Westacott caves, too

The chief executive of the Business Council has put up a good fight until now supporting the unwinding of the ridiculously onerous and pointless gender equality reporting requirements (Am I becoming obsessed? Probably, but someone has to speak out ). But the heat in the kitchen (geddit?) has become too intense, even for her.

She has this truly pathetic piece, co-authored with the Sex Discrimination Commission (Why do we have this position?  Let’s save some money and get rid of it.), in which she uses that old trick of telling us that it is a matter of getting the balance right.

And the balance is now right because:

  • there is scope for online form filling in; and
  • there will be confidential benchmarking reports (useless and unread) provided to all the companies inaccurately filling out the forms.

Of course, big businesses will often not object to all these regulatory imposts because they really hurt the smaller operators, those nimble competitors that can be so annoying.  There are lots of examples of this, including in the chemicals and paper industries.

Here is the sludge from Westacott and Broderick:

The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Business Council of Australia have been working together for some time to find ways to improve and streamline gender reporting, because this is not a yes or no debate.

We all recognise that increasing gender diversity and the participation of women in the workforce generates significant benefits, for women, for business and for Australia’s economy. That is why our organisations will continue with joint efforts to see improved approaches to data collection and reporting

We are also rightly concerned that women’s success in education is not translating into achievement in paid work. We used to think that if we educated women and provided opportunity that this would be enough. We now know that growing organisations in which both men and women can thrive will take more than education. At the heart of this change is putting the right strategies in place in business – strategies built on strong gender metrics and reporting.

But it is also true that in an increasingly regulated world, there is room to reduce the impost on businesses so that the exercise of data collection and reporting is not too onerous. These regulatory savings must not be delivered at the expense of the quality of the data, but rather by streamlining data collection and reporting.

Data collection and reporting should not be unnecessarily complex and should not duplicate information collected elsewhere. It should be designed to help improve outcomes.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is rigorous, robust data collection and analysis against key strategic metrics that drives change. Through analysing the data, organisations are able to identify where the gaps are, and then adjust and target their measures. They do this every day in relation to revenue and costs.

The BCA’s research report, Increasing the number of women in senior executive position identified the importance of improving gender diversity outcomes, both in terms of fairness and equity and also in terms of improved business performance.

It highlighted that progress on gender diversity is best enabled by companies having company specific, well designed, measured and monitored gender diversity strategies, driven by the board, chief executive and senior management team.

At an organisational level, the occupational data collected by business in Australia will be critical to understanding how – and if – gender equality policies are working in practice. Gender reporting is a powerful intelligence tool that assists organisations to establish gender equality measures and generate more productive and higher functioning businesses.

No one should doubt that both individual companies and the nation benefit in having the government collect national data on broad trends in gender diversity. Without national data, policymakers cannot design evidence-based responses and find policy solutions.

Business has argued that it is compelled to supply data to government agencies, but receives nothing in return. This is about to change. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency will soon provide confidential customised benchmark reports to each reporting organisation, enabling comparison with other businesses in their sector and of a similar size. This should help organisations identify where they are doing well and where they must improve. Coupled with targeted advice from the Agency, organisations will have the tools necessary to improve over time.

We also need to ensure companies can establish practical and innovative strategies to achieve gender equality in workplaces. This will deliver superior results for companies, ensuring we harness the talent and skills of both women and men.

So when you hear the debate raging, don’t question whether we need gender reporting but rather ask “how can we improve and streamline the system so that gender reporting is sustainable, meaningful and has impact?”

After all, are we prepared to put to one side the skills, creativity and labour of over 50 per cent of Australia’s talent pool purely on the basis of gender?

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23 Responses to Westacott caves, too

  1. .

    The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Business Council of Australia have been working together for some time to find ways to improve and streamline gender reporting, because this is not a yes or no debate.

    Corruption.

  2. Max

    The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Business Council of Australia have been working together for some time to find ways to improve and streamline gender reporting, because this is not a yes or no debate.

    So if I fill in the simple online form and everyone in my company is a white man (like for instance those who developed the modern internet) what happens to me?

  3. james

    So if I fill in the simple online form and everyone in my company is a white man (like for instance those who developed the modern internet) what happens to me?

    Eventually you will be publicly shamed as an organisation.

    If this does not work then eventually much like the U.S quotas will be established to stop you from being so sexist and racist as to actually think you can hire people based on merit.

    And then the Chinese zoom past our decrepit civilization laughing and making rude hand signals out the window.

  4. Max

    And then the Chinese zoom past our decrepit civilization laughing and making rude hand signals out the window.

    Thats it isn’t it

  5. Dan

    If you can’t hire women, are you forced to? Where would you find these women?

    I would think the ABS, centre link the ATO etc would have good statistics of how many women are working?

  6. twostix

    We used to think that if we educated women and provided opportunity that this would be enough.

    A more totalitarian and patronising sentence I’ve not read in a while.

    Get it “women”? You’re failing in your duty to the state, productivity, the economy and the feminist cause. More re-education for you.

    I notice that there’s not one single mention of the actual reason that women, on average, do “worse” in business. That being many women still like to have babies and quite a few – despite the shaming they get from the neo-marxist gender concerned establishment for wanting to do so – want to leave the workforce and their shitty jobs to raise their children at home.

    Thus wrecking the perfect statistical utopia that the AHRC and apparently also “business” have envisioned for “women”.

  7. .

    We used to think that if we educated women and provided opportunity that this would be enough.

    It is.

    Now fuck off.

  8. Dan

    neo-marxist gender concerned establishment

    It’s amazing the amount of crazy cuckoo you can find out there

  9. twostix

    We now know that growing organisations in which both men and women can thrive will take more than education.

    And into coercion the feminists quietly trot.

    So when you hear the debate raging, don’t question whether we need gender reporting

    Sorry, so sorry. Shutup everyone you’re wrong and you’ve been told.

  10. Diogenes

    Shirley the ato can easily collate this info from tax returns. You indicate if you are male & female, the ato already has the abn of the business ( is on the group certificate). & the gross amount of income. One also indicates one’s actual occupation ( so they can work if the deductions seem reasonable) . why would this information be less reliable than than a survey, and should be trivial set of SQL queries that should cost no more than a couple of hundred dollars a year to run (allowing for inflated govt prices

  11. CameronH

    Do you notice that there is never a call for gender equality in the brick layer trade, for example. I never hear calls for a program to ensure that there is 50% of women who are long distance and interstate truck drivers.

    Why isn’t there a campaign to ensure gender equality in the nursing profession. Surely it would benefit from more men.

  12. twostix

    Why isn’t there a campaign to ensure gender equality in the nursing profession. Surely it would benefit from more men.

    Despite the long and often mean-spirited re-education campaign the stats are clear, women are still going into their traditional professions: Nursing, Teaching, Clerical work at almost the same rates as 30 years ago.

    So it’s women themselves who are resisting the grand designs of these totalitarians.

  13. Tintarella di Luna

    The only thing I am grateful for is that I don’t have to listen to the sigmatic Lizzie Broderick lisp her way through a verbal rendition of this tripe.

  14. Tintarella di Luna

    So it’s women themselves who are resisting the grand designs of these totalitarians.

    Not if lisping Lizzie and Ms Petticoat have their way.

  15. Fess

    We are also rightly concerned that women’s success in education is not translating into achievement in paid work

    Such sloppy thinking in these documents. I believe that success in education does not correlate well with achievement in paid work – same for men or women. Similarly one needs to consider what effect it would have on men’s earning capacity to take 5 years off to raise kids during the key career development ages of say, 28 to 35. Are there still differences between men and women? Is it due to discrimination or arevthere other factors? Things to consider before reaching a conclusion that is more aimed at headlines than real understanding.

  16. Baldrick

    Data collection and reporting should not be unnecessarily complex …

    The guidelines alone for the 2013-2014 reporting period is a mere 37 pages document, produced by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and to be completed online by all non-public employers with 100 or more employees.

  17. The guidelines alone for the 2013-2014 reporting period is a mere 37 pages document

    Thanks Baldrick. I had a skim through that document.
    Was I running a show that had, say, 109 staff, I’d cut it to 99, just to avoid filling in that rot.
    Thankfully the show I’m in isn’t in danger of crossing the 100 staff threshold, & probably won’t ever, not while we’ve a “stimulus shy” state & federal government!

  18. jupes

    Without national data, policymakers cannot design evidence-based responses and find policy solutions.

    There it is right there.

    Phase 1 – the set up.

    Phase 2 – Quotas.

    Keep up the good fight Judith.

  19. jupes

    Broderick has already emasculated the ADF.

    She has got them to accept ‘targets’ for women (though it appears ADF leaders didn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept her recommendations).

    The nation should be thankful she didn’t demand quotas for trasvestites as well, as I’m sure the leadership would have gleefully accepted it.

  20. Jeremy

    “We all recognise that increasing gender diversity and the participation of women in the workforce generates significant benefits, for women, for business and for Australia’s economy. That is why our organisations will continue with joint efforts to see improved approaches to data collection and reporting”.
    This is completely untrue.
    The more women work the less they have children. No children means no economy. Fewer children means a shrinking economy. Judith please do an article comparing the number of children working women have compared to the number of children non-working women have, and costing the nett loss to the economy of all the children the working women didn’t have.

  21. the sting

    Please don’t let these people down on the farm,have they ever seen a mare in charge of 40 stallions.

  22. the sting

    Please don’t let these people down on the farm,have they ever seen a mare in charge of 40 stallions?

  23. Cassie of Sydney

    I once had the unfortunate experience of having to sit through a lunch and listen to the ravings of the scab called “Lizzie Broderick”. She gave a talk sprouting the usual feminist crap of glass ceilings and so on. I realised that this scab could not care less about average women working in not very glamorous positions who probably spend 2 hours on the train every morning getting to work in the CBD and 2 hours on the train every afternoon getting home to not very glamorous suburbs such as Campbelltown and Blacktown, all simply to provide support to their families. I am sure that these woman (and I work with women such as these) would probably rather, given the choice, not work or, given the choice, would probably choose to work part-time. Ah, but Lizzie the scab is not interested in these unglamorous women. Lizzie the pontificating scab only cares about woman who can conquer the glass ceiling and become managing partners of legal firms and live in Sydney’s leafy east, inner-west or north shore and employ nannies to look after their precious little ones. Broderick is an ideological scab being paid by our taxes and who NOT interested in improving the lives of women in the workforce. She is only interested in spruiking her dubious ideological bullshit. This bullshit role of Sex Discrimination Commissioner should be abolished immediately and the Lizzie the scab can go back to work as a senior partner in a law firm earning her squillions. She is utterly offensive and any government with any spine would sack her immediately

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