Victoria Police Men’s Leadership Program

Gender equity is not a women's issue

Congratulations to Victoria Police for addressing gender equity and running leadership programs for both men and women aimed at creating positive change. I am excited to be working with both the men and women members of Victoria Police and paving the way for real empowerment and cultural change to occur.

Gender equity is not a women’s issue – it is an issue for both men and women, with challenges such as unconscious bias for both genders. Gender equity can only be achieved by changing the work environment through expectations and practices, to create new norms for both women and men.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency released Australia’s gender equality scorecard their dataset report today. The report maps the landscape of workplace gender equality in Australia, to assist in illuminating a path forward.

The WGEA 2015-16 dataset “shows some encouraging signs – a continued downward trajectory of the gender pay gap and increased women’s representation in leadership. But progress is modest at best”. WGEA gender-equality-scorecard

Victoria Police also has a majority of men in senior leadership roles even though there is no shortage of talented women in the lower ranks. We have designed two programs aimed at tackling this issue. One program is for men focusing on recognising, understanding and changing unconscious bias in the workplace; and one program is for women focusing on developing confidence through self-awareness (including unconscious bias), strength based leadership, appropriate assertiveness and empowerment.

Both sworn and unsworn female members of Victoria Police benefit from developing skills in self-awareness, appropriate assertiveness, confidence, visibility and influence.

Senior male leaders benefit from understanding unconscious bias and how it is impacting their own work choices; how to create a bias-free organisation; and how to empower self and others to step up and speak out, both creating and embracing opportunities available to them.

The Men’s program also includes a panel of guest speakers who are well positioned to discuss the gender equity initiatives their own organisations have implemented and the success and challenges encountered when creating positive change.

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome Johanna Neilson, Executive Manager, People & Culture, Cbus; Jeremy King, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth; and Diana Hewitson, Head of Diversity & Inclusion services, Ambition Group. Presenting to a room of 50 male police personnel on the topic of gender equality was always going to be a little confronting, and the participants didn’t disappoint with their challenging questions. Our speakers provided some fantastic examples and plenty of food for thought on possibilities and future opportunities.

It was wonderful to be working with a room full of men for a change, after running so many Women’s Leadership Programs lately.

Flow Leadership offers fully customised leadership programs for both women and men on gender equity as well as the Women who Lead program in partnership with Style Confidante. We are also regularly involved in conference presentations, panel discussions, guest speaker sessions and promoting current gender equity research. I am a member of the 100% project research committee as well as a Board Director of Emerge.

If you would like to address the challenge of gender equity in your workplace please contact us to discuss our customised programs flowleadership or register for our next Women who Lead program commencing February 16 2017 Women who Lead


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