Articles in category 'Gender Diversity'

Return to Blog

Vic Minister Philip Dalidakis Australia’s first politician to take the Panel Pledge

By | December 7th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE (From the State Government)

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis tonight took the Panel Pledge to get more female leaders from STEM and business represented in Victoria’s industry panels and conferences.

PledgeIndustryPanelssmThe pledge was made at an event co-hosted by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA), who also launched the inaugural WLIA Media and Panel Pledge Awards.

The awards will recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations who achieve the greatest impact in their implementation of the Panel Pledge, as well as media professionals who achieve gender balance in their stories.

By taking the Panel Pledge, Mr Dalidakis chooses to only participate in panels and consider government funding for conferences and events that have clear 50/50 gender representation in their speakers.

The WLIA initiated the Panel Pledge in Australia in 2013 to address gender imbalances often seen on panels and at conferences. It was immediately taken up by the Male Champions of Change movement, under the leadership of former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick AO.

While women make up 46 per cent of Australia’s workforce, it is estimated that they make up less than 15 per cent of panellists in industry events across the country.

The pledge comes just days after the Andrews Labor Government unveiled Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

Victoria’s first ever gender equality strategy includes a series of landmark reforms to support women and girls – a Gender Equality Act, gender audits across government and public sector, scholarships to encourage young and emerging women leaders and hosting the first all women trade delegation to China.

The Labor Government has been leading the push for gender diversity in Victoria since it first introduced a requirement for equal representation in all public boardrooms. The average proportion of women on government and public boards now sits at 49 per cent, a considerable jump from 39 per cent just six months ago.

Women experts significantly underrepresented in Australia’s newsprint media

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | December 7th, 2016

Carol-PanelPledgeNew research from the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) shows that women are significantly underrepresented as sources and experts in the Australian newsprint media, with female sources representing just 21 per cent of all commentary.

The Women for Media Report 2016 analysed over 6000 articles across six major print publications – The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Herald Sun, and The Daily Telegraph – between 1 February to 21 February 2016.

The report was launched this evening at an event at Parliament House with The Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade. The event was co-hosted by WLIA and the Minister to promote the importance of gender balance in the media and on panels.

Key findings include:

  • Women account for just 21 per cent of sources directly quoted in news articles
  • The Australian Financial Review (AFR) (15 per cent) and The Australian (16 per cent) featured the lowest proportion of women directly quoted
  • The Herald Sun (28 per cent) and The Daily Telegraph (30 per cent) featured the highest proportion of women directly quoted
  • Women were least quoted in articles on business (13 per cent) and finance (14 per cent), whilst they were quoted most in articles on health (41 per cent), education (39 per cent), and social issues (39 per cent)
  • Overall, female journalists quoted female sources in greater numbers than their male counterparts (27 per cent to 17 per cent, respectively)
  • Male sources were most frequently quoted on topics relating to the ‘ASX’, ‘profits’, ‘China’, ‘tax reform’, and ‘investors’
  • Female sources were most frequently quoted on topics relating to ‘children’, ‘China’, ‘foreign policy’, ‘murder’, and ‘Nauru’
  • Overall 21 per cent of opinion editorials on politics were written by women. Of this, just five per cent were written by female ‘guest’ authors – those not employed as journalists or regular columnists by the publishing newspaper

WLIA’s Founding Chair, Carol Schwartz AM said, “There is no shortage of highly qualified women available to speak across all news topics. Our newspapers and media coverage should reflect the diversity of Australian society, its leaders and its consumers.”

“Not only is it more interesting to hear a diverse range of views but studies show that gender balance gets the best outcomes. Our public discourse is all the poorer for it when women’s voices aren’t heard,” said Schwartz.

WLIA’s Executive Director, Amy Mullins said: “Traditionally, men have often been seen as the ‘authority’ on topics in the media, particularly in business, finance and politics. Elevating women’s voices in the media will go a long way towards shifting traditional gender norms and expectations of what a leader looks like.”

“Women make up 50 per cent of the population and our news coverage should reflect that,” said Mullins.

“We have seen recent successes in the broadcast media with the Mornings with Jon Faine show on 774 ABC Melbourne achieving gender balance in its guests. They have shown that it can be done, but it needs to be seen as business-critical, with strategies put in place to achieve it,” said Mullins.”

“Gender balanced news coverage creates visible role models for both men and women to look to,” said Mullins. 

Other findings

  • All publications featured relatively low levels of female representation in business news – female sources quoted in business articles ranged from 11 per cent in The Australian to 23 per cent in The Daily Telegraph
  • Where a source’s position contained the words, ‘CEO’, ‘Founder’, ‘Executive Director’, or ‘Managing Director’, just 14 per cent were female
  • Where a source’s position contained the words, ‘Analyst’, ‘Economist’ or ‘Strategist’, just nine per cent were female

About the Report

The Women for Media Report 2016 is an extensive analysis of the gender balance of sources and experts quoted in the Australian print media over a three-week period, from 1 February 2016 to 21 February 2016. The ‘opinion’ sections of the same publications were analysed over the full month of February 2016.

The Women for Media Report 2016 is unique in its breadth and depth of gender analysis for both news and opinion articles in the Australian newsprint media.

Over 6000 articles were analysed across six major Australian newsprint publications from February 2016 – The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Herald Sun, and The Daily Telegraph.

The research encompasses all articles from the general news, business and related news, finance news, and ‘opinion’ sections of each newspaper. This excludes designated arts, lifestyle, entertainment, sport, and world sections, as well as magazines and lift-outs.

About Women for Media

Women for Media ( is an online database and network of Australia’s top female leaders in business, finance, the not-for-profit sector and government. It provides journalists and conference organisers with direct access to the contacts of leaders available to speak, in order to reduce barriers to achieving gender diversity of sources and experts.

WLIA works with Faine show to achieve equal media airtime for women

By | October 31st, 2016

Our Executive Director, Amy Mullins, spoke to Jon Faine on the ‘secret project’ which was undertaken by ‘Mornings with Jon Faine’ Producers Dan Ziffer and Harriet Lonnborn (with a little help from WLIA) to ensure women get equal airtime.

The show went from featuring 33% female voices per week, to 50% female voices just three months later.

WLIA applauds Ziffer and Lonnborn for the great achievements they have made – showing that achieving gender balance is possible when there is commitment and action from those in a position of leadership and influence.

Further coverage on the project:

The Age, Our secret project to give women equal media airtime

ABC News, Faine show reveals secret project to give women equal airtime

WLIA on Sky News talking about women in politics

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | August 1st, 2016

Our Executive Director, Amy Mullins, joined Ashleigh Gillon in the Sky News Melbourne studio to talk about the news that the 45th Parliament will see the lowest levels of female MPs in a Coalition government in 20 years. They also discussed ways in which we can increase the number of women elected. Angela Priestley, Editor of Women’s Agenda, joined the discussion from Sydney.

Amy references new research about quotas and their effectiveness in increasing the number of female politicians in a nation. If you’re interesting in reading more about it, read Dr Victor Sojo’s article here.

Property Male Champions of Change Report Released

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | July 21st, 2016

A new report identifies the property industry’s ‘boys’ club’ mentality and a lack of diversity in senior leadership as some of the top barriers women face in their journey towards reaching executive leadership roles.

The Property Male Champions of Change and EY recently surveyed over 3800 employees (women and men) in 18 property organisations and found that, despite men and women in property having the same aspirations for leadership, women are less likely to progress from manager level to senior leadership in the property industry. Less than one in three leadership roles are currently held by women.

Carol Schwartz AM, Convenor of the Property Male Champions or Change, says the research shows organisations need to start actively and intentionally creating pathways for women to leadership positions to achieve change.

“The results reveal that prior to joining property, more women than men have worked in a range of industries and sectors that provide highly transferrable skills and knowledge,” Schwartz says.

“Re-defining and articulating what skills and attributes are truly required for senior roles in the property industry is one way we can open up different pathways and proactively support women to reach their career aspirations and increase diversity of thought in our executive teams.”

All this is part of the Property Male Champions of Change’s inaugural report, Our Commitment, released by 21 of the most senior leaders in the property industry.

Just over one year since its formation, the Our Commitment report outlines the listening and learning journey each leader has undertaken, whilst the six action plans set out their long-term commitment to drive lasting change within their organisations.

”The Property Male Champions of Change recognise that to move the dial on women in executive leadership, men must step up beside women and champion gender equality with visible leadership and informed action,” Schwartz says.

“It is early days for the group, but it is clear to us that to win the war for talent, we must ensure women and men have equal opportunity to thrive in the property sector. The findings and commitments reflected in this report are an excellent foundation from which to measure our progress each year,” Schwartz says.

The Property Male Champions of Change was inspired by the Founding Male Champions of Change, convened by then Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO, calling on men to step up beside women and drive gender equality in their workplaces.

“It is important to emphasise that improving gender balance at work is not a women’s issue, it is a significant social and economic issue that all Australians are responsible for. The men are not champions because they are perfect role models, but rather because they are committed to leading tangible action to increase the representation of women in leadership,” says Broderick.

Libby Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, says: “I am confident that the journey towards gender equity in the property sector will gather momentum as this group harnesses the power of leadership, transparency and accountability to achieve better business outcomes across their industry.”

Applications are open for MSoG’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | April 1st, 2016

Have you ever considered a career in politics? Do you want to change the status quo?

The Melbourne School of Government’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women is an Australia-first, non-partisan initiative designed to redress the continued under-representation of women in Australian politics.

This free executive program, made possible by the Trawalla Foundation and WLIA, will provide a select group of female University of Melbourne alumnae and students with the skills, support and encouragement to run for elected office at local, state and national levels.

The program will feature guest presenters from across the political spectrum including politicians (both sitting and retired), pollsters, public speaking professionals, campaign strategists, advisors, consultants and public policy experts.

Applications are now open and will close at midnight on Monday 11 April 2016. Please visit the Pathways to Politics for Women website for more information, including eligibility and how to apply.