Male leaders dedicated to overcoming gender inequality

Flexible work arrangements, sexual harassment policies, and ‘non-gendered’ parental leave are amongst the key policies identified in a first progress report published this week by a group of top executives from some of Australia’s largest consulting firms seeking to address systemic gender equality issues.

The Consult Australia Male Champions of Change is a consortium of 12 Chief Executives and Managing Directors responsible for over 20,000 employees in the built environment, who co-signed a charter in 2016 to collaborate and advance gender equity and women in leadership.

This landmark report publically details each firm’s progress on action areas around embedding diversity and inclusion, driving cultural change, and supporting women to leadership.

Peter Bailey, Chair of Consult Australia’s Male Champions of Change group, said: “As engineers, architects and planners we excel at connecting communities through road and rail, yet have struggled to connect fairly and equally with each other. We help build cities of skyscrapers and stadia, yet must do more to help build a society in which all can contribute on a level playing field.

This is why we are committed to collaboration, publishing in–detail our progress on gender diversity and holding ourselves to account.”

Priority areas all MCC firms are focusing on include engaging male middle managers in creating more inclusive workplace cultures and increasing the proportion of women at the most senior levels. Fifty per cent of firms have measurable diversity targets in place, a figure expected to rise to 100% by 2018.

“I’m proud to be a Consult Australia Male Champion of Change, because gender equality is an issue that is deeply important to me personally,” says NDY CEO Stuart Fowler. “As a father of two wonderful adult daughters, the thought that they should have to live and work in a society where they are discriminated against on the basis of their gender, is abhorrent to me.

“The Consult Australia Male Champions of Change has certainly assisted me in obtaining a clearer understanding some of the broader challenges that our industry faces in terms of gender diversity, and has provided a positive forum for members to harness their collective wisdom, share their knowledge, and exert influence, and to tackle gender diversity in a united way, with significant impact.”

Click here to access a copy of the report.

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