Saturday, 15 May 2010

a little less conversation, a little more action please

so our minister of women's affairs tells us of a survey showing that sexism is the biggest barrier for women working in the dairy industry:

Speaking at the Dairy Women’s Network Annual Conference in New Plymouth, Mrs Wong said New Zealand’s biggest export earner would do well to look at how women in the industry could contribute more to its future.

“The dairy industry is New Zealand’s largest industry, and women make up one-third of its workforce. I believe there is a real opportunity for women to become more involved at a managerial level,” says Mrs Wong....

“I welcome the Dairy Women's Network decision to make it a top priority to find ways to break down these barriers. Women are critical to the future of New Zealand's dairying industry. They need to be acknowledged as active contributors at all levels.”

well, yes minister, but what are YOU actually going to DO about this? any policy initiatives? and reforms in the pipeline? we already know what needs to happen, what we need are the steps that will help to make it happen. that's what someone in your position is well equipped to provide, given that you have a ministry full of experienced and knowledgable people and a budget that can be put towards policy development. you should be taking the lead, or at least announcing some concrete initiatives that support the work of the dairy women's network.

talking is just not enough any more.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't believe everything you read about this. My workplace was part of this survey, which we considered to be an invasion of our personal & collective privacy. I can honestly say we did not take the survey seriously

sophie said...

What do you think would be helpful action?

From what I see, the basic problem lies in the attitude of people within the industry. That's not something that can be changed easily, or effectively legislated for.

stargazer said...

legislation isn't the only way to change policy, often not even the most effective way. but there are other ways to change attitudes. the point is that she is in a much better position to find those answers with the staff & budget she has at her disposal. she's been in the job for 18 months now, which is plenty of time to come up with some concrete ideas and processes for implementation. or if she even was able to defend the stuff we had which has been lost, she would be effective in her job. but that hasn't happened either.

sophie said...

Okay. I'm a bit clue-less about politics... the subject though is very close to home as the attitudes have significant, ongoing impact on my career.

For a long while I figured if someone didn't want to employ me because I was female, I probably was better off not working for them - but the attitudes go far beyond recruitment issues and with more women in farming every year, it's just not a good enough philosophy any more.