Male Business Leaders Share Experiences In Seeking Gender Balance
The Male Champions of Change (MCC), a group of corporate and institutional leaders brought together by Elizabeth Broderick of the Australian Human Rights Commission, have issued a report presenting their experiences in working to increase the number of women in senior roles in their companies.
According to its charter, MCC is committed to advancing gender balance through business leadership, the recruitment of talent, the prohibition of violence and sexual harassment in the workplace, the development of mechanisms for fostering work/family balance, public advocacy, and the creation of a ‘CEO Champions’ network that increases dialogue among the group’s peers.
“Women in Australia are an under utilised resource. We need to be tapping more heavily into the other half of the resource pool. It’s that simple.”— Stephen Roberts, Citi
In its report, MCC provides examples of gender balance strategies from such companies as Woolworths, CBA, IBM, Rio Tinto, and Deloitte. The examples are organized into three phases, which trace the progress of a company as it works to increase the representation of women in its senior ranks:
Phase 1: “Getting in the game” – The CEO gets interested in gender diversity, challenges are identified, and typically programs are created to support women. However, impact is usually low in this phase.
Phase 2: “Getting serious” – The CEO becomes truly committed and the issue of female representation becomes a major business objective. Accountability increases across the organization, measurement and management disciplines are put in place. Often, this is where significant appointments are made.
Phase 3: “Capturing diversity advantage” – Women’s representation becomes a cultural imperative. Prime movers from all parts of the organization have committed to work to create inclusive leadership. Most members of MCC feel they are still far from completing this phase.
The Male Champions of Change hope this report will provide insight, stimulate discussion amongst corporate peers, and encourage them to ask: Where is our company on this journey?
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