The Thinking 

Equality Leads to Coercion

March 9, 2011


HERE’S THE latest from The Australian on efforts by the Australian government under Prime Minister Julia Gillard to force companies to hire and promote women:

FIRMS with more than 100 workers will face spot checks and mandatory reporting on the numbers of women they employ and their position under tough new measures aimed at boosting gender equality in the workplace.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, said the government would strengthen equal opportunity laws to ensure they achieved “tangible” results in workplace equality.

An extra $11.2 million will be given to the newly-named Workplace Gender Equality Agency to collect more information on working conditions for women and provide assistance for firms lagging behind in their employment of women.

Government contracts would only be directed towards those organisations that complied with the new rules, Ms Ellis said.

Information provided to government by companies will have to be signed off on by employee representatives and chief executive officers.

Ms Ellis warned regular inspections would be conducted to ensure businesses were truthful in their reports.

“There will be regular spot checks to ensure that the information that organisations are providing to the government actually matches how they conduct their day-to-day business,” she said.

Mobile support teams would also provide assistance to businesses performing poorly in terms of gender equality, including smaller businesses.

The new reporting regime will provide the government with a better insight into pay gaps and trends in female promotion.

“For the first time, businesses will be required to report on the indicators that matter, on the actual figures of gender composition of their organisations and their boards, on their employment conditions and whether they have flexible work practices for women and men,” Ms Ellis said.

“No more good intentions – we want outcomes.”


                                     — Comments —

Kamilla writes:

Funny thing about that – they never target female-dominated professions to see why they haven’t hired more men.

Laura writes:

All forms of affirmative action proceed on the presumed inferiority of the protected group. If feminists were confident in the abilities of women, they would not support any affirmative action at all.

Clark Coleman writes:

Kate Ellis forgot to add at the end of her statement: “I want to emphasize that we are not talking about quotas, just ‘tangible outcomes’ that can be measured.”



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