Gender Equity – all the cool boys are championing it.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination, Elizabeth Broderick, listed a number of things she believes will contribute to gender diversity in leadership within Australia. I was particularly interested to see her note the vital importance of engaging men in the agenda:

I firmly believe that we will only see significant gains when men start working with men to solve this problem. After all it is men who dominate nearly every institution in this country, particularly in corporate Australia. If there is to be change, male CEOs and business leaders have to champion it…As the beneficiary of a number of male sponsors across my career I am a great believer in it.

Similarly, if we are serious about improving outcomes for young women, we need to engage young men and have them champion the cause. The potential that the “boy effect” has to initiate and support the “girl effect” was beautifully demonstrated by the students at  Sydney Boys High School. As part of their Community Action Project, they chose to “spread the word and change people’s thinking” and have been sharing their message with other high school students. I am hoping this video will inspire all schools who work with young men:

Want more ideas for inspiring young men? I have posted this moving video featuring Jonathon Walton before but I believe it is well worth revisiting. If a formal presentation does not appeal to the boys at your school, what about slam poetry or rap focused on championing the women in their lives? I’d love to feature more positive initiatives aimed at engaging boys and men – if you know of any, please share them here.

2 thoughts on “Gender Equity – all the cool boys are championing it.

  1. Jane Higgins says:

    Yeah for the boys at Sydney Boys High School!!
    Congratulations on such a wonderful initiative that explores the “great gender divide.” When young men stand up for their fellow sisters I stand proud behind them.

    At The Odyssey Program, we work with boys all over Australia to unpack the implications of gender, how girls feel about themselves and what as young men they can do in a proactive way to address some of the issues facing both genders.

    Until boys and men join us, the girls and women of the world, we will stand alone. How much stronger, warmer and healthier we could be if we were truly equal in all ways.
    You can find out more at

    Great post Dannielle

  2. Francesca says:

    Wow! How inspiring to see boys tackle this issue with such enthusiasm and commitment. I found their comments well researched and insightful. Well done Sydney Boys High.

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