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. (http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/29/living/war-on-men/)

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! (https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/Pay_Equity_Toolkit_Main.pdf)

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? https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/Gender_Pay_Gap_Factsheet.pdf

Want to see Australia compared to other OECD countries?


Want help in your organisation? Diana.ryall@xplore.net.au

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.






Women at Work…10 points

Some ideas from our experiences at Xplore for Success with over 11,000 women

  1.  Demonstrate confidence – stand or sit tall, make eye contact, firm hand-shake
  2. Take calculated risks – Show that you are prepared to take responsibility
  3. Speak up – don’t wait for the tap on the shoulder
  4. Dress for the next promotion – look professional
  5. Reduce the use of “sorry” – unless you personally did something wrong
  6. Keep your manager informed of your successes – be able to articulate a success concisely
  7. Take time to be known in your organisation – ensure others know how you add value
  8. Be clear about your career goals – so that you can action them
  9. Invest in your personal development at least once a year – ask for organisational support
  10. Ensure you are paid what you are worth – salary and bonuses

Check out the assumptions that may be made about you at work


10 Assumptions often made about businessmen!

10 Assumptions often made about businessmen

Although I haven’t had as many opportunities to work with men about the assumptions they feel affect the way they act, here is a summary of some of the things I have heard and unlikely to be spoken by the leader.

  1. Your hesitation to make a fast decision seems to me to be a weakness
  2. If you want your career to flourish you need to make family compromises, you just can’t have it all
  3. Your role is 7×24 and if you want to succeed I need you to be accessible at all times.
  4. You are the bread-winner so you need to focus on your career and I understand your need for promotion and greater remuneration
  5. It is great when you “lend a hand” at home but don’t talk about “sharing the load” especially when it comes to drop off and pick up as you have a wife to do that.
  6. If you can’t talk sport you have a problem, you know real men play sport and support the on field and off field behaviour.  It is just men having their fun. Women’s sport doesn’t count even if you have daughters.
  7. If you ask for flexibility or parental leave, I will assume your career is not important to you. You just have to be prepared to make adjustments.
  8. Of course you understand business and financials, you are a man and if there is a problem I will stand by you.
  9. I want you to take this overseas position, as it will cement your career progression. We will arrange family removals and help the family when you arrive.
  10. You will be great in this new role. Of course you will have to put in more hours but it will be worth it in the long term.

Feel free to add more or comment on some you think are not applicable.

Here is a great article http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/07/the-face-of-power-do-all-world-leaders-look-the-same

Men need to sign up to gender equality!

I know we need to change the thinking of senior men about how they assess merit and talent especially when it comes to women.   When these leaders want a speaker their first choices are great sports stars or adventurers – normally men. They want to feel inspired to climb higher mountains or take more risks. Whilst such speakers are inspirational they will not help an organisation move to greater gender equality.

What Australian leaders need to know is how to make gender equality happen. They need to look in the mirror see their natural biases and more importantly identify how they can be a leader that sees beyond their assumptions. How can they build and lead a diverse work force to maximise their success.

I am confident that through my experience as Managing Director at Apple in Australia, winning Employer of the Year (with an engagement of over 90%) and building Xplore for Success that I can bring them pragmatic ways to change their workplace and move positively towards gender equality.  Xplore has worked with over 11,000 women over the last 13 years from many large organisations.

We know what works and we can work with senior leaders to ensure their organisation achieves their gender equality goals.

WOMEN – Work free one day a week!

Doesn’t seem fair does it but that is what happens to businesswomen in Australia.  Be ready to have a pay discussion and be clear about your goals.


  1. The pay gap in Australia is 18.8% on average
  2. There is a pay gap between men and women of over 1% the first year in the workplace
  3. Check out the list of biggest gaps at http://www.smartcompany.com.au/people/47571-the-10-industries-with-the-worst-gender-pay-gap-revealed.html
  4. The gap is widening http://www.smartcompany.com.au/people/47571-the-10-industries-with-the-worst-gender-pay-gap-revealed.html or http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/gender-pay-gap-worst-in-20-years/story-e6frg90f-1227024630848
  5. The gap fuels further inequality

What it means for you if you are underpaid:

  1.  You will be assumed to have fewer skills than the man being paid more
  2. Therefore you will be less likely to be promoted
  3. Your team will be limited by your salary
  4. Your lack of pay equality may be worth over $1,000,000 over a life time

How to change it

  1. Know what you are worth in the market
  2. Keep up with search consultants who can keep you in the know
  3. Don’t accept the first pay offer – seek more because men normally do
  4. If you take on extra responsibilities seek more remuneration
  5. Ask your manager are you paid equally with your peers
  6. Ask your organisation their position on pay equality
  7. Seek to be low on a higher pay band – easier to get increases from low down
  8. Keep other abreast on your “fabulous” outcomes
  9. Be prepared to talk remuneration several times a year – because men do!
  10. Ensure your manager knows that your remuneration is important to you!

Check out this HBR article


Don’t work one day a week free for the rest of your life – it is way too costly!

Why do we vote?

I thought we voted to that our members could represent the people.  I thought that was what democracy was all about.  How naive I was.

Our politicians are pushing their own views and beliefs.  Of course Tony Abbott as a Catholic has trouble with marriage equality but his tricky maneuvers are disgusting.  Where are the spines of the other Liberal members – pull him down, replace him, get serious about Australia’s needs rather than their own.  Over 70% of Australians want this change and I hope he pays dearly for integrating church and state and representing his views not those of his family.

His climate change target, with PR so carefully crafted will still leave Australia with the highest per capita emissions in 2030.  This is another area where his personal views are leading the actions.  The majority of Australians want real change and want to be seen as a world leader.

Why would anyone support Adani to mine.  Just look at their inabilities in environmental control in their own countries as well as the corruption scandals surrounding their leaders.  Has Abbott promised something to them?  It is so obvious this is a major risk.  How many banks have pulled back.  Read the signs and just say no.

Add to that our wonderful farmland in the Liverpool Plains.  Why would we risk our food supply with another fraught mining adventure with a Chinese company.  What responsibility would they feel if they pollute our country – they already pollute their own.  And the most recent idea of a Korean company operating in the Southern Highlands feels like groundhog day.

It is time our politicians listened openly to the people.  I feel sure that in the future this will be seen as the government that took Australia backwards.