How do we ensure our graduates are internationally aware and cross-culturally competent?
The Global Leadership Program (GLP) is trying to do just that through our Colloquium and Think Tank series, a series of workshops, facilitated by external consultants and academics, across Macquarie, including the Department of Geography and Planning, MGSM, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies. With over 45 topics we cover everything from climate change, refugee law and nuclear energy to international business negotiations, social entrepreneurship and public speaking skills.
Earlier this year, we asked our Student Ambassador, James to sit down with Susanne Moore, head of the Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation and Convenor of our Colloquium and Think Tank, “Global Perspectives on Gender Economics” – the first time this topic has been taught at a university.
As the numbers rolled in from the latest election (no this isn’t about Trump), it became clear that this was not a year for women in power.
Despite the leaps our national politicians took in electing a diverse crop of new MPs, from our first Indigenous woman in the House to a record six openly gay representatives, women now figure at one of the lowest levels of representation in the Federal Parliament in years, down five on the Government benches since 2013.
Why aren’t women attracted to roles of power?
“It’s just too hard,” says Susanne Moore. Susanne has worked in corporate and consulting positions across Australia, runs her own business, and has worked hard to change the hierarchies and structures that sought to keep her down. These structures, legislative, corporate or legal, weren’t built for women. Politically, “women argue for their own inequality… this is a classic example of gender economics, [as] politics is not a space that is designed for us… it is designed by and for man, not men.” The political field is important, as it is the primary way that power is distributed in society, and reflected in corporate life also. “The way these organisations implement change” says Susanne, “is through democracy, it’s a collaborative effort, once people start to understand democracy and that ‘I’ve got a voice, and I can speak,’ then things start to happen.”
Susanne’s work attempts to shine a light on the positives of full participation of the broad expressions of gender in our economy, but she is keen to establish that “it’s not a conversation about women, it’s not even about gender, it’s about economics. You want to get the most out of your people, then you have to understand the intersection of people.”
It’s trite to say that gender diversity, not only of women but of men and other genders, contributes to superior outcomes across any field, yet so many organisations, governments included, lag behind. Nonetheless, gender identities that are “not men” account for more than 50% of economic activity. To tap into this productivity and the potential for innovation, Susanne has built the understanding of gender economics as a new field from the ground up, incorporating sociology, commerce, politics, gender studies and economics.
Read the full interview on the GLP blog.
Written by James Bowers, GLP student in a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, International Relations and Spanish.
Do you have an innovative topic to share with future global leaders?
With over 3000 undergraduate, postgraduate and study abroad/exchange students in the Program, the GLP is always looking to expand the topics we have on offer. If your teaching and research is relevant to global leadership we’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.