"Girlfriends of the Court"

Women in Uniform: Gendered Workplaces

In Career, non law, women on April 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm

The federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and adviser on women’s issues to the Australian Chief of the Defence Force, Elizabeth Broderick wrote a piece in the SMH/Age today about the profound culture of disrespect for women and ‘gender imbalance’ within some workplaces, specifically here she was discussing the Armed Forces.

Research has found workplaces and communities that are heavily male conform to masculine norms that are emphasised to varying degrees.

Men should always ”be a winner”. Men should be ”tough” both physically and emotionally. Men should never be seen to be in any way feminine or acknowledge their ”feminine side”. They should be ”a man’s man” – one of the boys.

She focuses on the industries that are remote and ‘tough’ environments, but we wonder whether at the top end of town whether attitudes are much better.

Until (Defence) recognise that strong effective leadership has both a male and a female face, the desired change will be difficult to achieve.

For the whole piece click here.

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