Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has appealed to men’s emotions to recruit them to her mission for gender equality.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has a weapon for recruiting male CEOs to her mission for gender equality in business – tug their heartstrings.
While facts and figures about the lack of women in leadership positions may alarm, appealing to men’s emotional sides has proven the best way to put women’s issues high on their agenda.
“Unless senior, powerful men step up, we don’t see any change,” Ms Broderick said at a women’s empowerment forum in Sydney.
Business leaders gathered at the event, held alongside the B20 ahead of the G20 later this year in Brisbane.
In her talks with male CEOs, Ms Broderick said she has often referenced family to personalise the challenges women face climbing the corporate ladder.
“I was talking to the then CEO of IBM about his twins, a boy and a girl, and the idea that his daughter would never have the same opportunities as her twin brother,” she said.
“It’s about putting a human face on this issue.”
One of Ms Broderick’s initiatives has been to create the Male Champions of Change group, formed by some of Australia’s most influential businesses bosses.
A member of the group, Goldman Sachs CEO Simon Rothery, said he refused to participate in forums or panels unless there was at least one female speaker.
“The change of culture has to come from the top,” he said.