Diversity is another one of those buzzwords du jour – and apparently the cure for all that ails. Except there are a few problems.
Firstly, diversity is often not – in practice – extended to embrace many within the community. I’m thinking here, for example, of white men, non-feminists, and those with a conservative or right-of-centre political persuasion.
In this blog post for example I examined the example of a debate organised by the Diversity Council of Australia. In that example, diversity meant assembling two debating panels that represented or supported a range of feminist perspectives.
A couple of other examples are provided in these other blog posts:
Secondly, those who lobby for diversity tend to want to have it imposed by way of gender or racial quotas, selective recruitment, and the like. They do so despite the fact that such measures need not result in measurable improvements to organisational performance or community harmony, and may even be counter-productive in this regard. Indeed they are not averse to exaggerating or otherwise misrepresenting the benefits of diversity.
This aspect is discussed in these blog posts and others:
Thirdly, those who lobby for diversity fail to acknowledge, let alone analyse and debate, the negative outcomes that arise when achieving becomes the major determining factor when adopting government policy. Indeed, if we look at what is happening in some European countries now, such as greatly increased criminal activity, there is evidence of efforts being made to suppress such information.
A brief introduction to the ‘Diversity Council Australia’
“Diversity Council Australia is the only independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. We offer a unique knowledge bank of research, practice and expertise across diversity dimensions developed over 30 years of operation. In partnership with our members, our mission is to:
Lead debate on diversity in the public arena;
Develop and promote the latest diversity research, thinking and practice; and
Deliver innovative diversity practice resources and services to enable our members to drive business improvement.
DCA provides diversity advice and strategy to over 300 member organisations, many of whom are Australia’s business diversity leaders and biggest employers.”
The most recent annual report shows income of approx. $1.5 million, of which approx. $1.1 million was generated by annual subscriptions. Although DCA does not appear to the recipient of government grants like so many other feminist organisations, many member organisations are public sector agencies.
The staff at Diversity Council Australia comprise ten caucasians, nine of whom are female … but everyone has different hairstyles. Diversity? Tick. The DCA’s “employee benefits expense” in 2015 totaled $871,798, with “key management personnel” compensation paid or payable being $203,873.
(Just what is it with these feminist organisations who think that gender parity should only be imposed on other peoples businesses or agencies? The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is a classic example, with plenty more here.)
Background to the DCA’s Annual Diversity Debate 2016
Imagine an organisation called the ‘Alternative Diversity Council Australia‘ which organised a debate entitled ‘Is engaging women the game-changer for gender equality?‘ (It sounds a bit condescending to even pose the question, doesn’t it?) Oh, and the organisers decided not to have any feminists on either team. In case their views were a little too, you know, confronting.
Scarcely imaginable right? The organisers of such an event would be torn to shreds in both the mainstream and social media. It just wouldn’t fly.
But thanks to the arrogance and hypocrisy of contemporary feminism all one needs to do is flip genders and everything is magically ok.
And so on the 8 November 2016 Diversity Council Australia convened their Annual Diversity Debate on the topic of engaging men in gender equality.
Let’s consider the definition of ‘diversity‘, which includes:
The state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness: diversity of opinion
The inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, colour, religion, socio-economic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.
Were there any men’s rights activists (‘MRA’) amongst them? Anti-feminists/non-feminists/egalitarians? Nope, they are all self-professed feminists (or perhaps pro-feminist/white knight in the case of Stephen Barrow). Further, at least three of the panellists are virulently anti-MRA.
Does the panel represent a diversity of perspectives on the issue of gender? Of course it doesn’t. As supporters of the same ideology the panelists represent quite the opposite – they represent a ‘uniformity’ of views.
Further, the invitation to the event sets the parameters of the debate firmly within the realm of feminist-approved topics:
Now let’s consider the definition of ‘engage‘ (as in ‘engage with men’), which is to:
To occupy the attention or efforts of (men)
To secure for aid, employment, use, etc
To attract and hold fast
To attract or please
To bind as by pledge, promise, contract or oath; make liable
To bring troops into conflict
This sounds rather like drafting men into servitude, so perhaps ‘engage’ is not the best term to use here. And indeed, the model of engagement proposed by the ‘yes’ team was very much a one-sided affair. This came as no surprise given the participation of Kate Jenkins, whose predecessor at the Australian Human Rights Commission was Elizabeth Broderick and chief architect of the ‘Champions of Change‘ program.
This component of the feminist vision translates into recruiting men in positions of authority as tools to enhance female privilege through the use of shaming and appeals to chivalry. It does not involve any reciprocal responsibility to listen to, understand, or render assistance to men.
I’d prefer to think that engagement, in the context of the DCA debate, would entail a two-way symbiotic relationship between men and women, with each group listening to/asking questions – and then committing to help one another.
On the contrary, the typical model of feminist interaction when men dare mention issues that detrimentally affect them, is to tell them to STFU and stop being whiny man-babies.
The following posts discuss and provide examples as to how feminists typically engage with men in the real world:
And let’s not forget the sponsors of the debate: NAB, Optus, Johnson & Johnson, BAE Systems and Boardroom Media. I look forward to seeing these organisations also support causes that benefit the welfare of men and boys, for example the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.
The outcome of the DCA’s 2016 debate
The following image says it all. Audience members left the event even more biased against men than they were when they arrived. That’s some negative outcome. A result that’s hardly likely to accelerate progress re: mutual respect and gender equality, is it? But to the DCA this was a “great night“.
Here are some of the tweets that emerged from the floor of the debate:
Why couldn’t the Diversity Council have organised a screening of The Red Pill as either an adjunct to the debate, or as a subsequent event. What better gesture via which the Council establish credibility, in the broader (non-feminist) community, than to arrange a screening of this notable film concerning issues affecting men and boys.
If the council truly believed in diversity, in gender equality, and in engaging with men … then they should go ahead and walk the walk … engage.
But they don’t. And they won’t. And the gender debate – and the community – is all the poorer as a result.
“For many years people have been trying to tackle issues around gender equality by asking men and women to change. This approach will not work.
What we need to do is to look at the systems that are holding women back from achieving their full potential. And when we’re talking about systems we’re referring to structures and practices in our schools, workplaces, businesses and community that reinforce biases. These systems need to be redesigned so they are fairer for women, recognise the unique strengths and talents of both genders, and equally support the success of both genders.”
So apparently we can’t ask women to change what they’re doing, even if it directly contributes to their predicament. Nope, we have to change the “systems“.
Being unhappy about witnessing this regressive move I contacted the bank, firstly via Twitter and then email, to express my concern and dissatisfaction. Our subsequent email exchange is shown below:
“Thanks for getting in touch with us to provide feedback relating to ANZ Women’s Initiative that was launched on the 29 July 2015. This kind of feedback is valuable to us because it helps us better understand what’s important to our customers.
ANZ is committed to being a socially responsible bank, and we believe that from time to time we have a responsibility to take action on important social issues. We understand that some of our customers and employees hold different views on our decision to make additional superannuation contributions for our female employees, and we respect your right to hold this view.
Research shows that in Australia, women retire with 47% less superannuation than men – and 1 in 5 women yet to retire has no superannuation at all. This is driven by a range of complex factors. However, on average women retire earlier and live longer than men, so the importance of having enough superannuation is even greater for women.
ANZ has weighed up all of these factors and is comfortable that the payment to female staff is a positive step that will help women to overcome the gap.
ANZ takes the issue of discrimination very seriously and in developing these new measures considered the relevant Sex Discrimination and Anti-Discrimination Laws. The payment is permitted under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws because it is a “special measure” designed to address this super gap that our research clearly demonstrates between men and women.
Our action has the full support of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner advised ANZ that, in her view, ANZ’s initiative is consistent with the objects of the Federal Sex Discrimination Act. ANZ has also been given a 10 year exemption from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Commission (because NSW is the only State where the anti-discrimination legislation does not contain a “special measures” exception).
ANZ views this initiative as a positive step to support women and help close this gap in superannuation savings so they have greater security in retirement. While you may disagree, we do appreciate you taking the time to provide us with this feedback.”
I wrote back to the bank:
“Thank you for your prompt response. I disagree with your rationale for promoting feminist policies at the expense of your customers and shareholders. My original position on this matter remains unchanged and unresolved.
1. Whether women retire with less or nil Super is a reflection of their personal choice. Choice about what type of training they undertook, choice about what field of work in which they seek employment, choice about how much overtime they do, choice about whether they take time out during their careers.
2. Those women who choose to get married often then have the choice to be stay at home mum’s (and be supported by their partner) or not. Most women enter marriage with less assets then their partners, or in debt. Most divorces are initiated by women, who then tend to walk away often with in excess of 50% of their partners assets, even when those assests were accumulated prior to the marriage.
4. Women live longer in large part because disproportionately more is spent on research into womens health and on the treatment of womens health issues, and because men are more likely employed in relatively more stressful and higher risk occupations (one reason why they are, on average, in receipt of higher incomes)
In summary for every disadvantage suffered by women there are benefits or advantages, as is the case for men. Therefore it is inappropriate and discriminatory to single out women for incentives/rewards for real or imagined discrimination faced by them, but at the same time to ignore issues that negatively impact on men.
“Thank you for your email and further feedback which has been noted. As your concern is regarding a policy decision made by ANZ, the Customer Advocate will not become involved. It is not the role of the Customer Advocate to review or change a matter that relates to ANZ’s setting of staff benefits. If you wish to escalate your concern you may contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.”
Whereupon I said:
“Thank you for your prompt response but my concerns with ANZ’s decision to re-orientate itself in lockstep with feminism philosophy runs deeper than simply the $500 payment to female staff. In the absence of other options I will now investigate/consider the appropriateness of lodging a submission with the Financial Ombudsman Service”
Yes it’s a bold plan but we think we can do it. We’re a cool little organisation and, I tell you, we are 100% into gender equality.
Only 10% women by 2017? Feminists would be collectively choking on their breakfast cereal at this point, and reaching towards their IPads ready to unleash a storm on social media. Well, they can relax and busy themselves attending to their cats’ litter tray instead.
That’s because the statement in this particular organisation’s web site actually specifies having 10% of the senior management team *male* by 2017. I’ve seen this objective noted in their web site for quite a while now. Three years? Clearly progress has been slow. Perhaps they’re having trouble finding men whose judgement is sufficiently impaired to sign off on media releases asserting that the gender wage gap is proof-positive of an oppressive male hegemony across corporate Australia.
The organisation I’m talking about is the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). The WGEA is an Australian Government statutory agency created by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. The Agency is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The relevant minister is Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Minister for Women, etc.
We taxpayers support WGEA to the tune of $5 million each year, and in return they tell us about stuff that’s really important to feminists like the ‘gender pay gap’. They even have a separate website in which to bang that particular drum.
There are currently no men in the senior management team at WGEA. I don’t think that there ever has been. The last annual report (refer page 100) tells us that only two out of twenty-nine staff were men (see the lovely staff pic). (Postscript September 2016: According to this article, WGEA now employ five men … break out the party pies, they achieved their quota!)
I don’t understand why they only shot for 10% men though. Because if 10% is the feminist version of equality, then that certainly changes a few things. And what’s with waiting until now (2017)? Surely if members of the current management team were real feminists they would jump at the opportunity to facilitate greater diversity at WGEA by resigning to make way for new blood. And then imagine the challenge of subsequently breaking new ground in a field dominated by men, like fishing or mining for example. But then if it’s just about the money I guess I could understand …
Now back to where I started, with the genders reversed. If it was 95% men working in this particular agency, don’t you think that the feminist lobby would scream their heads off? That it wouldn’t be on, or close to, the front page of the paper? Maybe even have its own hashtag? And that the government wouldn’t find a way to immediately address the serious gender imbalance?
Don’t bother answering. I think none of us are in any doubt about the answer to that hypothetical.