Gender status on the agenda

By Riverine Herald

THE tough topic of gender inequality in the workplace was tackled at a training session at Echuca Library on Tuesday.

Organised by Campaspe Family Violence Action Group and delivered by Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, the session aimed to promote equality and respect in the workplace.

‘‘We discussed unconscious bias and gender stereotypes, explored strategies for improving equality in workplaces and shared ideas on how we can call out attitudes or behaviours that don’t support gender equality,’’ Women’s Health Loddon Mallee senior gender equality specialist Dr Jessica Crofts (pictured) said.

‘‘We also examined violence against women, gender norms including masculinity and how gender equality benefits women, men, workplaces and communities.’’

Representatives attended from a range of local hubs including Campaspe Shire Council, Echuca Regional Health and Njernda Aboriginal Corporation.

‘‘It was mostly women, but that’s because most of the organisations that attended are female-dominated,’’ Dr Crofts said.

‘‘But we always endeavour to let men know they have a massive role to play in gender equality.’’

The training session recommended practical steps to support gender equality.

‘‘It’s all about structural changes they can make to support more women in leadership - for instance, making workplaces more flexible for parents by providing paternity leave for men,’’ Dr Crofts said.

‘‘We had a really positive response. Locals are really interested in how we can turn the abstract concept of equality into action and practical change.’’