#ASKHERTORUN - Ask her why she doesn't run: Gender discrimination and the barrier to woman in politics

Jessica attended the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 61st session where she represented Victoria University. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Law/Art.

Abstract

This paper will review the social and political barriers that prevent women from running for public office. Despite the considerable traction, the gender equality movement has amassed in the past century, the fact that women hold only 22% of parliamentary seats worldwide demonstrates the disproportionate representation in key political leadership roles (UN Women, 2016). This was perhaps best emphasised through the 2015 ‘Invite Her to Run’ campaign initiated by now- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who, on the finding that a woman is 50% less likely to run for public office than a male counterpart, sought to establish a grassroots campaign encouraging female candidates (Liberal Party of Canada, 2016). Although concerning, it is not surprising that such a campaign (and further campaigns) are required nearly 100 years after women received the right to vote, when female trailblazers have been subjected to skewed media representation and the political status quo. This paper will argue that only media accountability, female leadership and mentorship program and the recreation of both the political and institutional status quo will alleviate some of this disparity.

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Minimising unconscious bias in the workplace: strategies for tackling gender stereotypes and improving workplace productivity

By Laura Wood

Laura represented Monash University at the 2016 OECD Forum in Paris.  

Abstract

Gender stereotypes permeate all aspects of social life, including that relating to the paid workforce.  The persistence of gender stereotypes are a powerful factor in the perpetuation of gender inequality and hinder individuals’ ability to achieve potential by restricting choices and opportunities.  This paper aims to highlight the impacts of gender stereotypes on women’s participation in the paid workforce and contribute to the exposure of the link between gender stereotypes and the perpetuation of gender inequality.  Whilst there is mainstream recognition of interactions between gender equality and female participation in the paid workforce, there is lack of acknowledgement and action within policy and programmatic activity relating to the dismantling of gender stereotypes as a strategy to support the promotion of gender equality and economic growth.  The paper will highlight strategies for minimising the effects of unconscious bias in recruitment in the workplace as an intervention for challenging gender stereotypes in support of gender equality and smart economics.  This paper focuses on ‘gender’ in unconscious bias, however unconscious bias also relates to race, ethnicity, age and other identity characteristics.  The paper’s recommendations can be adopted in both the public and the private sector- interventions which fall out of the higher-level strategies may vary depending on sector and context.

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