The truth is the numbers are directly proportional to the number of candidates (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013). Thus, it is women themselves that are holding back equality. This, we are told, is why we need quotas and Emily’s List. Women are not coming forward because Patriarchy has taught them not to.
It is this mentality that informs the latest initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission with their Toolkit of Strategies to Include Women in “Male Dominated Industries” (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013). The industries in question are mining, utilities and construction.
In 1842 the British Mines and Collieries Act outlawed the practice of sending the oppressed, i.e. females, down the mines to work (UK Parliament, undated). The terrible conditions were suitable for oppressors only. For decades after this around one thousand men and boys continued to be killed every year in British mining accidents.
Similar rules, laws and norms were instigated throughout Western society to keep the damsels from harm. For this reason, women, generally, do not fall from skyscrapers under construction; women also do not find out the hard way which wires are still live in overhead powerlines; and if there are deaths in a mining accident today, they will almost certainly still be all male.
You could be forgiven, because of the Toolkit’s title, for thinking that Elizabeth Broderick, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, is recommending measures to get girls on the jackhammers again. In reality, of course, she is arguing for women in senior management of these industries.
This is not Human Rights, but social engineering at its most devious. What gives the game away is the Toolkit itself. They are giving advice on Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Employee Retention, Supplier Management, Business Joint Venture Management, Corporate websites, Marketing, Client Contract Negotiation, Corporate Citizenship and the list goes on and on?
I don’t know how they find the time for Human Rights.
In this case they only find time for some humans to get rights. Broderick cites a Goldman Sachs study which declares that women are under-represented in these male dominated industries (Goldman Sachs JB Were Investment Research, 2009). The same study also tells us the Health Care and Social Assistance industry has only 20% men.
Do the men get a toolkit? We all know they don’t.
The toolkit, in amongst all that good advice, is recommending things like better pay and conditions in order for women to take part in these industries. These recommendations are astonishing to say the least. They are the kind of recommendations that anyone can make when they don’t have to actually do any of the work themselves.
For example, just how do women, or men for that matter, work from home in these industries? Does Sally build a wall in her backyard and the construction company pays to have the wall transported to site at no extra cost to the customer?
As for more part-time and flexible hours work in the mining sector, how does that work? How many suburban mothers want to fly six hours to Outback Australia so they can get in two hours digging, and fly six hours back again? How much extra does that cost the company?
Of course, for these experts on everything, these are mere details that the minions, i.e. men, as punishment for their oppressive ways, can simply attend to and have ready before the next hard question arises. In reality, they neither know nor care. Where they pay attention to the detail is in senior management.
It is also worthy of note that the current pay and conditions for bricklayers, carpenters, etc. are currently good enough to attract men, but not good enough to attract women. What does that say about the value that men put on themselves and their work? Where is the toolkit for these self-esteem issues?
Goldman Sachs’ study also reveals that females are doing better in education from school right through to university. The fact is education is no longer engaging boys as it geared more and more towards girls (Groth, 2012).
This is where the ideology really becomes a force for evil. No matter what “progress” is made, there must always be Patriarchy for Feminism to exist. Therefore, no matter how much boys fall behind, women’s issues must be a priority. If women are in front then Patriarchy is over; and therefore no need for Emily’s List, quotas or Sex Discrimination Commissioners.
That is why, rather than a Toolkit for the education system to give boys a hand, Broderick focuses on “male dominated” industries.
The Goldman Sachs’ study has a few highlights of its own.
The document estimates that, should women be introduced into these industries, GDP will increase 11%. To back this up, they provide a bewildering set of estimates of increases in other countries: “US GDP could be boosted by as much as 10%, Eurozone GDP by 14% and Japanese GDP by 21%.” Other than showing they can guess a lot, what does it really prove?
The answer might be hidden in the next two gems.
Firstly, the document states that “[W]omen represent…at least 50% of all consumer spending decisions.” Now, there isn’t a serious marketing book written in the last 50 years that would put that figure at less than 70%.
The reason for the fudge, of course, is because it’s hard to complain about oppression when you are spending more money, and presumably therefore have more money, than your oppressor does.
The other nugget is where they come across a statistic that they have to confront in claiming all this increase to GDP. Apparently, the statistics (they don’t say which) show that “[m]ale productivity has historically averaged over double that of female productivity over the past 30 years.”
Their solution is: “We refuse to believe”. How simple is that!
As for Broderick’s Utopia, the problems for industry will only begin with the substandard women that quotas will bring into politically correct senior management. As Janet Albrechtsen recently pointed out in the Australian, the quota system leads to wheeling and dealing which leads to all kinds of political appointees, and not just the women (Albrechtsen, 2013).
As merit just gets lower and lower on the criteria list for any job, the standard of appointees, male and female, just gets lower and lower.
The real nightmare will start when the business is going bust and they can’t get them out for fear of lawsuits and feminist boycotts.
Albrechtsen, J., 2013. Gender wars can’t help the Labor cause any more than a quota PM. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/gender-wars-cant-help-the-labor-cause-any-more-than-a-quota-pm/story-e6frg7bo-1226657317732
[Accessed 17 June 2013].
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013. Democracy, Governance and Citizenship. [Online]
Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1370.0~2010~Chapter~Standing%20for%20office%20(4.6.4)http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1370.0~2010~Chapter~Standing%20for%20office%20(4.6.4)
[Accessed 18 June 2013].
Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013. Women in male-dominated industries: A toolkit of strategies. [Online]
Available at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/women-male-dominated-industries-toolkit-strategies
[Accessed 18 June 2013].
Goldman Sachs JB Were Investment Research, 2009. Australia’s Hidden Resource: The Economic Case for Increasing Female Participation (2009). [Online]
Available at: www.womenonboards.org.au/pubs/reports/091130gsjbw.pdf
[Accessed 18 June 2013].
Groth, M., 2012. Meeting men: Male Intimacy and College Men Centers. [Online]
Available at: http://newmalestudies.com/OJS/index.php/nms/article/view/9
[Accessed 12 December 2013].
UK Parliament, undated. Reforming society in the 19th Century. [Online]
Available at: http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/livinglearning/19thcentury/overview/coalmines/
[Accessed 18 June 2013].