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?”
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.
Over the past decade I have interviewed over 100 effective and inspiring leaders prior to, and subsequent to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) about what enabled them to transform their organisations and actively engage their people, in both the good times and more challenging times. These leaders have been from different industries and organisations; and what my analysis has shown is that they share twelve identifiable characteristics that have shaped their transformational leadership.
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.
Over the past 5 years more than 200 women have completed my Great Leaders Are Made (GLAM) women’s leadership development program. More than 40% of them have been promoted or received a pay rise within 13 months of completing the program, or have gone on to be offered a more senior role in another organisation with greater responsibilities and remuneration than the previous role.
In my latest book Leadership Revelations III How We Achieve the Gender Tipping Point, I interviewed 91 women from 10 countries, and across four generations, from Veterans to Generation Y, to ascertain the most common myths about women at work that are simply wrong! Here is a summary of those myths, by generation and internationally:
In one of last public appearances as the Chief of Army, Lt General David Morrison has launched Avril's new book in Canberra. He encouraged men to use the book as a way of gaining insight into a world that is often unseen by the male gender. Read the Canberra Times' coverage of the event via this link...Canberra Times May 14
Do women really need men to help them get to the top? YES, according to author Avril Henry.
"Men have a vital role to play in sponsoring women to help them to get to the top. Senior male leaders sponsoring women will have the greatest immediate impact on the number of women in senior positions," says Avril.
This was one of the key findings in her new book to be released today, Leadership Revelations III – How We Achieve The Gender Tipping Point and she is not alone in this view.
Listen to Geraldine Doogue's interview with Avril on ABC radio via the following link: Saturday Extra