Women: The State of Play via APESMA #equalpayday

1_H8-1-CoyfHGyd-GJfoJcOg@2xAPESMA 2009-10 Women in the Professions Survey Report has just been released and it contains some sobering reading about how women are still treated unfairly and inequitably in the workplace.

As noted on the APESMA site:

  • Nearly 70% of respondents said that taking maternity/parental leave – including unpaid leave – was likely to be detrimental to their career, despite legally having access to these provisions.
  • Disturbingly, nearly 40% of respondents stated that they had been bullied and 38% discriminated against in the course of their employment. Nearly 20% reported that they had been sexually harassed, although only one fifth of those had reported the incident through official channels. Reports of sexual harassment and discrimination were higher in male-dominated industries.
  • 47.4% of respondents said that their career progression had been affected by workplace culture.
  • And nearly one quarter of respondents expected that they would leave their profession within five years.

The real question is what we are going to do about this. So many women seem to believe that the fight for equal pay and fair treatment at work is over.

But is not over. And each of us needs to decide what action we will take to make the workplace a better, safer and fairer place for the women who come along after us.

Equal Pay Day is 4 September 2010 – why not start with that?

What matters?

A recent discovery for me is McKinsey & Company’s new site What Matters. It is a thought provoking question and it is good to see it being tackled by McKinsey and their interesting array of authors.

The things that matter change if we are considering big or small things. At this time in our world there are an enormous number of big things for us to consider. And we all need to get out of our focus on the small things and start thinking about the big questions.

Big questions like:

  • Do we need to change the way we do business for it be sustainable?
  • How can business be profitable and ethical simultaneously?
  • How can we innovate in a resource constrained world?
  • How can we balance security and freedom in an increasingly turbulent world?
  • How do we create an inclusive world that respects diversity?
  • What can we do to respect individual rights while respecting diversity?
  • What difference can individuals and small groups make?
  • How can individuals and small groups take action?

It was questions like these that inspired me to do something and, along with Selena Griffith and Michelle Williams, kicked off Social Innovation BarCamp Sydney.  The inaugural event went well and now we are thinking about next steps. If you have any ideas or suggestions please head over here and post a comment.