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I was delighted and affirmed to read in the March 15, ’24 article of the Guardian Weekly written by Emma Dawson, executive director of Per Capita, headed Do our male leaders realise what women bring to the economy?

Delighted, because she has written succinctly about the contribution women make to the economy of Australia.

And affirmed because I write several times throughout my book A hell of a lot of glass – achieving gender equality in the workplaces of Australia that retirement is proving good for the gender equality project. Why? Because many of the older leaders of this land have worked hard to maintain the status quo of the patriarchy. And when they leave the executive suite for the last time and get out their fishing lines and golf clubs, their organisations and the economy will be the better for it.

Dawson writes about the ‘fit of the vapours’ that some senior leaders have expressed about things like the recent ‘right to disconnect’ policy and the requirement that the Workplace Gender Equality Agency now release the gender pay gaps of the almost 5,000 businesses that report annually to it about the progress they’re making towards gender equality in their workplaces. Shock horror seems to be the response, because their competitors can now see that they’re paying their women less, rather than using this data as an opportunity for making change for the good of their women and their organisation.

I’m giving Dawson the last word because she expresses this so well: The UN theme for International Women’s Day was ‘Invest in women: accelerate progress’. If the stale, pale males who represent the interests in big business can’t keep up with the long-overdue progress in workplace practices that is finally under way then, frankly, we’ll all be better off when they accelerate into retirement.