Gender Equality starts with the CEO!

The CEO is the most important person in an organisation when building gender equality. It is near impossible to move the organisation to gender equality and an inclusive culture if the CEO does not passionately want their organisation to change.

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Here are some articles to support the case for gender equality

Be aware of why gender equality benefits men as well

So what should a CEO do to show they support gender equality?

  1. Develop a clear, succinct and personal statement about why gender equality is important to them personally
  2. Use that statement on the website, in the annual report and on all forms of communication so that it sticks
  3. Measure and review the metrics of your organisation including hiring, promoting and remuneration of women
  4. Build gender equality goals into the REM of the senior leaders team to ensure they know you are serious.
  5. Review your WGEA and annual reports to ensure you know the situation in your organisation
  6. Understand “unconscious bias” and how this plays into assumptions made about women (and men) in the work place.
  7. Understand how our community has changed with more pressure on families to have two salaries and more involvement by men with their families.
  8. Build sponsoring and mentoring programs to facilitate talented men and women into leadership roles.
  9. Build realistic and achievable gender equality targets for your organisation and ensure they are communicated and metrics reviewed regularly.
  10. Understand this is a challenging cultural issue that will require ongoing and long-term focus.

Show that you are serious about gender equality outside your organisation

  1. Become a “Champion of Change” in your state or industry sector so that you have the opportunity to meet with other CEO’s supporting Gender Equality
  2. Become an Equal Pay Ambassador with and commit to ensuring gender pay equality in your organisation
  3. Sign up to HEforSHE (
  4. Offer your time to share what is working for you to achieve gender equality in your organisation.

Remember gender equality is not women’s business it is everyone’s business and research shows it makes good business!

Is it time for a job change?


Want a job change?

Are you reflecting on your need for a new job? I would like to take a few moments to suggest you stop, look and think before you race into it.

  • Have you taken the time to document for yourself what do you love about this job and what would you like to change? What are the things you would like to do more of and do you have the skills that you need?
  • Have you had an authentic conversation with your manager to discuss the things you would like to spend more time on? Perhaps your role can be reworked to provide you with more time on the components you enjoy. You will never know if you don’t ask
  • If you perceive your manager as the problem, have you taken the time to reflect on their style and how you could flex your communication style to achieve more positive outcomes? Often, if your styles are very different this may get in the way of developing a positive relationship and lead to a lack of satisfaction.
  • Have you considered a special project or placement in another area of your current business? Perhaps this would provide an opportunity to broaden your skills and seek new opportunities. At the end of the assignment new opportunities may appear.

If these points do not achieve the change that you want, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere. Don’t fall into the trap that the grass will be greener in a new organisation. Perhaps your inability to flex communication or communicate authentically will become a problem in the new role as well.

  • Don’t rush into a resignation
  • Update your social media presence (especially Linked In)
  • Talk with a trusted observer (mentor) about your goals and seek their direct feedback on behaviours that may be holding you back
  • Build relationships with at least three search consultants to provide insights into market opportunities and to provide feedback on your job prospects.
  • Identify at least five other organisations that you believe are appealing and research their websites and press. Don’t limit yourself to your current industry sector, as management skills are transferable across sectors. Be sure to open your mind when you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Find connections that work in your targeted organisations and take a coffee with them. Determine the opportunities that may be available, ask questions about the culture, values and career development.
  • If you don’t have the connections ask others who may be able to introduce you into the organisation.

Good luck!

Men at Work…

What a man should do to support gender equality:

Dr Michael Kimmel commented; “white men have been the beneficiaries of the greatest affirmative action program ever known in the history of the world—it’s called the history of the world!”  I am a strong supporter affirmative action for women through the use of targets for women especially into senior line positions. Men often complain behind the scenes that their opportunities will be curtailed. For the last 200 years they have been advantaged in almost every conceivable way in the business environment. Merit selection has been given as a “trite” excuse.  It is now time that real merit is seen beyond the male persona.

Here are some things that any man can do to support women at work:

– Understand that gender equality is important (

– Challenge your organisation’s thinking about women at work (

– Reflect on your view of merit – is it biased (

– Reflect on what leadership means today – “command and control” needs to move to “Collaboroation and Motivation”  (

– Make gender equality personal to you and others (

– Ensure women are paid equally at least in your in your area and ensure your organisation is recognised as a pay equity ambassador (

– Encourage others to “call out” inappropriate behaviour – as General David Morrison said “The behaviour you walk past is the bahaviour you accept” (

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A father’s responsibility

Yesterday was father’s day…

Many of you will be father’s of girls, young women or women in the workplace. You are likely proud of your family and have ensured that your daughters received the same education as your sons.

I would like you to think for a minute about Australian women in the workplace and the additional challenges they face in maximising their potential. Or you can reflect on the talent that is lost to Australia.

A more senior manager or leader in their organisation will sexually harass about half of these women. They will start and continue on a lower salary, be promoted more slowly and often miss the sponsorship of senior men that is offered to junior men in the workplace. They will feel poorly treated and may well drop out of their chosen career.

Over their working lifetime they will likely be underpaid by nearly $1,000,000 or get paid about 80% of the men doing the same job. You could perhaps think of it as working 5 days and get paid for only 4.

Xplore for Success has touched the lives of over 11,000 of these women and we have heard the stories first hand. It is just harder! I personally feel appalled that this is the norm for 2015 and I am sure you do too!

As Dr Michael Kimmel states “men have had the advantage of affirmative action for 200 years in the workplace”. He speaks passionately about the need for affirmative action to balance the past. (

So how can you speak up in your organisation to ensure that there is no gender pay gap – and you can’t be sure unless it is measured! (

Are you prepared to call bad behaviour of men in your organisation?

Are you prepared to sponsor both women and men in your workplace?

What can you do to make the workplace safe and rewarding for your daughters? Please think “If it is to be, it is up to me” and make a difference.

Want the facts in Australia?

Want to see Australia compared to other OECD countries?

Want help in your organisation?

CEO’s need to deliver on equal pay!

Today is equal pay day!

Today is “equal pay” day and in Australia, as in most countries, women experience a pay gap, which will amount to about $1,000,000 over their full life. In Australia this gap has hovered at just below 20% for several decades, with some industry segments measured with a gap of over 30%

Most of the articles written encourage women to seek the remuneration they deserve and definitely women need to be more confident in their discussions about money. Waiting and hoping will not change the situation.

However, there is also research that shows although men are expected to seek higher wages, and respected for doing so, when women do, they are seen to be aggressive. So women have the difficult challenge of asking for pay increases but risking being seen as aggressive.

WGEA has a powerful initiative encouraging CEO’s to sign up as “pay equality champions”. It is obvious however, that CEO’s already know the problem but have been slow in addressing the problem or feel that it is sufficient to gradually address the problem over a number of years. This assumes they will be there for the time required and the initiative does not get dropped over time. Quite seriously that is just unfair.

One organisation, simply made the powerful decision that they would “fix the problem” and with one move equalised men and women’s remuneration. To me, that is leadership.

It would be powerful to see organisations share their successful initiatives as it is obvious that the gap today demonstrates that unequal pay in not high on the organisational priorities. Unfortunately “name and shame” is probably needed to force the change.


Are you up to your neck in alligators?

When you woke this morning did you feel you were overwhelmed with your goals for today.  Let me share some ideas that may help.  They do for me.

Start the day with being grateful for where you are right now;  happy, healthy, safe or any one of a number of other thoughts.  Take the time to savour the things for which your are grateful as this will fill you with positive thoughts.

When you get up take time to stretch out and breathe – did you know deep breathing right down into your belly will still your anxiety and give you renewed energy.

Think of the three things you really want to mark off that “never finishing” to do list.  Things that matter to you or those you love.  Things that tonight you will relish having them completed.  Make sure you can get them done in the day – if one is very large can you “chunk it” so that you can achieve that first part today.

Then take a deep breath and focus and start on the first one.  When it is done reward yourself with a break or something that you find pleasurable.  Then take on the next….and the next.

At the end of each day remind yourself of your success, remind yourself of the other great things that happened during the day.  Use the “think deeply about three things” you have really enjoyed in the day to calm yourself ready for sleep.

Remember:  Your journey through life is one way, the journey is the reward and there is no replay.  Make sure your journey is one you know is worthwhile.

When all three are complete ensure you

What matters to me…

At quiet times I like to reflect on the things that make me smile right from my heart.

In the night I lay and stroked my gorgeous 2 year old granddaughter who was not well.  Her skin is so soft and she cuddled right in.  What a gift.

I played soccer with my grandson who at 6 is already just too good and so much fun.  If I could only convince him that kicking even a lightweight ball inside is not a good idea.

I read a wonderful blog from a woman who wanted to write but needed the courage to get started.  It provided a wonderful insight on country life and I hope she keeps writing.  In just a few blogs her style is taking shape.

Last week I sat on the beach on the lagoon in Noumea watching the sun set – so beautiful!  Six days of relaxation and over 10,000 steps each day.

I watched the video of the black bear rolling down the hill just for fun.  A good reminder that we all need to do things that are just for fun.

I read an article on wonderful woven houses that were completely sustainable and thought how smart were the women who designed them.  The fabulous use of solar and water collection.  The soccer balls that store energy just from being kicked around.

I sit and look at the harbour and the blue sky and know that I am so privileged without bombs or danger in my life every day.  I thank those like MSF who seek to help where others may hesitate to go.

There is so much good in this world if we could just change our spend from making war to building a sustainable world, from punishing wrong doers to early interventions, to sharing great ideas and caring for others.