Your February 11 editorial asked readers to “take a look at the 2009 (sic) Gender Equality Bill and tell us what you think”.
The Gender Equality 2019 Bill currently before the Victorian Parliament aims to “level the playing field” and make things fairer for Victorian local councils, where the workforce comprises 60 per cent women.
Gippsland is indeed “ahead of the pack” with the recent appointment of Kerryn Ellis as CEO to South Gippsland Shire Council. Now, half the six local councils across Gippsland are led by women compared to only 11 per cent nationally.
Of course, appointments should be made on merit so don’t you find it curious that it has taken 150 years for a woman to lead the administrative arm of South Gippsland council?
There is more than merit at play here.
In fact, there are many barriers to the recruitment of women that subtly influence assessments about who is the ‘right’ person for the job.
If this Bill can address these barriers, I hope that the rest of Victoria will follow Gippsland’s lead and appoint the best person for the job – which half the time will be a woman.
Gender balance is not an ‘arbitrary’ goal but a way to address barriers and fully utilise the talent of the workforce.
Ruth McGowan OAM, Jindivick, Victoria
Half the time it will be women