Barrie Seppings
Unilever – News & Views, Uncategorized
2015 resumes the battle for gender equality

Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook and author of ‘Lean In) continued to push the agenda of women in the workplace with an opinion piece in the New York Times that drew the parallel between housework and ‘administrative’ office work. Notable quote: “Professional women in business, law and science are still expected to bring cupcakes, answer phones and take notes.”

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Also continuing to take the hill was Emma Watson (some people still need to be reminded that she was, for a time, Hermoine Grainger), who follwed up her HeForShe launch from late last year with another address on gender inequality, this time at Davos. Watson has drawn inspriation from the support she has received so far, claiming to be ‘stunned’ that her original speech has been viewed more than 11 million times.

In a major delivery of schadenfreude, the man who defeated Australia’s first ever female Prime Minister is now fighting for his own political life. A series of increasingly embarrassing public statements have forced Tony Abbott’s own party to move against him. In an end-of-year interview, Abbott named the repeal of the carbon tax as his biggest contribution for women in 2014, saying “women are particularly focused on the household budget.” The response on twitter, in particular, was swift and merciless.

And while Uber continues to get it wrong on so many levels (sexist ads in France, threatening journalists in Sillicon Valey), peer-to-peer transport startup Lyft earned a big wrap from Fast Company magazine for their recent executive hires. According to the report, 14 of Lyft’s 30 executives at the director level and above are women, and these include leaders in engineering and operations.

It seems change is possible. We just have to want it.

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