Diversity of Thought Blog

Stop Talking about Gender Diversity. Take Action!

Leading Australian organisations are being urged to stop talking and start working on improving the gender diversity in their leadership ranks as a way to benefit and boost their business.

Frances Feenstra, Chair of The 100% Project, which looks at ways to increase leadership equalities, said that despite ongoing dialogue about gender inequality, action is not as forthcoming.

“In order to move forward, organisations need to adopt a different approach, including acknowledging that gender imbalance in leadership is a complex systemic challenge,” said Ms Feenstra.

“Survey after survey tells us that gender imbalance is bad for business. So can we ‘level the playing field’ in any real way? I think the answer is yes, but we have to adapt and new thinking about leadership is required.”

Level the Playing Field

To help organisations improve the gender balance in their leadership, The 100% Project and Leadership Victoria, with support from Australia Post and Qantas are holding the ‘Level the Playing Field’ symposium.

Symposium facilitator will be Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Marty Linsky who has co-authored a number of books about leadership specifically on adaptive leadership.

Underlining the need for new thinking, Professor Linksy said, “Adaptive leadership develops strategies and practices that can help organisations and the people in them move away from mechanical responses, rethink afresh, and bring about deep change. In this case: improved gender balanced leadership.

“Adaptability is required to make progress in increasingly complex, competitive, and challenging environments. Leadership like this can be learned. And anyone, anywhere within the organisation, can do it.”

The symposium will:

  • explore new solutions resulting in tangible outcomes
  • bring together more than 150 leaders from a variety of sectors global and local
  • be facilitated by world renowned experts who have facilitated breakthrough activities for other adaptive challenges
  • help leaders create solutions to discard entrenched ways, go beyond current know how and learn new practices to increase the representation of women in leadership roles.