Beyond IWD - Promoting gender equality at Cenitex

Imagine earning 12.4 cents less because you’re born female. It doesn’t feel fair, does it?

In Victoria it’s unfair and a reality.

Safe and Strong, the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy states that Victorian women now earn 87.6 cents to every dollar earned by Victorian men. On top of that, women undertake nearly twice the amount of unpaid work and care of Victorian men.

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the triumph of women across history. At the annual IWD event, I promoted this year’s theme #PressforProgress with thought provoking clips on how children as young as four years develop an understanding of ‘boys’ roles and ‘girls’ roles. The clips highlighted how early in life we are exposed to and understand traditional gender roles in society.

IWD is a day to stop and reflect on the achievements of women across the globe and bring attention to equality and rights.

But what about the other 364 days of the year?

In 2015, a report by McKinsey Global Institute investigated the economic consequences of gender inequality in the workplace and found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025. In 2017, Citi GPS: Global Perspectives and Solutions calculated that ‘pursuing gender equality could lift GDP by around 6% over the next two decades.’ The facts are in, pursuing gender equality pays.

Gender equality is important to us. As a government organisation in the technology industry, gender equality matters. At Cenitex, we already have female engineers working in security and male advisors working in HR. We don’t distinguish gender from ability and we support and encourage all our employees to succeed in their careers. We also have the Women in Cenitex forum, which is dedicated to supporting women in their careers at Cenitex through networking and development opportunities. Importantly, the forum is open to all employees at Cenitex and invites men to all activities.

With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away, how to do we continue to #PressforProgress?

One of our four strategic priorities for the 2017/18 year is to ‘build a high performing and engaged organisation by investing in our people’. In addition to strategic initiatives, we are focussed on generating greater diversity by developing females as leaders in the workplace. Over the last eight months, Cenitex achieved binary gender-equality across the senior and executive leadership teams, and our board members, with 50% female and male leaders. You can meet our women leaders and hear about their leadership journeys.

Leaders at Cenitex have a responsibility to demonstrate values through actions and words. For my part, I have joined the growing number of men who have pledged to #PressforProgress and will…

  • supportively call-out inappropriate behaviour
  • campaign for equality in meaningful ways
  • lead by example via inclusive actions
  • be a role model for equality
  • actively contribute to changing the status quo

I hope other leaders at Cenitex and within the tech industry will also pledge to #PressforProgress and lead by example. I will be asking my colleagues and peers, both male and female to #PressforProgress.

I’m committed to gender equality in the IT industry, beginning here in Cenitex. Are you?

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