Orijen works closely with top Australian female executives in promoting female leadership but the fact still remains that men are leading some of Australia’s most prominent organisations in both the public and private sectors. Women still hold less than 10% of executive positions in ASX 200 companies and only 6% of line positions.

Nine influential male leaders of society and economics have been interviewed for the new report “In His Own Words: The Male Perspective on Gender Diversity”: David Gonski AC, Dr Simon Longstaff AO, General David Hurley AC DSC, Ian Narev, Alan Joyce, Dr Martin Parkinson PSM, Brian Schwartz AM, David Thodey and Brian Hartzer.

This report highlights the very important role that men need to play in driving home the importance of gender diversity within Australian workplaces, particularly in executive positions.

Some memorable quotes from the report include:

“If we are going to clone one set of people and continuously make them the only decision makers, we run the serious risk that they will make the wrong decisions. There is a difference between men and women — just as there is a difference between an older person and a younger person, or someone who was raised in Australia and someone who spent their formative years overseas. These differences make for better decision making and better results for organisations.” – David Gonski

“A lot of people don’t think unconscious bias is an issue for them. I think it’s an issue for everyone in every company. You have to be continually vigilant and make sure it’s not a problem in your business.” – Alan Joyce

“You will have to go against the tide, because lots of people don’t want you to prosecute this agenda. It takes moral courage to challenge orthodoxies, especially those you hold yourself. You have to open your own mind to new ways of dealing with the business environment — and stop yourself from falling prey to unthinking custom and practice. You may have to engage in acts of ‘constructive subversion’. Sometimes this is the only way to help an organisation to become the thing it wants to be — open to diverse opinions and skill sets.” – Dr Simon Longstaff
“If you wait for this change to occur by gravity or by nature, it is not going to change quickly enough — you need active intervention for the culture to change.” – General David Hurley

These interviews are a reminder of the work that still needs to be done by both men and women in creating change and a better working world.