Wednesday, 16 April 2008

0.3% difference of PC

According to Piers Akerman's article, the 0.3% of extra women at the 2020 Rudd summit, or "gabfest" should make each woman their question her own merit as a speaker.

Bernald Salt, a KPMG summiteer, noted that women make up only 50.3% of the population, but the summit had 50.6% female delegates. He ranted then that the summit was preoccupied with political correctness, and that the percentage was carefully engineered.

"If I was a woman at the summit, I would now wonder whether I was selected on merit or whether I was selected on gender."

Now, certainly the figures look very engineered, but come on - out by 0.3%!

Let's look at some other places where people are suppose to represent the public - say Parliament. I think we've overdosed on the testosterone there, and there's a good more than 49.7% reps in Parliament. But do male MPs walk around questioning whether they were voted ini on political correctness or merit. Not bloody likely. In fact, I don't think we've heard a peep about it in the papers, that male MPs should question their validity as Parliamentarians because there are too any males and they were just put in there because of political correctness but someone overdid the numbers.

How about board meetings, with a stronghold of men, or the High Court - still with more males than females?

It says more about the sexism boundaries in this country that Bernald Salt would bring into question a woman's merit merely over the fact there are a few more delegates at a summit than males when we do not question the merit of men (and I wonder if Mr Salt does) when there are more men than women in decision making or representative groups.

Note: I found this interesting piece on KPMG (Bernald Salt's company). The US branch announced the partners it admitted very proudly on its website, and seemed to put an emphasis on how it welcomed women and ethnic minorities:

"The new partners come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, with more than one third of the new class comprised of women and ethnic minorities."

Gee, 1/3 which are from women and ethnic minorities. Which means, I assume, 2/3 are male and in the ethnic majority. But should we question the merit of that 2/3 ... after all ...


Maria said...

The easy comeback to the question about the 2/3 (and the menbers of the High Court, etc) is to talk about the percentage of women, etc wh have actually been that educated and climbed that high in that profession, rather than just "What percentage male v female are in the population?"

However, the same criteria could apply to Mr Salt's comment - how many men vs women are qualified, knowledgeable, compassionate, speak well, represent Australian needs and wants, fulfil the image of Australia or whatever the heck Rudd wants at his summit? It might have the percentage not at 50.3 percent Aussie women, 49.7% Aussie male. Since the criteria for the summit is so airy fairy you'd probably have a difficult job figuring that one out. It probably comes out "Whoever was picked is someone right for the summit ..." which probably gets you the percentage we have right now ...

Maria said...

Oh, and as someone commented about Piers Akerman - he's probably written the article because he's bitter because he wasn't picked!

Maria said...

OK, it's just me commenting and commenting ...

But I had to post this:

I saw a comment in the paper today from an old lecturer of mine from the University of Sydney Law School, Professor Patricia Apps:

Bernald Salt, attendee at the 2020 Summit says, "If I were a woman at the Summit, I would now wonder whether I was selected on merit or whether I was selected on gender". Really. If I were Bernald Salt at the Summit I would know I'd been selected on gender.