Women of influence leader Moya Dodd speaks up on #metoo movement

Australia should step up their efforts with the #metoo movement through gender auditing and not just rely on victims to come forward, says the most recent winner of The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Moya Dodd, 2016 overall winner of 100 Women of Influence and law firm Gilbert + Tobin partner, said since she has won the award, one of the two major developments has been the rise of the #metoo movement.

“When you see harassment and assault victims speaking up for dozens and dozens women time and again, it is sobering and you wonder, ‘How is it that these voices were not able to speak before? How is it that we were not heard?’,” Ms Dodd said at the launch of this year’s 100 Women of Influence Awards on Tuesday.

Ms Dodd told The Financial Review some of the revelations from the #metoo movement have been “stomach-churning”.

She said it should not be incumbent upon victims to come forward with complaints when there is a widespread problem of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

‘Discrimination laws are amiss’

“I think one of the sad things about discrimination is that reform rarely occurs without complaints and usually that process is very difficult for victims.

“Personally I think discrimination laws are amiss here because it’s a complaints based system.

“So if anyone is a victim of discrimination and wants to change the system […] then they have to go forward with the complaint and impale upon the system at great personal costs.”

 She said it would be preferable to see institutions conducting a gender audit, rather than just relying on victims to come forward.

“There’s something about having to sign your name on the report that causes minds to focus on whether the system is truly fair. And that is a much fairer way to get a better system than to wait for complaints to come in and for victims to impale themselves on that system.

Women’s sports taking off

Companies with more than 100 or more employees already have to report on gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

 On sports, Ms Dodd said since the last time she won the award it was encouraging to see women’s sports grow in popularity.

“Women’s sports has really come to the fore and it’s been extraordinary after all this time finally it’s beginning to take centre stage,” she said.

Ms Dodd is an executive committee member of the Asian Football Federation and a former member of the FIFA Council.

But she said there was still a significant gap between women and men’s sports and sponsors, broadcasters, clubs and fans should work together to address the gap.

 “If you’re a company that sponsors sport, you should be asking yourself, ‘What is the ratio of my spend between men’s and women’s sports?’ Because if that is out of line with your corporate values or customer brand values, then you will be hearing about it at your next AGM or social media,” she said.

Focus on women’s achievement

The Financial Review editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury said the award aims to identify a diverse group of women championing change in business and the broader society.

“We want to uncover and promote women who have devoted time and energy to hep and encourage other women in their industry or their field of endeavour and to fight for change every year,” he said.

 “A lot of people these days talk about ‘what is your purpose?’, ‘what are you here for?’

“Our purpose is to promote widespread opportunity and prosperity so encouraging the advancement and achievement of women fits very much in with what we think is our higher purpose.”

Past overall winners of the Women of Influence award include Carnival Australia executive chairman Ann Sherry, Foundation for Young Australians chief executive Jan Owen and renowned skin cancer researcher Adele Green.

This is the sixth year of the 100 Women of Influence awards, which recognise and celebrate Australia’s most influential and visionary women across 10 categories: arts, culture and sport, board and management, business and entrepreneur, diversity and inclusion, global, innovation, local and regional, public policy, social enterprise and not-for-profit and young leader.

The 2018 awards will be presented by Qantas and announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on October 17.

Entries can be made at: http://www.afrwomenofinfluence.com.au/awards/ and must be submitted by Tuesday July 10.

If you wish to nominate someone else, the deadline is Friday July 6. The nominee will then be alerted by email and must enter by July 10.

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