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” (

Need help contact me at

Take the best seat….

When you arrive at a meeting early enough to have a choice of seat, think about where you would like to sit!  Get there early and have all the materials you need for the meeting.

1.  Meeting leader at the top of the table – if you are the project leader take the seat that goes with it.

2.  Leader support (PA or other) on the left and right of the leader so that they can have an aside if need be

3.  The other end of the table is a conflict position so avoid that

4.  Pick right of left side half-way down for best eye-contact without conflict

5.  Someone you find difficult?  Ask them to sit beside you.  It will build rapport and also it is very difficult to have conflict with the person beside you

6.  Take your space with your materials, welcome other by standing shaking hands and if you don’t know them give your first and last name and credentials or title.  This gets over people wondering why you are there

7.  Don’t offer to take notes or get coffee, this positions you as a very junior participant.  Often for women this may undermine you confidence and respect if you accept.

8.  When the meeting starts, ensure you are sitting straight and slightly forward with all your materials organised in front of you.  This will make you look ready and confident of your position.  (Don’t allow the inner voice give you ideas about being an imposter).  When you sit straight you look for confident.

A slightly different view:

New low in political leadership

Catherine Livingstone AO, president of the Business Council of Australia said

“Yesterday marked a new low point for political leadership in Australia.  At a time of great economic uncertainty, Australia needs and deserves strong leadership, and the opportunity to discuss reform options as a community.  Our political representatives are elected and paid by the community to implement policies that will best serve the country.  Their responsibility is to ensure that there is constructive, well informed debate, leading to implementable outcomes.  It is not to undermine the debate in the cause of party political positioning.”

I agree with her….could we please see leadership to support Australia into the future!

How high should I aim?

When I think of my goals in life, I sometimes wonder how high do I feel like going.  My business, Xplore for Success, continues to grow, our team continues to bring new ideas, our participants tell us what a difference our mentoring programs make.  So how high should I aim with my own goals.

Then I think of the women who are bullied, passed over for promotion, lack the confidence to bring forth their ideas and who are paid less than they are worth.  Combined with that I think of the men who have the same experiences in the workplace and then I know the answer.

There really is no “how high”.  I just need to do everything I can to change the workplaces in Australia to allow others with talent to flourish.

Why you should seek a P&L role – Gender Equality

If you have aspirations of either starting your own business or gaining a C-Suite role it is unlikely to be successful if you haven’t been in a client facing sales role and a role with P&L responsibility.

Many women will say in the workplace “I don’t understand the financials”. This limits career progression and other opportunities that may have come their way. Many men don’t fully understand financials but would never admit to it openly and would ensure they have the key fundamentals in place.

A line role in the business is something every woman should seek. You can learn on the job or take a short course or study on line to catch up with the basics. You are not seeking to become the CFO, but you do need to understand the key challenges for your organisation and confidently understand a P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow.

Effects of changes in exchange, shipping rates, competitor changes, industry changes all impact the success of any business. You want more opportunities in your career? Take the time to get the knowledge and find a position or project in which can learn!

@CEWAUS, @xplore4success

The hidden message

What do leaders look like?  I read this article recently and it was interesting with some excellent points. However, I had great trouble getting past the image. The image is a graphic but every person in it is obviously male.  When we talk about unconscious bias this is the kind of thing that affects our thinking. With just a little more effort the writer could have selected a more inclusive image.

Steve Jobs return to Apple in 1997

A few months after Steve returned to Apple (see link below) I became managing director of Apple in Australia.  His messages resonated then and resonate now with my own business “Xplore for Success”.  Founded in 2002 and touching over 10,000 women and a smaller number of men.

1.  Simplify offerings – Xplore has a clear focus “Driving Gender Equality” runs a range of highly targeted programs, offers executive coaching and delivers a range of workshops

2.  Inventory – by offering clearly differentiate programs and building the IP in Australia we ensure that our offerings are right up to date.

3.  Market Values – We adapt to market needs to offer organisations support to achieve their gender equality objectives.  This includes building confidence and skills for women in organisations AND supporting senior leaders (mainly men) to better understand how gender equality is a business decision and how they can foster cultural change.