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WOB Conference

Trudy Robinson - Saturday, September 05, 2009
Just returned from the Sydney Women on Boards conference!  A great couple of days.  The focus was on the need for gender diversification, the equal opportunity for either.  Arni Hole - Director Ministry of Children and Equality Norway, spoke and I believe that her presentation had the most impact of all the conference.  She stated that true gender diversification is truly achieved when there are as many men working in childcare as women, and as many women are on boards as men.  What a fantastic analogy!  Arni went through the Norwegian history and how quotas (gasp!) have been used as part of legislation.

Of course there wasn't one man who agreed with the quota principal and many women didn't either.  The argument was that quotas removed the recognition of merit.  So, does a quota really remove the opportunity of acceptance through merit, or does it simply ensure organisations who would not 'get off their backsides' to ensure both genders have transparent opportunity to apply and be accepted, are forced to do so. 

Personally, I do not strongly believe, or disbelieve in the Q word.  However I am yet to be told of any other manner or tool that would push, encourage or motivate organisations to take action.  Without that tool, the apathy that is rife in mid-tier organisations will simply solidify - as statistics show.  I have seen examples of it in corporate life time and time again, it is not anyone being paranoid and it is not me looking for something to whinge about.  I have seen blatant issues raised between graduates brought into the company at the same time - and what happens with the male -v- the female.  It should not occur and it isn't done intentionally, but it is certainly there - and it affects and impacts the career future of those individuals.

Anyway, this is a blog - not a diatribe.  So I'll sign off for the day and mark assignments (heavy sigh...)