i) Introduction To Gender Differences

. Gender is part of the diversity challenge.

NB All diversity issues are societal. 

. Some people (eg former Chief of Australian Army, David Morrison) consider gender to be a man's issue because it is a male-dominated world that has created the rules that benefit men (Lisa Annese, 2015). 

. In addition to gathering the information about the current position of an organisation on diversity, there needs to be leadership, resources and a change of language.

"...the challenge with diversity is a lot of people think it's easier than it is. It is really complex discipline of commitment to particular goals, many of which require behavioural change, which require policy and systematic change..."

Lisa Annese, 2015

The language used in diversity is important.

Gender bias can be shown in the words people use. For example, a recruitment ad mentioned the need for a technical "go-to-guy". The word "guy" refers to males, not female. Similarly, using the word "hi guys" reflects unconscious bias and reinforces it. The speaker may not have intended that. On the other hand, what is important is how it is interpreted, listen to, etc.

In addition to language, there are stereotypical public perceptions of different professions. like Australian engineers are perceived as people in hard hats and fluoro vests stomping around construction sites. This image is not appealing to most women. On the other hand, modern engineers are likely to be working in high-tech environments such as around robotics, computers, etc. Interestingly in Europe, engineers are perceived as having similar status to doctors and lawyers.

(source: Theo Chapman 2016c)

Some examples
- need to stress it is about capability, rather than altruism. It's more than a fair go; it is about building the most capable workforce.
- it is about win-win, not win-lose; the later results in resistance to change.

 

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