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Diversity Matters at AIM’s International Women’s Day Great Debate

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Across the globe, people recently celebrated International Women’s Day on or around March 8. AIM hosted almost 2,000 attendees and engaged 25 speakers across five events in four days for our International Women’s Day Great Debate.

AIM has been a proud supporter of International Women’s Day in Brisbane for the past 19 years and we successfully launched IWD events in Melbourne and Sydney last year. This year we also launched events in Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

We’re excited about the opportunity to expand the reach of these events to more locations in 2017.

Initiatives such as AIM’s International Women’s Day Great Debate bring the gender diversity discussion to the forefront. It gives us an opportunity to discuss the importance of gender diversity in the workplace.

So why do we need a day dedicated to women?

At AIM, we believe that a diverse workplace – a workplace based on the principles of gender equality – is critical to the success of a business.

And it’s not just AIM that believes this. This view is backed up by numerous large scale studies in employee retention, well-being, culture and engagement.

At the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos it was estimated that – at the current pace of change – true gender parity will finally be achieved in 2133.

Interestingly, at the previous World Economic Forum in 2014 the designated year of parity was 2095. In terms of gender equality, things are getting worse, not better.

In fact, in the course of a single year – a mere 365 days – the journey towards true gender parity had slipped back 38 years.

How about these statistics?

  • Only 22% of Board Members of ASX200 Companies are women.
  • 11% of ASX200 companies have ZERO women on their Boards
  • On average women earn 17.3% less than men for equivalent roles
  • In the Financial Services sector the gender pay gap is closer to 20%

These statistics present a challenge to all of us; a challenge that is best tackled by a collective force. That’s where AIM comes in. AIM believes that Diversity Matters.

AIM Chief Executive David Pich has said diversity matters from the boardroom to the shop floor and it matters in ASX listed companies, and small business.

“Diversity matters because a diverse workforce reflects the diverse nature of Australian society,” Mr Pich said.

“AIM has supported International Women's Day for almost 20 years. Whilst progress has been made during this time, there’s still lots to do to see a workplace that is truly gender balanced.

“There are still too few women in leadership positions and those who 'make it' often have to overcome obstacles that, in AIM's view, are easily removed.

“IWD shines a spotlight on the issue of gender diversity and the AIM Great Debates, whilst engaging and in a sense a little light hearted, project a crucial message; Diversity Matters,”

With so many stand-out moments, the Great Debates were a great opportunity to engage with our Members while supporting some amazing grass roots charities.

In Melbourne, $4,490 was raised for Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service, in Sydney $8,170 was raised for Manly Women’s Shelter, and $31,540 for Micah Projects in Brisbane. That’s a total of $44,200!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this outstanding event. AIM’s vision of better managers, better leaders, for a better society is not possible without the support and collective voice of you, our Members.

To view more photos from our Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane head to our Facebook page.