Time for reflection is very important for our mental, physical and emotional well-being, and our ability to engage in self-care. I think it is indicative of our “busyness” that the number one workers compensation claims today are stress related, rather than physical injuries. Stress is also the most significant contributor to ill health. And yet we work harder and harder, much of which is driven by fear of loss of security through loss of employment. Yes, things are challenging economically in Australia and around the world, however, I believe there is too much fear-mongering and negativity, which simply compounds many irrational fears.
Yes, that is correct – we need quotas for men! As we approach yet another International Women’s Day, and face questions such as:
- “When is International Men’s Day?” to which I usually respond with: “The other 364 days of the year!”
- “Should we have targets, or quotas?”
- “Won’t quotas result in reverse discrimination against men?”
- “Aren’t we risking not selecting people based on merit if we have quotas?”
- “Aren’t most women themselves against quotas?”
I have always found it both perplexing and amusing that the people who have the most to say about feminism, misogyny, sexual harassment and gender discrimination are people who have NEVER experienced it – often men! And they tell you to: “Lighten up and get over it.” I am hugely in favour of experiential learning where you are introduced to the experience in a controlled environment, and have an insight (not the real thing) into what it may feel like.
Congratulations to David Morrison on being named Australian of the Year 2016. Many have seen this as a great choice given David’s public commitment to gender equality, even being called an "equality warrior", while others in the media (and probably quietly in private conversations) have said it was a "politically correct" decision. I disagree with the latter. I know that David Morrison does care deeply about wounded soldiers; those suffering from PTSD; he loves the soldiers, male and female; and can care about all these things simultaneously. He does not have to choose one over the other, unlike the suggestion by a journalist in one of today’s papers.
There are currently a multitude of articles, interviews and conversations taking place in Australia and around the world about greater gender equality. This is a good thing because when we start talking about difficult, challenging topics it means we are thinking about it more, and therefore questioning the status quo.
Though the past four decades have seen significant generational shifts with more women entering the global workforce, we have a long way to go and much needs to be done to advance women to senior leadership roles. The promising news is that the number of women is growing, albeit it in middle management roles rather than at senior levels.
Call me a nerd, but I love watching The Great Australian Spelling Bee on Channel 10 at the moment. And here is why it is such a joy to watch – children with talent, selected on merit not gender, race or colour, displaying good sportsmanship, teamwork and good manners! I believe we are born equal as human beings, and until children are exposed to racism, discrimination and bullying, they are completely unaware of it! I believe racism, prejudice and misogyny are learned behaviours.