I joined CEOs for Gender Equity because I am passionately committed to ensuring gender equity at work. A hallmark of my career has been roles where I have directly or indirectly sought to improve equity at work.
Despite some progress, women still face impediments to their full participation in the workforce. I know this firsthand from when I set up the Western Australian Government’s Pay Equity Unit. The unit developed and piloted the first pay equity audit tool in Australia. We pioneered and promoted the idea in Western Australia and now it is used nationally. The wage gaps first identified by that tool still exist in WA., The significance of the male-dominated mining industry in the Western Australian economy, among other factors, means that women’s pay in our State is lagging behind.
As a leader in my workplace I have always sought to address structural barriers to women’s participation at work. Throughout my career, I’ve provided personal support and mentoring to help women in my workplace and the broader government sector to achieve their full potential. As a recently appointed CEO, joining CEOs for Gender Equity is a new way for me to continue my longstanding support for gender equity at work.
Gender equity at work is a no-brainer. Not only is it the right thing to do, but to address the many challenges facing our society we need to have access to the full pool of talent and skill – both men and women.
Women still face significant impediments to their full participation in the workplace, and workplaces themselves can address some of these barriers. I am enjoying the challenge of making the ERA a more inclusive workplace. We’ve conducted our own pay equity audit and have good workplace policies. Crucially, we have normalised the use of genuinely flexible work arrangements being accessed by both men and women in our workplace.
When we recruit, we make sure to have good numbers of women applicants through highlighting our inclusive workplace culture. I champion and provide direct support to the many excellent women in our workplace.
As CEOs, we set the tone for what’s acceptable in the workplace. I am conscious of this every day, in everything that I do. A motif of my leadership style is respect and encouragement for all staff, but especially for women who may not have pictured themselves in a leadership role.
I look forward to working with other CEOs to enable a fairer and more just society, one workplace at a time – starting with my own.