High-profile Australian business women debate: are we still in a man’s world?

Esteemed debaters addressed the current state of gender equality at today’s sold-out International Women’s Day Great Debate Series

Highlighting the importance of gender diversity in Australian society, specifically in the workplace, the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) is proud to be celebrating 20 years support of International Women’s Day (8 March). Over 2,000 predominately female decision-makers from a diverse range of industries today attended the annual IML International Women’s Day Great Debate 2017 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast.

Raising $42,900 for partner charity Project Futures, the events MC’s Erin Molan (Brisbane), Gretel Killeen (Sydney) and Jane Caro (Melbourne) steered the refreshingly raw views, witty arguments and powerful leadership insights of esteemed debaters around the provocative topic of whether in 2017 Australia is still a man’s world?

“IML has a proud history of actively advocating for increased diversity in the Australian workspace through our Diversity Matters Portfolio. There are many significant social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women both in Australia and globally to be celebrated. We have also made progress as a country over the last few decades, but reports still show we have some way to go before we realise true diversity in the workplace,” said IML Chief Executive, David Pich.

On average, male staff are paid 8.2% more than their female counterparts for undertaking the same role, with the widest pay gap existing at Senior Executive level or within the Administration and Other Specialists job families (IML 2016 Gender Pay Gap Report). Moreover, only 5.8% of CEOs of S&P 500 companies are female (Catalyst, 2017), 22% of women in parliament are women (UNWomen, 2016). Yet women are equally capable and can arguably make more significant impact on the sustainability of people and our planet as they reinvest 90% of their resources back into their families & communities (Calvert Funds).

Echoing these statistics, there was a very strong case for the affirmative at all three events. While it is important to recognise the ways in which women are discriminated against, the negative debaters celebrated the women who, despite limitations placed on them, have achieved extraordinary success. Such women’s successes risk being overlooked if we simply write off Australia as only a man’s world.

International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th each year around the world celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women. The day also marks a call to action for achieving gender equality. Each year IML holds an International Women’s Day Debate.


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Available for interview

IML Chief Executive, David Pich and select participants (see full list and biographies, ordered by city here)


For media enquiries or to arrange an interview, contact:

Alexandra McDonald


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