MEDIA RELEASE (From the State Government)
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis tonight took the Panel Pledge to get more female leaders from STEM and business represented in Victoria’s industry panels and conferences.
The pledge was made at an event co-hosted by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA), who also launched the inaugural WLIA Media and Panel Pledge Awards.
The awards will recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations who achieve the greatest impact in their implementation of the Panel Pledge, as well as media professionals who achieve gender balance in their stories.
By taking the Panel Pledge, Mr Dalidakis chooses to only participate in panels and consider government funding for conferences and events that have clear 50/50 gender representation in their speakers.
The WLIA initiated the Panel Pledge in Australia in 2013 to address gender imbalances often seen on panels and at conferences. It was immediately taken up by the Male Champions of Change movement, under the leadership of former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick AO.
While women make up 46 per cent of Australia’s workforce, it is estimated that they make up less than 15 per cent of panellists in industry events across the country.
The pledge comes just days after the Andrews Labor Government unveiled Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.
Victoria’s first ever gender equality strategy includes a series of landmark reforms to support women and girls – a Gender Equality Act, gender audits across government and public sector, scholarships to encourage young and emerging women leaders and hosting the first all women trade delegation to China.
The Labor Government has been leading the push for gender diversity in Victoria since it first introduced a requirement for equal representation in all public boardrooms. The average proportion of women on government and public boards now sits at 49 per cent, a considerable jump from 39 per cent just six months ago.