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Cobie Rudd

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Regional Futures) & Vice-President at Edith Cowan University


As a firm advocate for the importance of gender diversity and inclusion in all workplaces, I believe a strong commitment should be a non-negotiable for all leaders. As well, leaders need to approach inclusion, diversity and gender equality just as they would any other strategic initiative.

We continue to see gender stereotypes defined at very early ages, micro-aggressions in the workplace being ignored if not condoned, the imposter syndrome existing, and disparities in opportunities and pay for women enduring. Our bias-busting has a long way to go when we still see the effect of unconscious biases on workplace decisions to the detriment of some groups.

It is critical we deeply ingrain gender equality into the vision, values, and culture of our organisations. The research shows that organisations with greater gender diversity among their executive leadership teams outperform those with little to no diversity. In creating diverse workplaces, we generate greater innovation capacity and boost performance productivity. This ultimately impacts the bottom line while having both positive impacts on organisational reputation and job satisfaction.

As an educator and an employer, ECU is proactively redressing gender inequalities and improving education and opportunities for women, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) where the imbalances are the greatest. We also strive to encourage more men to take up parental leave and flexible work provisions in supporting their work-life balance, while also supporting women returning back to the workforce. By maximising talent and productivity and taking action to correct unfairness, we’re investing in our current and future generations of employees and gaining traction to achieving equity in the workplace.

Joining CEOs for Gender Equity opens another avenue for collective courage and honesty to redress inequities. It’s a key platform for visible leadership to achieve genuine change for the better.


CEO Conversation.


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