“A true leader is a person whose influence inspires people to do what is expected of them to do. You cease to be a leader when you manipulate with your egos instead of convincing by your inspirations.” – Israelmore Ayivor
On Sunday, 4 August, the Prime Minister called the date of the Federal election. Irrespective of political leanings, the next month is going to be of momentous importance for those who want real change in the equity landscape of the Australian workplace.
Or is it?
Recently I received a communication from a senior political figure regarding a topic I raised in another blog post – Bias Binding. As I started to read through the e-mail, at first I was quite excited – I thought ‘yes, finally, a politician who wants to open an honest dialogue about the need for workplace reform – hooray!’ Sadly though, that ‘hooray’ soon became tinged with cynicism as I realised the response was very much a formulaic ‘insert textbook answer here’ and not addressing the points I had raised at all. So – I replied, asking for a more meaningful conversation.
I have yet to hear anything back.
Bearing in mind the dialogue had been opened not by myself, but by this individual, I am afraid it did not fill me with confidence in terms of what to expect from either side post-Election promises. The rhetoric is there – but what is actually going to be delivered? More to the point, how can we expect our business leaders and change-makers to walk the talk if they are not getting support from those who set the goal-posts in terms of child care provisions, work-related gender equity and parental leave?
The Federal government is not Big Brother – or Big Sister for that matter. We are a democracy. We, as voters, choose to a certain extent who is in power – if you take out factional plays and pre-selection. But the overwhelming mood at the moment seems to be that of ‘all care and no responsibility’. When will we see results and not just riled-up ‘he said, she said’ across a sea of microphones?
I come back to the main point of this post. Parental leave. Child care. Workplace equity. What is going to be promised in terms of reform in these areas; what is going to actually be delivered.
I may yet be pleasantly surprised. Tomorrow may bring with it an e-mail apologising for the delay in responding to my request for further information on actual policy with respect to the above issues. I understand the demands of running an incredibly busy office at a time when everyone wants an answer from you about anything and everything.
And there we have it. We all understand those demands. We are all working far harder than we should; because we choose to and because in some cases we thrive on it. And those of us who really want change?
We make sure we answer.