PWF agrees with Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards, when she assesses the 2020 Summit as an opportunity to send clear message that Australian thinking, culture and values are the domain of all Australians – not just middle aged, white Anglo Saxon men ie The new Federal Government needs to move swiftly to redress its oversight in selecting nine men and one woman to head its 2020 Future Summit.
“How can a group dominated overwhelmingly by this demographic have the insights necessary to address the major issues of our time – including the critical areas of education, health and family in which women play key roles.
“As Einstein famously said – you can’t solve the problem with the same thinking that created it.”
Braund said that the idea of nine men on a committee of 10 is totally at odds with and a forward thinking vision for Australia’s future summed up in the ALP 2007 election slogan ‘New Leadership’.
“It smacks of 11th Century paternalism not 21st Century engagement,” Braund said.
“How is it possible that the top 10 people – the First 11 – do not include at least one woman of substance from the area of science, economics, health, education, rural affairs, governance or sustainability?”
“Is there not one other women with the qualifications and experience who can join Cate Blanchett and assume a leadership role at the Summit?”
Braund said that the Government has a window of opportunity to address its oversight and send a clear message to the community that the Summit will represent the interests of all Australians.
“Leading by example, send a message to young people and future leaders that women are part of the solution,” Braund said.
“Embrace the idea that Australian security and prosperity relies increasingly on new thinking, fresh approaches and a break from the ways of the past.”
“Women tackle complex issues from a different perspective. They tend to focus on the process – rather than the outcome, have strong communication and engagement skills and are more likely to caucus around issues, seek collaboration and to play the ball not the person.”
“These are all important skills if we are to avoid some of the tragedies of the past and address the challenges of the future.”
“Never in human history have we needed women on our team more than we do now.”
Women on Boards will host the 1st National Diversity on Boards Conference, in Sydney on 28 & 29 May. Details are at: www.womenonboards.org.au.
For more info you can contact Claire Braund on 02 4369 6006 0409 981781
or Ruth Medd on 02 9331 8851 or 0419 407 231