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Live. VOICE-OVER: At the National

Press Club today, Elizabeth

Broderick, the Federal Sex

Discrimination Commissioner.

In her speech titled Getting

Women off the Bench, Gender

Equality Blueprint for 2010,

she'll outline moves necessary

for continued progress for

women in the workforce.

National Press Club address. Elizabeth Broderick with the

(Bell rings)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome

to the National Press Club and today's National Press Club

address. We're very pleased today to welcome Elizabeth

Broderick the Federal Sex

Discrimination Commissioner.

She's also responsible for age

discrimination and an adviser

to the chief of the Defence

Force. Elizabeth is about

halfway through her term and

has, which started off with the

very extensive tour of Australia listening to what

women around the country said

was important to them and what

should be done and today she'll

be launching more or less a

blueprint, a roadmap to achieve

some of those ends. Towards

gender equality has been an

objective for many years. You

might have noticed recently

there have been some quite

sharp examples in various parts

of Elizabeth Broderick's

jurisdiction where there is a

lot of ground to be made up and

the blueprint today will, we

hope, help to achieve some of

that. She'll talk to her about

it in more detail today.

Please welcome, Elizabeth

Broderick. Thank you very much

Ken, and it's such a great

pleasure to be back here at the National Press Club today.

It's wonderful to see so many

familiar faces in the audience,

both women and men and that's

really terrific, so thank you

very much for having me back

here. It's over a year ago now

that I stood here for the very

first time amidst an economic

downturn and I wondered whether

the long-awaited paid parental

leave scheme would be left on

the cutting room floor. Back

then, I joked that despite the 2009 Budget being one of the

worst our country had ever

seen, I wanted to wage a bet

that we would finally get a

national scheme. You might

remember at that time I was

worried if I got it wrong I

didn't want a new stream of

mothers nursing babies named Elizabeth wanting compensation.

Despite a difficult and a tough

Budget I, of course, now wish I

threw down the gauntlet. The passage of the paid maternity

leave has been an exciting

signal that progress can be

made, no in spite of, but

because of times of national

challenge. Today, I think it's

fitting that we send out a

national cheer for everyone

across this country who worked

tirelessly and with

determination to secure paid

APPLAUSE parental leave.

And I do want to acknowledge

my predecessor Pru Goward who

really helped to put paid

maternity leave on the map. I

also want to thank Minister

Macklin for her courage and

determination to make sure this

reform did see the light of

day, and I do want to

congratulate all of you in this

room and across Australia who

have stuck with paid parental

leave, who have continued to

advocate for reforms for so

many years. Thank you very

much. So today what I want to

do is to lay out my vision for

the next stage of national

reform, and it's my gender

equality blueprint for 2010 and

in so doing, I'm very proud to

be launching my blueprint on

the traditional lands of the

null awall people. I pay my

respect to their elders past

and present and I thank them

for their custodianship of this

land. Last year when I spoke

in this place I made a very

specific case, gender equality

matters. It matters to girls

and boys, it matters to women

and men, young and old, business, government and the

community. It goes to the very

heart of who we are and how we

live. And at that time when we

did face a potential economic

crisis coupled with the ageing

of the population, my point,

which was backed by hard

evidence, is that if we are to

be a strong secure and vibrant

player in the world game, we

must have everyone on the

field. No-one should be left

on the bench. Hey now there's

a good bench, what about the

Matildas versus Serbia in

tonight's World Cup decider?

After all, didn't they win the

Asian Cup? What we needed was

to get gender equality back on

the national agenda.

Sometimes, though, you have to

be careful what you wish for

and I say that because since

that time, my office has been

involved in no fewer than nine

major national reviews which

have considered at least in

part, how to improve gender

equality. Unlike some, I'm not

against reviews. It was my

view that opening up

discussions and debates about

how we should close the gender

pay gap, how do we get better

laws to promote gender

equality. Do we need quotas to

promote women on boards? Each

of those debates is an important, indeed critical step

in designing new and effective

public policy. There's no

doubt reviews have their place,

as journalist Paul Kelly

recently notd, it was the

Productivity Commission inquiry

which established the policy

making path to success with

paid parental leave. Yet with

so many important reviews now

behind us, I think there is a

risk that we won't follow through, that because we've

opened up the debate on so many

fronts, further reform may be

put in the too-hard basket.

This is my main point today.

We can't let the prevailing wisdom become that because

we've secured one major reform,

paid parental leave that, we've expended our political capital

that we've done gender

equality, at least for now.

Because if these nine reviews

tell us anything, what they

tell us is there remains a

major gap between women and men

and that we still have a long

way to go. So today, halfway

through my term of office and

as we head to the polls once

again, I'm here to launch my

vision for gender equality for

Australia. It is a next stage

of reform and I thought I'd get

in early. My Gender Equality

Blueprint for 2010 sets out 15

achievable practical

recommendations in five major areas which have been

identified as priorities

following my national listening

tour, and they are the areas of

balancing paid work with family

and caring responsibilities,

ensuring economic security for

women across their life cycle.

Thirdly, promoting women in

leadership. Fourthly,

preventing violence and

harassment against women and

girls and finally, the need to

strengthen Australia's gender

equality laws, the agencies and

monitoring. No doubt to your

relief, I don't intend today to

take you through all 15 recommendations although, of

course, I do urge you to read

them in all their glory at your

leisure. But what I do offer

you today then is a brief

explanation of all of the three blueprints major

recommendations and they're in

the area of child care and out

of school hours care, promoting

women in leadership and

thirdly, preventing violence

against women and in so doing,

what I want to do today is to

draw on some of the lessons

that we've learnt through the

paid parental leave reform. We

now have a national scheme of

paid parental leave, but what

about its vital companion,

universal child care. I'm

remined of a story that I heard

in a presentation by Sir Ken

Robinson who's a world-class

educator and he was speaking on

young children and creativity.

His story concerned a little

girl aged 6. She was spotted

furiously scribbling up the

back of the classroom and as

the girl didn't always pay

attention, the teacher went

over to see what it was that

she was doing. She asked the

child "What are you drawing?"

And the little girl explained,

"Well I'm drawing a picture of

God". "But nobody knows what

God looks like". "Well they

will in a minute" the little

girl relied. I don't use this

story to suggest it's only

through divine intervention

that we will achieve universal child care in Australia, although I will take

submissions on that point.

While we may have reached a

stage where young girls and

boys are able to view their own

world in terms of endless

possibility, the realities

confronted by their parents

mean that our picture of what

we can achieve starts to

contract, all because we've yet

to discover what such a world

might really look like. For my

13-year-old son, Tom, endless

possibility means non-stop

computer games, hot chips and

Coca-Cola. But for parents,

imagine what our world would

look like if everyone in paid

work could confidently know

that from the time's of their

child's birth that there was a

clear path to equality, early

childhood education if they

chose to take it. But in

Australia today, you only have

to talk to any parent who's in

paid work to hear the litany of

tales about the problems with

child care. It's often related

as a picture of high costs,

long distances, the stress of

finding a vacancy in flexible

hours and anxiety about quality

and reliability. Why is it

that child care and out of

school care is so important?

Well, it's important because it

enables women and men to choose

how and when they participate

in paid work. The promotion of

universal child care, it's not

a call for mothers to abandon

their maternal instincts.

Children benefit from

consistent primary care, particularly in the early years

and given the choice, most mums

and dads want that primary

role. A great many, however,

want to continue participating

in paid work as well. Indeed,

many need to. They need to in

order to pay the mortgage and

in order to support their

families. But the cost of

child care often means that

it's not worth both parents

continuing in paid work and because of the way our society's structured and the

gender pay gap, it makes

greater sense for the father to

work full-time even when the

parents want to do it

differently. When the mother

seeks to return to her paid

employment, her capacity to

compete for senior roles is

diminished. We still have this

deeply entrenched idea about,

or model about the ideal worker

and then added to her previous

time out of the workforce, her

superannuation entitlements

compare poorly to that of her

male partner. The reality that

for many women living in

Australia today, significant

economic disadvantage becomes

the reward for a lifetime spent

caring. Just two years ago,

the United Nations' Children's Fund ranked Australia third

last, third last in child care

provision out of 25 developed

countries and called for a

major increase in funding. It

also urged a reduction in our

reliance on the private sector

child care services.

Meanwhile, the Senate committee

report on the provision of

child care in Australia, which

as you may remember was sparked

by the ABC learning collapse,

confirmed in November last year

that the need for quality child

care for children of all ages

is beyond question, and

governments have a

responsibility to ensure that

it's regulated and that it is affordable. So I was,

therefore, really encouraged by

a recent COAG communique

concerning the new national

quality framework and COAG's

commitment to establish a

national body with clear

authority to oversee the

development of a child care

system. We can't stall this

reform. A national universal

system of early childhood

education and care, and that

includes school-aged care, is

the most important piece of

social infrastructure missing

in this country. Its absence

impoverishes all of us in

comparison with other developed

nations, both economically and

socially. Our fragmented early

childhood environment acts as a

handbrake on women's

involvement in business and

paid work generally, and that

is why my blueprint recommends

that we retain a clear, bipartisan commitment to

establish a national body with

the resources and authority to

build this major piece of

national social infrastructure.

Its work must be transparent,

it must be accountable to the

Australian people, including

both families and also

business. It's vital that the

new national body undertakes

the continued planning and the

policy work necessary to

contain costs as the national

quality framework unfolds.

'Cause the reality is child

care's already too expensive

for many parents in Australia.

After all, an ordinary family

spending $80 to $1 hup a day

sending their toddler to the

local day care centre soon

finds out it's not much cheaper

than sending a teenager to a

private school. Whilst then it

is a cause for celebration that

we soon will have paid parental

leave, the next part of the

equation is still missing. A

decade into the 21st century,

we need a child care system

that works for children, mums

and dads and ultimately for our

community, for business and for

our economy. I'd now like to

turn to an area that I believe

requires a genuine openness to

finding common ground and

building new alliances, and

that is the area of promoting

women in leadership. One

lesson I think we learnt from

paid parental leave is the

importance of seeking out

common ground amongst traditionally opposing

stakeholders. As a new

commissioner, I co-wrote an

opinion piece with Sharan

Burrow and Heather Ridout in

support of paid parental leave.

It began "It's not often that

the Australian economy group,

the ACTU and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner

agree on something, but we all

support the need for a national

government-funded scheme of

paid maternity leave". And

through similar alliances there

was a clear message sent to our political leadership that this

had broad support. I knew on

the day I woke up to an early

morning media inquiry asking me what I throughout about Tony

Abbott's new scheme that

despite the furiousness of a

political environment, we'd

clearly established some

serious common ground. A bidding war on paid parental

leave, now that's something

none of us would have imagined

possible even a couple of years

ago. It was a very happy day,

that one. To my mind then,

securing a major increase in

the number of women in decision-making roles is

another major reform ripe for

seismic shift, a shift which

would be identified on

identifying shared benefit and

interest. Like all change,

there are some key turning

points. In efforts to promote

women into leadership roles,

there's no doubt in my mind

that a major turning point

occurred last year, and I'll

explain that shortly. But up

until then, the prevailing view

was that the system was merit-based and that the

problem was with women who

either couldn't or wouldn't

step up and take high office.

The prevailing mantra was that

women would just have to wait

for things to change in the

fullness of time and that we

just needed to sit quietly,

patiently waiting to be asked.

Well, the turning point

happened in September last year

when there was a major

conference put on by women on

boards to look at this

particular issue. The data was

shocking. The number of women

on boards was down from 8.7 to

8.3% and the number of women in

executive line management roles

was down from 7.5, to 5.9%.

Australia's overall workforce

participation rate for women

was spiralling downwards from

40th to 50th place in one year

when compared with other

countries. Now that's almost

as bad as our record at

Wimbledon, so we were in a bad

place. In Australian

workplaces, there was no doubt

- Australia was going backwards

and was likely to descend into

freefall without systematic

intervention and I agonised

over whether I would use the Q

word. No I don't mean

quagmire, a soft area of

low-lying land that sinks

underfoot, although possibly an

apt description for women in

business at that time. No, I'm

talking about quotas. The

question was, would I call for

a mandatory quota for women on

boards? And after much

consideration I decided that a

lively debate about quotas was

going to be an important vehicle for identifying that

common ground, for calling

business to action. It's now

reassuring to see an open and engaging debate about targets

and quotas. These words have

become part of a mainstream

debate and they're being used

by many people, male and female

senior directors who up until

recently would have been aghast

at the very suggestion. So the

business case for increasing

women's representation at

leadership level is explicit.

While it might be difficult to

prove a single causal link between more women in

decision-making and increased

corporate performance, there's

definitely a strong correlation

and the national economic cases

also become obvious. Goldman

Sachs recently identified that

narrowing the gap between male

and female employment rates

would have huge implications

for the global economy and in

Australia, it would boost our

GDP by at least 11%. Change is

now happening. The ASX Corporate Governance Council

should be congratulated for

amending their guidelines

requiring listed companies to set measurable objectives for

women at board level and also

at senior management level and

having to report regularly

against those objectives.

These changes are also being

supported by a number of

innovative initiatives, by

business groups such as the Business Council of Australia

and also the Australian

Institute of Company Directors.

And there's good news already.

I'm delighted to report that

whereas in 2009 only 5% of

appointments to ASX200 company

boards were women, by mid June

2010, so by a couple of weeks

ago, women made up 24% of new

board appointments. Now that's

not a bad outcome. It's not a

bad outcome for the first five

months of reform. Sometimes in

this job I am genuinely surprised and about 18 months

ago I ran a consultation with a

group of male investment

bankers of all ages. We were

having a very ernest and

concerned discussion about how

to attract more women to the

finance industry. Suddenly

there was a pause and at that

moment the youngest participant

chimed in, he said "Come on,

what you blokes aren't saying

but what we all know is this,

and that is that men make the

rules, men make the money, she

stays home and cooks the

dinner, it's the way it's

always been in my family, it's

the way it always will be". As

I thought of him down at one of

those slick bars on a Friday

night I thought he should have

a label "Women, proceed with

care" , so both the pleasant

and the not so pleasant

surprises remind me why we need

strong intervention. Gender

equality targets for State and

Territory boards are now in

place in a number of States and

they've had a dramatic impact,

but what of Federal Government

boards. My blueprint recommends that the Australian

Government should announce a

minimum target of 40% of each

gender on all Federal Government boards to be

achieved within three years.

This target should be publicly

announced with annual reports

of progress. And as

importantly, I have recommended

that in future, all Government

contracts awarded to Australian

business should require

businesses to be certified as

meeting minimum gender equality

obligations under the Equal

Opportunity for Women in the

Workplace Act. This will

create a real market incentive

for businesses to take gender

equality seriously. And in

this way, we see that both

business and Government will be

doing their part to increase

the representation of women at

decision-making level across

Australia, which brings me now

to my final and for me, I

think, the most compelling case

for courageous sustained

political leadership on gender

equality and that is violence

against women. Violence

against women isn't determined

by socioeconomic status, by

racial background, geography or

demography. The strongest

predictors for holding the view

that violence against women is

OK are being male and not

believing in the equality

between men and women.

Violence against women is one

of the most pervasive human

rights abuses occurring in our

country. Devastating and

terrifying for the women

involved, having far-reaching

and negative consequence s that

ricochet throughout their

lives. Every day in Australia

we hear about the need to make

our borders safer, to plan a

national response to any

terrorist attack, but the stark

reality is that for a great

many women the risk of death or

injury from terrorist attack is

relatively low. While the risk

of death or injury from

intimate partner violence is

high. These women don't fear

explosions when they're walking

in them all or on the train,

but they do face the prospect

of entering their own homes

with cold, bone-shaking fear.

And if you think I'm being

dramatic, consider this, almost

every week in Australia one

woman is killed by her current

or former partner, often after

a history of domestic violence.

Intimate partner homicides

account for one fifth of all

homicides across Australia, and

research from Victoria confirms

that domestic violence is the

leading contributor to death,

disability and illness of women

under the age of 45.

Meanwhile, young women also

remain the primary target of

sexual harassment. It's

important to understand that

sexual harassment sits on a

continum, with demeaning

attitudes about women on one

end, through to sexual assault

and violence on the other. And

our commission, the Human Rights Commission has found

that 22% of women have

experienced sexual harassment

in the workplace. As last

week's case of a high-profile

CEO makes clear and sends a

clear message, sexual

harassment goes from the most

senior level right through to

the most junior with silence

often the most common thread.

Rates of violence and harassment then show few signs

of abating. What we are

seeing, though, is a growing

awareness of their cost. Not

just the emotional and physical cost but also the economic

cost. Put simply, violence has

serious implications not only

for the short and long-term financial viability of

individual women, but also for

the nation's economic security.

In fact, the National Council

on Violence against Women

recently estimated that in

2009, violence against women

cost the Australian economy

13.6 billion, and without

significant intervention, they

estimate that by 2021, the cost

will increase to 15.6 billion.

It is commendable that the

Australian Government has

committed to a zero tolerance

approach and to developing a

national plan to address the

issue and we are eagerly

awaiting the release of that

national plan. It's also commendable that the Prime

Minister has added his voice to

a campaign that calls all men

to action under the slogan Not

Violent, Not Silent. This is a

complex area of policy. It

involves both Federal, State

and Territory Governments and

crosses many portfolio areas like health, like education,

policing, housing and justice.

We must not allow this national

reform agenda to be a casualty

of blame shifting or arguments

about who's going to pay. The

national plan to reduce

violence against women must put

in place a national system of

accountability which ensure s coordination, assures clarity of responsibility and

consistency. So I, therefore, recommend that the

imeplementation of a national

plan is independently monitored

to assist progress. The

independent monitor would

report to the Australian public

on where the plan's working

well and where it's not. It

would provide the robust check

on all those responsible under

the plan. It would also be

involved in education and

promoting best practice.

Whilst I'm very pleased the

Attorney-General has moved to

strengthen the Sexual Discrimination Act in the area

of sexual harassment I call for

a specific national prevention

strategy in the area of sexual

harassment. The time has come,

we need some intervention in

this area. We need clear roles

for Government, for agencies

such as the Australian Human

Rights Commission and also for

Australian business. Reducing

violence and harassment against

women in our country as around

the world, it's not a quick

fix. It will require strong

political courage, honesty

about success and failings, and

a determination to get it

right. I stand ready to be

part of that journey with you.

As I've outlined today then, we

have much to do if women and

men are to design a better

picture of how their lives

might look. In summary, we

need a national child care body

adequately powered and

resourced. We need a minimum

target of 40% of each gender on

all Federal Government boards

to be achieved within three

years. We need Government procurement procedures to

require businesses tendering

for government. Work to be certified by the equal opportunity in the workplace

agency. We need independent monitoring of the implementation of the national

plan to reduce violence against

women and we need a major

national prevention strategy to

drive down the incidence of

sexual harassment in our

workplaces. During my term,

I've heard loud and clear from

people all across Australia

that gender equality does

matter. The challenge for all

of us, however, is to make this

aspiration a reality. So in

lauchg my blueprint for gender

equality today, I call on all sectors of the Australian

community to get on board. My

call to action is to government

and all political parties, I

urge you to show leadership by

adopting the blueprint's recommendations. Gender

equality has got to be front

and centre of our plan for the

nation's economic and social

security, particularly in an

election year and the good news

is that the blueprint's

recommendations can be

implemented now. But just as

we'll all share in the benefits

of equality, so too we must

collaborate in its

achievements, so to business,

therefore, I urge you to take

up the challenge to show

leadership by early adoption of

the recent changes in the ASX

Corporate Governance Guidelines

and Recommendations. Identify

whether you do have a pay

equity problem and apply your

best thinking as you would in

other areas of a business. Set

clear and measurable

objectives, put innovative

strategies in place and measure

your achievement. What's more,

don't flog a dead horse, if

existing strategies fail, learn

from the experience but

persevere. To unions, for

decades after the first Federal

equal pay case, the gender pay

gap is widening and your

continued focus in this area,

including in the ASU test case

is not only welcome, it's

absolutely essential. I

congratulate you on your

leadership in this area and I

offer my support. And to

womens' groups and other NGOs

that support gender equality

and many who are here in this

room, I pay tribute to you for

your sustained and

sophisticated advocacy. The

achievement of paid parental

leave is only the beginning.

We have a map for the journey,

but we need your help to create

the political and community

will to cover the terrain that

lies ahead. Finally, to men

and women all across this

country, I say make your voice

heard. The issues I've raised

today are not only achievable,

but they are ones that need

action right now. If we are to

make the next leap forward, we

need the efforts and the energy

of all sectors of the

Australian community, all

individuals and organisations

fuelling the journey, and I

want to particularly

acknowledge the efforts and

energy of my own team, many of

whom are here today. As the

mother of both a daughter and a

son, it's my hope that each of

you can travel full tilt into a

future defined not by

limitations of our past, but

only by promise and

possibility. Thank you. We

have our usual period of

questions. You mentioned your

office was involved in nine reviews last year. Two were

legislation relating to women's

pay equity and workplace

legislation. The House of Reps reported in November with a

long list of recommendations

and there was a 10-year review

of the equal opportunity for

the Act why do you think the

Government is stalling reform

in this area? You're right,

there has been a number of

reviews looking at pay equity.

I think one of the reasons that

we haven't saved pay equity so

far or even started to narrow

that gap is it's very complex.

It is an incredibly complex

area to fix, because it's

influenced by so many different

things, but I think if I look at the environment, there are

some radical reforms happening, particularly overseas that we

need to start looking to bring

in here, and just to give you a

couple of examples of that, one

would be transparency around

pay rates. Now that's

something that the UK is

currently looking at. We know

and it's good research to

suggest that when there's no

transparency around pay rates

that usually women do worse

than men. There's some research to talk about

negotiating and the different

negotiating styles, but I think

transparency of pay rates would

be an important step and we've

actually said in the blueprint that that's something that we

should look at. I mean,

Portugal, for example, requires

companies to publish in a

public area like their

reception area for one month a

year, the pay rates of men and

women. But I think also when I

look at business, that a lot of

businesses don't think that

they have a pay rate. A pay

equity problem, and in fact

often when I talk to men and women just generally in the

street or consultations,

because we've had the equal pay

case there's a view that "Oh,

we've done equal pay we've

already got it". The data tells

us something very different.

So I think education campaign

is also a very important part

of changing this, and I do

think the focus that this test

case will bring and hopefully

that it will set principles

under the Fair Work Act as to

what equal pay, equal or comparable value actually

means. So I take your point.

We haven't narrowed it and my

view is we'll never completely

eradicate the pay gap. We will

narrow it and that's what we

should seek to achieve and the

renewed focus on it that's

happening at the minute is a

welcome step, but let's stay

the course and move forward.

You mentioned that some of the

Government reporting agencies

could be toughened. This was

mentioned in one of the

parliamentary reports that the

Government hasn't responded to.

How do you think these agencies

could be toughened, and how could reporting requirements

for businesses be toughened

more generally? There's been a

criticism that some of the

existing reporting results in

companies promoting themselves

as being good employers for

women. Should we be looking

more at naming and shaming

those employers who are not

performing well? Look, it is

interesting, and I think it's

absolutely clear that the

reporting requirements in place

now are not working. The data

speaks for itself in that

regard. The recommendations

that we have made on that are

particularly around Government

procurement that Government

should seek to use their

financial muscle to actually

insist that companies who want

to supply goods or services to

Government must be certified by

the Equal Opportunity in the

Workplace Agency. That would

give more teeth... I think it

would give more teeth and focus

to gender equality. The fact

is there are already some

requirements there, but those

requirements need to be

strengthened. The other thing

is... and that's one of the

things about the reform to the

corporate governance guidelines, so that's reforms happening in the exchange in

the market. I think once

there's a level of transparency

around how businesses are doing

on gender equality and that

businesses need to report every

year, I think once again that

we will see a renewed focus

and, in fact, once again the

results are starting to speak

for themselves. Just going

from 5% in 2009 of board

appointments being female, up

to 24% in the last five months,

that's a reasonably significant

increase. By itself it's not

enough. We need to do more,

but I think just those

initiatives and some of the

other innovative initiatives

that were put to the Government

at the time of the review, we

should really look at moving

forward with those initiatives

and I'm waiting to hear what

the outcome of the review is.

Can I take you back to the

question of sexual harassment.

You have a explicit

recommendation in your

blueprint that the

commissioner, the person in

your role, should be able to

initiative investigation s into

workplaces without a specific

complaint. How do you see that

operating? Would it require a

great deal more resources? I

gather from what you've said

about your listening tour that

you found it to be such a

ubiquitous problem that it

could be almost a full-time

parallel activity to your

own. It's a good question,

because the fact is that most

of the sex discrimination, and

that includes sexual harassment

that exists in 2010 is systematic, so it's built into

cultures, the systems, the

institutions, and the idea that

we're going to eradicate sex

discrimination by relying on an

individual woman to put her

hand up and say "Look, it's me

that's been sexually harassed"

and the implications that come

with that, because many women

talk about that being career

death and the victimisation

that occurs. I think

individual complaints are not

going to be enough and what we

need to do is recognise that

sexual harassment, sex

discrimination is systematic.

We need a systematic response

to start to combat that and for

that reason, I've made the

recommendation there that we

should be able to look at maybe

organisations, maybe sectors

where we know sexual harassment

is more prevalent and really

work to provide some more

systematic response than

relying on an individual

complaint. So that really is

where that recommendation is

put. The thing I'd say about

that is in the review to the

Sex Discrimination Act there

were many submissions which actually suggested that that

was going to be part of

actually fixing this problem.

But you're right, sexual

harassment is alive and well in Australian workplaces in 2010. There's no question of that,

and our research would suggest

just because you're not hearing

about it, doesn't mean it's not

happening. There's a very low

level of complaints in this

area. We're coming into a

federal election, I'm wondering

about your views on what the

progress is like in your view

of the gender balance in the

Federal Parliament? What more

could be done there and what

are some of the issues? We've

got some good candidates coming

through, including some here

today. Do you think having a female Prime Minister might

help the cause? I'm not going

to be drawn into that one, but

you're right. We're 37% of elected representatives in the

Parliament are female, so I

think when I look on a list of

advanced countries we're about

39th in relation to that, so

we're not doing too badly but

it's obviously not enough. We don't have equal representation of elected representatives between men and women. The

great news is as you say, there

are some terrific candidates

coming through with all different political parties and

I think once we get a critical

mass, and we saw it in the paid

parental leave debate. I

consulted with politicians

across all sides of all

political persuasions and there

was a strong view amongst

female politicians that the

time was right, we absolutely

needed this reform. So it does

matter having women in our

Parliament and I mean, I'd be

suggesting that to really make

sure that that actually

happens, that political parties

start to set some soft targets.

Some parties have done that,

others haven't. But just so we

can see that women are having the opportunity to come through

and sit in our Parliament and

make decisions about our future. There are a lot of

people with a keen interest in

those issues here today and

some of them might like to ask

the commissioner a question.

If they did, please indicate

your interest to Morris Reilly,

about to ask this question.

The well-reported case of

David Jones, are you satisfied

that the company has acted to

the full extent it should? I

think we all understand the

report that... a courageous

employee has taken on through

lawyers, a board and senior

management. It must be a

frightening exercise to go

through, however the company's

appointed one of its own senior

managers who's probably

well-qualified to replace the

CEO. If it's a systematic

culture, how does that company

rehabilitate itself in what's

an important issue? It's a good

question and look, it's a

challenge across all companies.

One things I would say about

the David Jones incident is

that the board acted quickly to

do something about it. I

looked back and I thought, can

I remember a CEO being moved

aside, or his resignation

accepted because of sexual

harassment? And I can't think

of a previous one in the

business sphere in any event.

So I think that was a good

development. Having said that,

you're right. Our research

would show, and this is looking at companies generally across

Australia, that if you're being

sexually harassed, the chances

are it's happening to someone

else in the o, --

organisation, because it speaks

to the culture that exist about

sexual harassment being part of

a culture, part of a power

imbalance existing in that

organisation. The solutions,

and I talked about the national

prevention strategy, but for

individual businesses, they

need to have a zero tolerance

policy, they need to have

regular education of employees,

so not just the one-off training, but to regularly

train their employees about

what sexual harassment looks like, because there's a lot of

grey area there. If I go to

the company event and I'm

sexually harassed there, does

that constitute sexual harassment? I think the

evidence is clear. If I'm

going with my work colleagues

for drinks on a Friday night,

is that an extension of a

workplace? The other thing

that's necessary is transparent

and effective complaints

mechanisms. Your blueprint

highlights the importance of

access to universary child

care. Should this be

Government-funded and what did

you think of the freezing of

the child care rebate in the

recent Budget given the probative costs of child care

to many parents? In terms of

whether it should be entirely

Government funded I think

that's exactly why we need this

national body, because we don't

have a fully-fledged national

policy for child care in this

country. The fact is where we

are in Australia is we've got

such a range of options. Long

day care, mum, Gran in the

informal sector. We've got

family day care, we've got

nannies, in-house, home

assistance and there's no

integrated policy. But I would

say, one thing we do know, that if it's not affordable for

parents, then we will see an

exit particularly of women out

of the labour market and that

has a cost, and when we look at

child care, we often just look

at it in the context of "Oh,

what's it costing the

Government?" Or " what's it

costing?" We need to see the

other side of child care.

Without it, we won't be able to

utilise all the talent that

exists in this country and we

know that Australia's leading

the world in women's education.

We're educating our women

better and longer than any

other country in the world so

it's important we look to use

the talent and the expectations

that women have. So I think

that question of costs, that's

exactly the type of thing that

should be considered in some

kind of integrated national

approach which is sustained,

because this is a major part of

our social infrastructure. If

I can take you to paid parental

leave, with the current scheme

that's now in place, do you

think this is the end point, or

would you like to see it

improved, and if so how?

Secondly, a number of unions

have flagged they will now look

to build on the Government's

scheme, do you think that's a

good thing and do you think

there needs to be any other

mechanisms in place to ensure

that employers don't start

discriminating against hiring

women because of this

scheme? Firstly, I think the

scheme that we've got now is a

really sound base from which to

base, so I'm not seeing it as

the end point but I'm seeing it

as a huge step, a great

development, but as a sound starting point. One of the great things about the

legislation that's been passed

is that it includes a

legislated 2-year review.

Within two years, the scheme

will be looked at to see how it

can be improved and at that

time I would be particularly

keen to see the inclusion of a

superannuation layer, because

the fact is women are

disadvantaged in retirement in

Australia. We all need that,

we need to make sure that disadvantage doesn't start when

they go off to have their first

baby. I'd be advocating hard

for superannuation. I'd also

be looking at an inclusion of a

period of lead for dads or

supporting partners in same sex

couples. But this idea, and

there's good international

research which suggests if you

carve out a period for dads

which is not on what they call

a use it or lose it basis, then

men will start to get involved

right from the first days of

their new born babies' lives.

There will be unintended

consequences and it will be

interesting to see how does

business incorporate this

national scheme into,

particularly those businesses

that already have their

schemes. That's why I think

the 2-year review is really

important, so we can look at

what's happening there. Is it

working well, is it achieving

the objectives set out for it?

They would be the things that

I'd be looking for in any

review. Thank you for your

presentation, it was

outstanding. We've recently commissioned a study that looks at the representation of women

in science. You wouldn't be

surprised to know as women

progress, or as you get to the

senior ranks, the

representation of women is highly grossly underrepresented. The worst

part is nothing's changed in

the last 15 years when a

similar report was undertaken.

One of the things we've been

advocating for is ensuring that

at least in publicly-funded

research agencies there would

be public reporting of retention, rank of women

without necessarily imposing a

quota. That said, I'm not

necessarily opposed to quotas.

I'd like to hear your views on

the effectiveness of public

reporting in terms of changing

the system? Thanks very much.

I think public reporting is a

very good first step and in a

sense, that's where we've gone

with the ASX corporate

governance guideline changes.

That's about companies

reporting to the market, so

full transparency and then reporting progress over time.

So I think it's a really great

step. Is it going to be enough

and particularly in your area

of science, it is difficult. I

hear similar things when I

speak to engineering groups,

when I speak to mining groups.

The absence of female talent

has been the situation for

many, many years. The fact is

that sometimes the choices that

women are making back in school

are choice s that don't

necessarily take them down the

route of science or finance or

mining or whatever it is. So I

think work's to be done in

helping women understand the

breadth of educational choices

available to them, but also

helping women see that "Do you

know what, I can have a really

successful career in science".

That was so great to see the

Australian scientist who won

recently the prize, that was a

fantastic role model for young

women in Australia who are

interested in science, because

it's hard to be what you can't

see, and if you can't see women

at the top of it, it's hard to

want to aspire to that. I

think the recommendations

you're talking about there in

relation to public reporting

are a very good first step.

Thank you for your great

presentation. I'm an

Indigenous midwife in

Townsville. Two very quick

questions. Today in the news

it talked about the women that

were in Victoria about the rape

charges and about the cover-up

of the police because they

were, their Football Club.

That's two questions. The

second one is who'll be investigating those police

officers? But the question I

put to you is will you be

making a statement towards

those rape victims that are

feeling very vulnerable at this

time, now they've found out

there's been a cover-up with

the entire investigations

because the police officers

were very attached to that

particular Football Club.

Again, thank you very much for

your wonderful

presentation. Thanks. Look,

there's a lot that's great

about sport in this country,

but I think sport has a dark

side as well, and the issues

that we hear coming up about

violence against women by

high-performing sportsmen off

the field, they're coming up

far too regularly and I think

it actually speaks to an equality between men and women in the sporting environment.

The fact is we see women in a

very secondary role, if we look

at elite sport which is all the

different football codes and we

see women as supporters as

looking glamorous on the red

carpet, those types of things

and I think there is a lot of

work to be done in sport.

Threltion to the particular

incident that you -- in

relation to the particular incident that you refer to, I

need to look into that further,

but unfortunately that is not

an isolated incident and that's

why we really need to focus

hard in on this particular

issue. I think and I've been

recommending that we should

actually set targets for women

on sporting bodies, because I

think if we're able to see, if

sportsmen were able to see that

women have a whole variety of

roles and some at the most

senior level of sporting

governance then maybe we would

have less of the issues about

violence against women, because

just coming back to the speech

that I made, violence sits on a

continum with demeaning

attitudes about women on one

end, sexual harassment and

full-on gender-based violence

at the other end. We need to

start intervening in the whole

spectrum and we need to start

doing it in sport. APPLAUSE

Elizabeth Broderick, thank you

very much for coming back again

today. We'll give you your new

membership ticket so you can

come back any time and sign any

worthwhile documents with that

presentation pen. Closed Captions by CSI