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.
I could divert at this point to talk about how the gender wage gap, in the context it’s presented to us by feminists, is complete hokum that has been de-bunked more times than I’ve had hot breakfasts. Here’s a recent effort courtesy of Forbes. But never mind, at least the ‘pay gap’ gives gender studies students and feminist journos something to write about other than their own angst-ridden lives.
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.
(Postscript November 2018: An extra $8 million to encourage employers to report on gender equity)
A response (to Robert Brockway) from the WGEA (3 March 2019)
Submissions to a review of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (December 2021) My submission is number 9
Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading: