Articles tagged with 'gender balance'

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Carol Schwartz talks Pathways to Politics on ABC TV

By | May 4th, 2017

WLIA’s Founding Chairperson Carol Schwartz appeared on ABC News Breakfast to discuss this year’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women and why it’s so important to see gender balanced leadership in our parliaments.


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


The secret project to give women equal media airtime

By Daniel Ziffer | October 25th, 2016

This article was originally published in The Age on 25 October, 2016.

zifferThere aren’t enough female voices in the media – as presenters, as experts, as people considered newsworthy.

We started a secret project to fix it.

Concerned about the small number of female voices on-air, as hosts, regular guests and callers, I contacted Amy Mullins from the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia, an organisation trying to fix the gender imbalance in visible and significant positions.

The WLIA website allows you to directly contact over 200 women executives, leaders and thinkers across a broad range of industries and disciplines. These women have put their hand up to speak in the media and on conference panels.

Producer Harriet Lonnborn and I met Mullins, who detailed some of the ways that women are excluded from the national conversation: quoted less frequently in the news, writing only a fraction of the opinion pieces printed in newspapers (yes, I am aware this isn’t helping) and appearing less frequently on TV and radio as experts.

Running the ”Mornings with Jon Faine” radio program we decided to do what we could in our tiny corner of the media world to change things.

We’d never really counted what the gender ratio of our guests was, so we set ourselves the obvious target of 50 per cent of female guests on-air.

Easy, we thought.

The first day was … terrible. We had just one female voice out of 11 guests. That’s 9 per cent.

The first week was 33 per cent overall – the same ratio as the months before we started our project.

It didn’t take long to work out why: we’re starting every day behind.

Our host is male. Of our long-standing regular weekly guests, just six of 15 are female. Their fill-ins are pretty much the same ratio.

Of the popular irregular guests, the Premier, Opposition Leader, Lord Mayor, Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, the heads of the public transport system, road network and emergency services all are male.

So for other experts we used the institute’s website, contacts at universities and our most useful tool: pleading.

A consistent issue was the propensity of capable, storied women to defer our enquiries to similarly-qualified men. Chief executives suggested their chair would be a better spokesperson, doctors with decades of experience would say they were unqualified to talk about a sector of their specialty

Mullins explains that this reticence isn’t about a lack of belief.

“Research shows it’s just not the case that women are less confident in themselves than men,” she said. “They are however, less confident that others will recognise and be receptive to their capabilities – and in the context of media – that they’ll be seen as credible or expert sources.”

A further issue is that seeing women in expert positions is still, astonishingly, a surprise.

“We are quite used to seeing men as an ‘authority’ on topics in the media, but less so for women. Elevating women’s voices in the media will go a long way to shifting traditional gender norms and expectations of how women, and men, should act. And that has positive effects for everyone,” Mullins adds.

It’s a long road, but one worth jogging down.

Next time you’re stopped at the lights, peering down the road at a bus stop or avoiding old magazines in a waiting room, look around.

What you’ll see is modern Australia: an amazing and harmonious mix of men and women from here and around the world. According to the last census, more than a quarter of Australians are born overseas, and another 20 per cent on top of that have a parent born overseas.

Few media organisations are hitting the mark on representing our community to the degree they should, so any steps to improve that will help.

Our project to get more female voices on air was just a start.

We were able to add exciting new voices across the broad range of fields we cover and our show now better represents the community it serves.

We want everyone to be a part of the conversation and in a recent week, just three months after we started, 50 per cent of our voices were female.

You know, like society.

Daniel Ziffer is senior producer, Mornings with Jon Faine, 774 ABC Melbourne. These are his personal views.

 

Further coverage on the project here.

Categories: Women for Media

WLIA and the Panel Pledge featured on Gender Avenger!

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | September 25th, 2015

We are honoured to be featured on the US-based Gender Avenger website.

Our Executive Director, Amy Mullins, wrote to Gender Avenger to share with them WLIA’s work on the Panel Pledge and to thank them for their inspirational work.

Gender Avenger is a community advocacy group, founded by Gina Glantz and Susan Askew, who seek to ensure women are equally represented and heard on panels and in public forums.

They recently created a wonderful video on how we can all call-out the gender imbalance at conferences:

To read our article on the Gender Avenger website, click here.

Categories: Gender Diversity

Commit to the Panel Pledge

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | August 25th, 2015


25 August 2015
Dear colleagues,

Chief Executive Women, the Male Champions of Change and the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia share a common goal – a significant and sustainable increase in the representation of women in leadership in Australia. We are working together to identify approaches, put them into practice and disseminate those that are successful.

The purpose of this letter is to invite you to commit to the Panel Pledge. Attached we include information about the Panel Pledge, its rationale and how it can be implemented.

You may share our concern in noting that in Australia and around the world, many high-profile conferences and events lack gender balance, particularly in regards to keynote speakers and panels.

We experience this first-hand. As members of Chief Executive Women, we are more often than not the only woman on stage at events. As Male Champions of Change we consistently find ourselves sitting on panels that are exclusively male.

The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem. Because speakers are usually male, audiences are given an exclusive perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation. Moreover, when visible role models are male, absence of women perpetuates absence of women. Fewer women choose to speak, and fewer are chosen. Compounding this problem is that without the opportunity to serve on panels women lack profile-building opportunities, which is an important contributor to experience and recognition.

At the suggestion of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia, the Male Champions of Change in 2012 committed to a Panel Pledge: when asked to be involved in or sponsor a panel or conference, we each inquire about organiser efforts to ensure women leaders are represented.

We believe gender imbalance at events is entirely solvable and the opportunity for improving is awaiting widespread sign-up.

With this in mind, we invite all Australian leaders to commit to the Panel Pledge.

We hope you will join us.

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WLIA supports Xenophon’s gender balanced government boards Bill

By Women's Leadership Institute Australia | July 30th, 2015

The Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) has made a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee expressing support for the Australian Government Boards (Gender Balanced Representation) Bill 2015, introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon on June 24, 2015.

To view WLIA’s submission, visit the Committee’s website.

To view the Australian Government Boards (Gender Balanced Representation) Bill 2015, visit the Bill’s homepage here.