PMI Australia Panel Discussion: Gender Diversity – Fact or Fiction
Women in the IT and project management sectors have historically been seen as being under represented and marginalised. As non-traditional professions for women these sectors have often appeared to have displayed a culture of hidden agendas to ensure the status quo is maintained.
To counter this situation programs have been developed to provide women with equitable opportunities in male-dominated sectors. One such organisation making huge inroads in Victoria is Vic ICT for Women who provide mentoring, training, showcase role models and connection opportunities for females in or interested in IT through their award-winning, record-breaking programs.
Similar organisation in other states are WIC (ACT), WIT (QLD) and FITT (NSW).
However, have these programs addressed the root cause; have they started to marginalise men; and do women actually want to be corralled into highly visible and potentially controversial ‘equal opportunity’ programs?
The Australian Government is implementing a series of reforms, and industry associations have instigated initiatives to promote inclusive practices for female members of the professions. The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) recently released a report recommending how to promote gender balance and inclusion by motivating greater involvement through informal and formal programs, supported by education and training. The Project Management Institute (PMI) fosters initiatives to enhance the careers of women and girls to help them fully participate in society. The OECD recently released a report at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Empowering women in the digital age – Where do we Stand?
Are these initiatives polarising women and men in the workforce and possibly diminishing the opportunities to legitimately provide a balanced environment for all? Are the policies effectively strengthening the position for individuals to respectfully manage their environment to achieve success collaboratively, regardless of gender?
This panel will review and debate the merits of the current programs promoting gender balance for the professions.