It’s International Women’s Day 2021 and we are again seeing the usual comments regarding women in every area. Community Organisations are just as relevant as the workplace. It’s ridiculous to think in this day and age that women are not competent enough to serve at all levels of a Community Organisation.
On this International Women’s Day 2021, it is worthwhile reflecting on the gender balance in your Community Organisation. It is worth asking yourself some of these following questions, but don’t be afraid to add more of your own.
- Is our Community Organisation gender diverse? Do we have a good mix of all genders involved.
- Does our Community Organisation have a reasonable gender balance on the Committee? Are we getting a balanced view of all our members by having good representation at committee level?
- Are women and their skills valued by the organisation?
- How do we demonstrate the recognition of the contribution of women to our community organisation?
- Do we have clauses in our Code of Conduct about the treatment of women in our organisation?
As a male writing this piece, I have most certainly seen very poor behaviour by males in community organisations. I’ve seen women’s opinions ignored, comments about their image, belittling behaviour, expecting them to fill roles like secretary or catering because “women are good at those jobs” and other disturbing behaviour as well. Quite often this behaviour by men is not necessarily verbal. It can be in the form of poor body language or even silent behaviour as depicted in the image of men leaving parliament when Julia Banks resigned.
There is no question about men and women being different. That’s a biological fact. But it certainly doesn’t mean they are lesser human beings. I’d like to think I’m quite handy on a computer, but I’m sure I’d make a lousy astronaut or lion tamer!
So on this It’s International Women’s Day 2021, give some thought to your community organisation and the incredibly valuable role women may play within that organisation.