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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2014
WIPM Women's business? Gossipy females, the gender barrier and secret men's business were all hot topics when a panel convened at a recent ACT Chapter debate. Discussion as to whether women-only events are a good way to address the profession's gender inequalities were also on the agenda. JO-ANNE HUI A RECENT EVENT, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN Canberra, focused on the relevance of women- only networking events and whether they are bene cial to female project managers, or create greater barriers between men and women. Speaking on the panel were Allan Hawke, former Australian Senior Public Ser vant and Diplomat; Commodore Rob Elliot, Director of General Maritime Development Capability Sys Division, and Helen Badger, ACT Chapter President of the National Association of Women in Constr uction. "I was quite surprised that the two men on the panel were strongly in favour of women-only events," said Badger. "I think they saw it more as an opportunity for women to be supported by other women and perhaps under valued the support that men could o er by being included." Badger admitted she does not support female- only events, as she believes both men and women need to be included in the workplace, especially the male-dominated construction industry in which she works. "I strongly believe that for both men and women to work together, we need to value our di erent approaches and see real value in the bene ts that we bring as individuals with professional abilities rst," she explains. "Respect and consideration of everyone's abilities will always generate a positive outcome personally and to a business's bottom line." While Badger advocates mentoring and supporting women, she says that women-only events can give the impression of "a gossip club". "I do believe that there is a time and place for every individual to socialise with their ow n group," she says. "In the constr uction industry, the men get together at the end of work and socialise -- let's call it men's business. is is an area that I will only enter if I am invited, and to be perfectly honest, am happy not to be." From her own e xperience, Badger has noticed quite a change in the dynamics of the male-dominated construction industry these days. Lately, older workers, who rarely encountered women in the workplace years ago, are now retiring and taking their stereotypical attitudes away with them. "Young graduates have already encountered much higher ratios of women throughout their studies and the concept of a woman being passed over for advancement based only on her gender is not something they consider," Badger says. Still, women are greatly under-represented in leadership positions across many industries in the Australian workforce. According to gures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors in December last year, women make up 17.1 per cent of ASX 200 board members, the highest percentage Australia has seen. In the EOWA 2010 Australian Census of Women in Leadership, only 8.4 per cent of directorships were held by women. ••• I WAS SURPRISED THAT THE TWO MEN WERE STRONGLY IN FAVOUR OF WOMEN'S EVENTS JOIN A WIPM SIG To get involved, find contact details of your State Chapter's WIPM SIG Group on the AIPM website. W: goo.gl/qYNHvh 38 Project Manager
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
Project Manager Apr May 2014