Who would’ve guessed that when we were lining up for school all those years ago, and told “boy girl boy girl”, we were setting a pattern for the rest of our lives and not merely getting into class in an orderly fashion.
We have become a nation of head counters. The latest count involved the gender imbalance in the Australia Day Awards, with men receiving more than 60 per cent of the gongs and women just more than 30. This incurred the wrath of many and we are assured will be addressed in the future.
There were claims in letters to the editors of national newspapers that women who met the criteria were knocked back. I am sure they were, and I am equally sure some men were, as well. Is it about numbers or is it about acknowledging achievement? What next – Tattslotto winners?
We simply cannot be run on a numbers system. Soon, we will need equal numbers of redheads, brunettes and blondes – and don’t forget grey power and the bald. What about right and left-handers? And we dare not forget those who are ambidextrous – or do they get a two-for-one deal? I know all that sounds ridiculous – because it is.
My position has never changed over the years and won’t now – the best person for the task should get it regardless of gender, hair colour, political persuasion, weight, height, anything except a criminal record.
If you had twins, a boy and a girl, don’t you bring them up to believe that they will be rewarded for hard work, talent and dedication. Not “you get this job because you are a boy and we need to even the numbers up”.
That is not to say there are areas where the domination of the male population is nothing more than a boys club.
My industry, the media, has been one of the slowest to move, but that is finally happening.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and there is no need to rush change if the talent is not available.
Ability should always be the criteria and if it is, there will be a clear plan of what is required to do the job regardless of the gender of the applicant.
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