Special Reports

Gender Diversity: Education Counters Backlash In Inequality


According to Julie McKay, anyone with ambitions in their careers know that they can only become successful if they allow and surround themselves with people that represent a cross section of society.

Conversations regarding workplace equality are starting to rise. There are benefits for both men and women when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Which is why gender diversity is not something to be feared.

Someday soon, women will have equal opportunities in education, work and in pay. But most reactions, coming from men, present a resentful and angry side of the conversation, cites the Guardian. Which is why Julie McKay recognizes that the movement in diversity is not always peaceful. Especially when it "comes to that section of the community that fears it is being victimized and left behind."

McKay, a former executive director of the United Nations Women, Australia, says that the conversation about diversity did not go well, at first. "We say things like 'diversity is good for business' and we, accidentally, move on and talk about other things - having mistakenly thought everyone in the room agrees with us," says McKay.

In February 2017, she will become a lead partner for diversity and inclusion at PwC. Now, she talks about being shut out of the conversation or are being told that their views are not valued.

Which is why there should be an education process on what diversity is all about and why. The world is still male-dominated. And she stresses that having an un-diverse team is not any better. She calls it a failure of a business if they do not invest in diversity in the workplace.

"What I see from a lot of leaders is that they come out with these bold statements around diversity and inclusion and announce programs and they get a huge backlash," she says. But resistance is a good sign because that means their message is getting through.

Which is why there is emphasis that institutions should offer education about inclusion and diversity. "Men will feel different after being educated," says McKay.

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