes a woman’ through learned experiences and expectations of gendered behaviour.  Following feminist theory, that gender is a contrived identity and Butler suggests that in reality there can be no women’s movement, because, to take the theory to its extreme, there is no identity ‘woman”, as it is socially constructed gender.  Secondly, she uses the feminist theory that sexual difference underscores our  ‘naturalized conceptions of gender’ and that gender is contrived, learned and hence can be reconstructed and unlearned (Butler 1988, pg. 520).  In this paper, I will discuss the implications of Butler’s definitions in terms of the act of the recognition of difference.  It will further explore,  Butler’s idea that historical ‘acts’ that determine our view of gender identity and naturalisation can be ‘reconstituted’ to form new models of identity, or in fact, the ability to have no limits to identity, leaving open the possibility of developing an un contrived and more diverse society.

Throughout her paper, Butler uses the term ‘act’, meaning, the ‘conception’ of, or the performance of an idea either physically, or in thought, or in belief.  The act must be one that is shared socially and is historically accepted, and has a constituted and agreed meaning.  She likens ‘Phenomenological’[1] study to feminist theory as the ‘doing of’ or ‘living out’ of these lives in a performative state, much the same as individual feminists lives are different, where underlying belief’s and historical ‘acts’ have constructed a way of being that generally matches an accepted gender state.  She argues that if we view gender as a series of ‘acts’, even if seemingly unrelated, then the composition of these ‘acts’ gives an appearance of substance, ‘a constructed identity, and a performative accomplishment’.  No matter how ordinary or mundane, once we believe the act as performed, the substance of it becomes real, whether it is true or not.  We could therefore suggest that many feminist dilemmas become real merely by the act of exposing them.  By talking about them and by arguing against them we create the substance of the dilemma.  Would not a better way be to concentrate on the positive ‘acts’ that provide a new pathway rather than focusing on negatives?  In my view, this opens up the possibility that feminists (and women in general) are able to develop new ‘acts’ whilst in the safety of their own habitus.  They perform and practice these acts, perfecting them before taking them to the wider society, not as an alternative but by creating a new history.  This would mean that these feminist actors would first recognise and accept the difference in these acts, not merely tolerate or label them.  As Butler suggests, what is contrived can just as easily be uncontrived and then – re-contrived the into the performance of a new ‘act’, thereby changing the actors ‘history’ and providing new possibilities for the future.

In “My interesting condition”, Clausen, J. (1999), discusses her mixed feelings at losing her ‘identity’ as a Lesbian Feminist when she began a relationship with a man.  She had always thought herself as bisexual, but almost because she was also a feminist, the act of having a relationship with a man extricated her from her previous “Lesbian Feminist” friends.  To her friends it was as if she had betrayed them in some way by having a heterosexual relationship.  Although her sexuality and female gendered identity had not changed, where she was previously accepted as bisexual and lesbian within lesbian feminist circles, once she became bisexual in a heterosexual relationship, her behaviour was no longer accepted in these same lesbian feminist circles.  She became almost too different to be recognised, but in fact, she had not changed at all, she had merely changed the sex of the person whom she carried on an intimate relationship with, instead of a same sex relationship, it was now a heterosexual relationship.  Clausen found the resultant separation from her previous circle of friends upsetting and disturbing.  I think this highlighted the hypocrisy of some of her former friends that is was ok to be bisexual and lesbian but by taking up a relationship with a man somehow precluded her from being bisexual and instead made her heterosexual and even cast a doubt over her feminist sisterhood.

In my own view, Feminism is organic rather than something that needs to be defined or performed in a certain way.  Prior to my study of Sociology, I would not have recognised a feminist, and certainly did not realise that there were many different types of feminisms.  Many younger women do not class themselves as, or even identify with being a feminist.  Instead, historical female behavioural models are collected, compared and consolidated, recycled depending on which role the actor chooses to play.  These models come in different forms such as the ‘post feminist’, the post feminist lesbian, the black feminist, the old feminist or the young feminist, and many more.  There are established models for each different type of feminist category, easily recognised by other feminists; however, these models may are not so readily understood and recognised by the wider community.

In “Where is Feminism Now?”  (1997), Curthoys talks about feminism in the mid 1990’s, and she refers to feedback she had that seemed to indicate that women’s search for equality at that time had come a long way (her example being girls on surfboards) since the 1970’s.  Looking back to the 1970’s from where I sit now in 2013, I am not sure that the road travelled has been so positive, or so profound in its success.  Many young girls do not even know how to spell feminism let alone think of themselves as a feminist, and for many older women, this seems like a return to the inequalities of the past.  Curthoys suggests, “what distinguished women from one another is not their generation, but the timing of their exposure to feminist ideas” (Curthoys 1997. Pg 206).  Some women feel no need for feminism at all, or like me have no idea that they were living a life that paralleled feminist theory.  The timing for the need for feminism comes at different times and depends on a women’s country of birth, religion, economic and social status and age.  By this, I mean that in many western countries, women see themselves as already equal to men and with the same advantage of choice, so feel that they are in no need of activism, or knowledge of feminism and the ways that feminism has already helped their lives.  However, in other many other countries this is not the case and women are compelled to rise up and protest the inequalities and inequities that prevent them from having equal choice and the right for self-determination.

Curthoy decided to do a survey via email and one of her respondents (in ‘femailers’ pg199), named Carol, said she respects younger feminists because they openly demonstrate “extraordinarily outrages by forms of sexist behaviour”.  (Curthoys 1997, Pg 206).  As an older feminist, she was impressed as sexism was one of the behaviours she had learned to ‘work her way around’ using the ‘acceptable’ feminine behaviour of the day when she was younger.  Curthoy highlights a different approach by younger women to the same problem, a different way of ‘acting’ and responding to the same issue.  In the early 1970’s, sexism was difficult to explain in a male dominated working environment, and many older women like Carol needed to manoeuvre their way around the minefield of sexual discrimination and inequality as best they could.  We are all now clearer on the definitions of ‘difference’.  We understand the definitions of homosexuality or gays.  We understand the meaning of sex discrimination and inequality, and much of this understanding is as a direct result of work of early feminists.  In my own view, I think that we have regressed.  I see that many young women do not even seem to recognise sexist behaviour when it presents itself, let alone be ‘outraged’ by it.  I still see young boys ‘talking down’ to girls on school buses, repeating the girls questions back to them like they are stupid like they haven’t understood what was being said.  This is exactly the same behaviour I experienced from young men in the late 1970’s.  If you asked a male to repeat something, maybe because you didn’t hear them properly the first time, or you just wanted to make sure you knew what they meant, you were laughed at – and then a patronising response would come back, like “oh high ball”, meaning “you silly girl, over your head was it?”.  I still see this similar situation played out when the boys respond to the girls question by proceeding to give their ‘advice’ as a way of answering the question.  It is a almost invisible difference, but one that helps to promote a mode of behaviour in young girls that see’s them defer to the male, to be more accommodating instead of telling them that it is unacceptable to speak to them like they are stupid.  This becomes a learned behaviour and many girls become women who just don’t want to put themselves in those embarrassing positions where they might be perceived as stupid.  On the other hand, perhaps it is just a different way of handling an old situation.  Being less confrontational at the time could give many young women the opportunity to pick a time and place to make their feelings known later; and I hope that is the case and they are not just recoiling and subordinating themselves because they don’t recognise the implications.  I know from personal experience that this pack mentality of males putting down women is alive and well in many meeting rooms in organisations everywhere.  Instead of women “leaning in” (Sandberg 2013), they recoil into their seats and never correct the behaviour and so it becomes part of their learned identity.  This is a way that historical acts are changing and we as ‘older feminists’ just don’t recognise it yet as a new act and validate it.

If gender is naturalised and learned, then we can unlearn it.  We can change our responses to the way we recognise differences based on gender models.  That is, the way that society has built up an image of heterosexual gender stereotypes, deviant and ‘other’ gendered stereotypes, could be changed by reconstruct new gendered models.  A more radical thought would be to disband current gendered models completely and instead look at each person as an individual, recognising and accepting their existing difference in our society, and drastically enhance possibilities for everyone.  Butler says, “By dramatic I mean only that the body is not merely matter but a continual and incessant materializing of possibilities” (Butler 1988, pg. 521).  For Butler, we have an endless ability to shape our own identity, and that the ‘gendered body’ is merely sedimentation of various acts.  It follows then that by changing the ‘acts’ and the environmental structures that the acts exist in, we must be able to change entire views of gender and through this process uncover a way to completely accept and recognise difference.

She draws a comparison between her own phenomenological studies and the way that feminists analyse personal situations in order to clarify issues shared by others more broadly such as culturally or ethically.  The political solidarity of feminists’ risks ‘making visible’ previously unnoticed acts of oppression and discrimination against women, into something visible.  Highlighting a potentially ‘new’ gender stereotype that will provide the ‘actors’ with new roles, but not necessarily improving the status of women of different culture and race.  This has the effect of further marginalising those that are ‘different’ as they fail to conform to the new gendered role.  Some in Postmodern feminism failed to recognise the different and unique circumstances that specific individuals experienced due to various cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds and were labelled as “white feminists’, promoting feminist theories under the frame of white privilege.  Feminist assumptions based on the experiences of white western feminists, fail to recognise the intersection of gender, race and ethnicity and often failed to serve the needs of global ‘sisters’.  By categorising these individuals into groups where race ethnicity and gender intersected, it only served to further marginalise and disenfranchise these individuals.

Butler points out that each of us is capable of ‘acts’ that contribute to feminism, or more broadly, gender equality by choosing whether to play out the historical version of what our physical body should look like, how we should behave, and what we should believe based on accepted norms.  We have the power to change both ourselves, and our society in two ways.  Firstly, we can create different models of how we look, behave and what we believe, but this takes an understanding of the historical events that have led us to our current view of ourselves.  Secondly, we can recognise and truly value the difference in others, not merely tolerating difference, but embracing and accepting it as intrinsically valuable.  Many contemporary young women do not associate themselves with any form of feminism, but they still experience freedoms not afforded to women a hundred years ago, and indeed even 50 years ago.  ‘Girl Power’, the ‘new traditionalist’, stay at home mum, and the increasing ‘mummy power’ groups are reshaping ‘acts’ of the past in a new way.  They are able to differentiate themselves from their mothers before them but require the recognition, acceptance and respect of older feminists in order for change to happen naturally.

Butler (1988. Pg 525) says, “The transformation of social relations becomes a matter, then, of transforming hegemonic social conditions rather than the individual acts that are spawned by those conditions”.  Butler asserts that you cannot just change the individual and their ‘acts’, but effective transformational change means that feminists need to change the ‘conditions’ under which the acts are ‘spawned’.  We can see examples of this in family environments where little girls wear pink and are rewarded for behaving a certain way by being ‘nice’, yet boys are rewarded for modelling the accepted male gender model, meaning we are still gender differencing when our children are babies.  Even though many parents are aware that dressing children in colours that are associated with their gender is not mandatory, most parents still ‘act’ in the same way that their own parents did, and sustain, in most cases unwittingly, the recognised gender models within families.  The child’s gendered behaviour is reinforced through reward for ‘good’ behaviour when it subscribes to the accepted model and punishment for ‘bad’ behaviour that does not subscribe to the accepted model.  A failure to recognise and validate different ‘acts’ by the child continues to enforce a naturalised behaviour and in my view, limits individuality and ultimately limits economic growth because it can stifle creativity.  A recent study by Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons (2012) of UQ Business School, “Women at the Top” highlights the attributes that high achieving women demonstrate showed clear patterns each female leader had in common.  Fitzsimmons believes that these patterns helped form the attributes that pushed them to the top of the corporate ladder.  There were strong similarities in their childhoods.  Firstly, nearly all the women had suffered a traumatic event in their childhood, something significant enough to interrupt the family flow.  Secondly, almost all the women interviewed were from small business families, so were familiar with the workings of business.  This research is interesting because it shows that these women were in families where individuality and difference to naturalised gender behaviour was recognised and accepted.  Perhaps, many of the historical gendered acts that normally defined the accepted historical ‘acts’ were not present due to the early experience of trauma and thus the protraction of the historical stereotype was dissolved.  The study compared the experience of these women to that of male leaders.  They cited a common ‘habitius’, which in most cases gave them a strong knowledge of the business world and helped to nurture commonly accepted male attributes such as competitiveness, individuality, assertiveness and drive in an environment where they were recognised as a group member – they fitted in and were accepted giving them the confidence to succeed.

Butler argues that ‘hegemonic social conditions’ must change and in a perfect world each person would be able to construct their own view of their identity, instead of having a ‘gendered body’ that is culturally restricted by society.  If the Post Feminist movement is to be transformative, it needs to encourage individuals to construct their own view of their ‘gendered body’ that is unrestricted by culture.  It must encourage individuals to refrain from constructing a view of the ‘gendered body’ that does not recognise the difference and diversity of others as this will only lead to a contrived view of themself.

In summary, Butler’s definitions provide us both enormous possibility for positive change and an equal possibility for stagnation if we don’t look to deconstruct the amalgam of historical acts that still so clearly define us as women.  Without a recognition and respect for an individual’s points of difference, we cannot hope to develop new pathways, and models for gender balance that will sustain us into the future.  We need to constantly question and reassess what makes us think we need to act and be a certain way and ask if it is my identity or is it one that projected onto me by external forces.  The modern world, constantly subjects us to external factors that try to influence our identity.  Not only are we subjected to images from the media that portray women and men in a certain way, we are also bombarded with language that suggests that ‘we want’ this or ‘must have’ and these suggestions can be powerful.  When faced with the external suggestions that degrade our view of ourselves, we can look back at the history of acts that have created this view and reconstruct it to form positive views that enhance us, and revitalise our gendered self rather than those that detract and have us questioning if we measure up and belong.

Download the full article here

Bibliography;

Ang, Ien. (1995), “I’m a feminist but . . . ‘Other’ women and postnational feminism” in Transitions: New Australian Feminisms , Caine, Barbara; Pringle, Rosemary , pgs; 57-73

Butler, Judith.  (1988) “Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory” Theatre Journal , 40:4 pgs; 519-531

Clips from a French TV documentary on Judith Butler, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q50nQUGiI3s&feature=channel_page

Clausen, J. (1999) “My interesting condition’, in Storr, M. (1999), Bisexuality: A Critical Reader.  Routledge. London. Chapter 11, pgs; 107-111.  (Extract)

Curthoys, Ann (1997), “Where is Feminism Now?” in Bodyjamming , Mead, Jenna (1997) pgs; 189-212

Fitzsimmons, T (2012) “Women at the Top” in The Business Magazine of the UQ Business School, Issue One 2012, The University of Queensland Business School, Brisbane pgs; 9-11. (Extract)

Honneth, Axel (1995), “Personal identity and disrespect: The violation of the body, the denial of rights, and the denigration of ways of life” in The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts, pgs; 131-139

James, Susan (2000), “Feminism in philosophy of mind: The question of personal identity” in The Cambridge companion to feminism in philosophy , Hornsby, Jennifer; Fricker, Miranda , 2000 , pgs; 29-48

Sandberg, Sheryl (2013), “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”, W. H. Allen , United Kingdom


[1] 1. A philosophy or method of inquiry based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness and not of anything independent of human consciousness.

2. A movement based on this, originated about 1905 by Edmund Husserl. Source http://www.thefreedictionary.com/phenomenological

 

Would you like to find out more about the Diversity Program Review Framework?


Research ComponentsIf you have been following my blog you will know that I am in the midst of a research project into the “Profit Impact of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs” and as part of that research I have developed the Diversity Program Review Framework.  If you would like to find out more about this framework, please click on the link above in the menu or go to the new website here.

Thanks for your support.

Susanne

AWRA Recognised Program™, Australian Women in Resources Alliance uses the Diversity Program Review Framework


AMMA-logoThe Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an industry-led initiative dedicated to helping employers attract, retain and reap the rewards of women in resources workplaces. AWRA is jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Resource Sector Workforce Strategy and the resource industry employer group AMMA, with leadership from industry bodies and employers across Australia. The AWRA Program is delivering a range of projects to inform and support employers and one of those programs is the AWRA Recognised Program™ which recognises AMMA industry members as a Preferred Employer of Women against a assessment using my Diversity Program Review Framework™ as a basis.

To be able to utilise an AWRA stamp, organisations must undergo an assessment of their workplace policies, procedures and, most importantly practices, to assess the organisation’s capability maturity against best practice management of workplace (gender) diversity.

The assessment to become AWRA Recognised™ is based on a rigorous and recognised model of diversity capability, and goes beyond traditional “HR-centric” metrics to assess more broad business dimensions with clear links to organisational profitability and sustainability.

The assessment outcome provides concise feedback on an organisation’s current diversity strategy, and together with the capability maturity model, helps organisations to plan the changes necessary to reap the rewards of a gender diverse workforce whilst taking into account the different stages of the organisations journey toward best practice.

The Diversity Program Review Framework™ that underpins the AWRA Recognised Program™ allows us to baseline gender diversity program’s for future monitoring and reporting against the WGEA gender indicators.

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to complete a ‘slim version’ of the overarching framework as part of the AWRA Recognised Program™.  The data collected from resultant assessments will form a rich source of research data for my overarching research project.

REFERENCES

Australian Mines and Metals Associationhttp://www.amma.org.au/

NEXT FOCUS GROUP – 18 DECEMBER, SYDNEY


Research Components

PRESENTATION OF THE DIVERSITY PROGRAM REVIEW FRAMEWORK FOR COMMENT.

As a result of the initial focus groups that many of you attended, the Research Proposal “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”has now been completed and is in circulation with a number of organisations.  It is also as registered with Macquarie University for my future Master’s of Sociology.

I am now in the second phase of the project and have just completed the Diversity Program Review Framework which I would like to present for comment at the next focus group.

WHEN IS IT?

Tuesday 18 December at 6pm till 8pm, some light refreshments will be provided.

WHERE IS IT?

Practicus – The Outcome Delivery Partner

Level 6
23 Hunter Street
Sydney
NSW 2000

The room has kindly been provided to me for this session by Tom Bright from Practicus – The Outcome Delivery Partner, who responded to my earlier request for a room via LinkedIn

Please contact me via the contact form if you are interested in attending the focus group, or if you would like me to present to your organisation.

REFERENCES

The Diversity Review Framework

I will be Speaking at PMIQ Chapter Meeting & Christmas Drinks – Brisbane December 12, 2012


What is Gender Economics and Diversity Economics and how will it affect Executive Managers and Project Managers

alt Gender Economics and Diversity Economics are emerging fields of study, and with so many nations in economic distress the pressure is on to tap into new resources and ways of thinking. Organisations are looking for new and innovative ways to progress and create shareholder value and as the available workforce changes organisations need to transform at an increased pace, and managers must develop new skills to manage these complex environments. Susanne’s research “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs” will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability.In Susanne’s opinion, Gender Economics is the new Business Transformation, the next major resource, and will open a channel to increased innovation and creativity through Diversity of Thought and the ability to maximise the management of these complex environments.Whether you are a projet/program/portfolio manager, or a C level executive, join us as we hear Susanne talking about Gender Economics as the new Business Transformation, the next major resource, that will open a channel to increased innovation and creativity through Diversity of Thought and the ability to maximise the management of complex environments.For more information about the research go to http://gendereconomics.com/2012/10/16/diversity-economics-research-the-profit-impact-of-organisational-gender-diversity-programs/

PMI QUEENSLAND

Venue: Tattersall’s in the Tattersall’s Arcade, corner Queen and Creek Streets in Brisbane.

Dress Code: Please remember the business dress code for Tattersall’s: Jacket and tie with ‘ladies equivalent’; no denim please. Tattersall’s does enforce this dress code.

Date: Wednesday,  12 December 2012

Time: 05:45 PM to 08:00 PM 05:45 PM Refreshments for a 06:00 PM start

Cost: PMIQ  Members: Free.  Guests are welcome: $10 inc GST

Capacity: 100

For more details and to book for the PMIQ Event

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION HERE

Major Dimensions – The Diversity Program Review Framework


Copyright Susanne Moore 2012, Diversity Program Review Framework

Background

In order to measure the effectiveness of Diversity and to evaluate data for the next phases of the research, I have developed major measurement dimensions which form part of the Diversity Program Review Framework.  The Framework will allow the project to look at areas such as;
  • Identification of all available metrics, benchmarks, targets, quotas and program deliverables
  • Identification of existing and planned frameworks within Diversity and Inclusion programs including, employee self service, human resource policy, financial measurements
  • Reviews the Diversity Program for effectiveness and suitability, assesses its links to business benefits, strategy and business performance

What is it?

The Diversity Program Review Framework will measure both the program’s standalone effectiveness from a program management perspective, and assesses the viability of  the program’s data  as a research  candidate  for the broader research project.

What are the outcomes?

The review framework is currently being developed and consists of a Program Review, A Capability Assessment mapped to the journey of your program, a number of Survey instrument’s to capture stakeholder feedback and a Comprehensive Report.
As my particular area of focus is Gender and Economics, I am also looking at additional catogories within each of these major dimensions to gain as much research data on gender performance against profitablity as possible.