Will equal pay close the gender gap?

The IML Great Debate puts the spotlight on the glass ceiling

Celebrating the importance of diversity and equality in the Australian workplace, the Institute of Managers and Leaders’s renowned Great Debate series will return to Canberra on Friday 23rd of June 2017.

Recent research confirms the gender gap is still very much present in the Australian workplace today, with female employees paid, on average, 8.2% less than their male counterparts for undertaking the same job role[1]. To address this imbalance, this popular event will see six influential Australian leaders from across the nation debate whether ‘equal pay will close the gender gap’. This group of influential women from a range of industries, will peel back the layers addressing issues such as the gender ambition gap, motherhood, sexual harassment and women in leadership roles.

The combination of speakers set to bring their opinions to the table include, 2017 Canberra Citizen of the Year and ABC veteran journalist Alex Sloan; Award winning journalist and lead of the gender equality initiative ‘50/50 by 2030 Foundation’ Virginia Haussegger AM; Freelance journalist and co-founder of Fempower Arabella Close; 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year, Yassmin Abdel-Magied; Author of Women in Leadership, Amanda Blesing; and head of strategy and engagement at Science in Australia Gender Equity, Dr Saraid Billiards.

Alex Sloan is passionate about discussing how we can address the issue for the generation ahead, “In the middle of her Year 12, when she’s never worked harder, can someone tell me when is the right time to tell my daughter she can expect to be paid 8.2% less than the male student she’s sitting next to in class? Now that’s something I can get my teeth into in the 2017 Great Debate,” she said.

Agreeing the approach was in need of a refresh, Virginia Haussegger said, “As for ‘Leaning in’ – that’s just so yesterday. Today it’s all about – lean out, and take a swing. And make it big!”

Esteemed social commentator, writer and lecturer, Jane Caro, will be emceeing the event, bringing her own experience writing regular columns and numerous books on management and leadership into the ring.

The Great Debate has been part of Canberra’s professional and social scene for the past 18 years. With eye-opening discussions, edgy debate and networking with like-minded professionals over lunch, this is an event not to be missed.



[1] Gender Gap Report, 2016