Summary publication

Male Champions of Change


November 2013


Listening, Learning, Leading

Dear colleagues,

The Male Champions of Change collaboration has the ambition to achieve significant and sustainable increases in the representation of women in leadership in Australia.

Established in April 2010 by Elizabeth Broderick, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, our group comprises 21 CEOs, department heads and non-executive directors from across business and federal government.

In our 2011 letter to you, we wanted to start a conversation about what we could all do as leaders to achieve faster progress on women’s representation at senior levels. We were heartened by the response, with many conversations and over 100,000 downloads.

Over the last two years we have shared ideas with each other and focused on taking action within our organisations. We have benefitted substantially from the research and insights of many – none more so than the views of our own people, which we sought as part of this process.

When we step back from this experience, we see four themes for leaders wanting to attract and advance more women and capitalise on the advantages of a gender-balanced organisation. These themes are: 1) stepping up as leaders; 2) creating accountability; 3) disrupting the status quo; and 4) dismantling barriers for carers.

Here we describe what we have tried and how it is going so far. None of us has everything right. We share a frustration that women’s representation in leadership hasn’t increased as much as we would like. However, we sense that genuine momentum for change, together with focused action, is translating into meaningful progress.

We trust that sharing our experiences widely will help support progress in your organisations and across our community.