House debates

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Statements by Members

Women in the Workforce

1:59 pm

Photo of Gai BrodtmannGai Brodtmann (Canberra, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

I was one of the many Canberrans who woke with a shock one Saturday a few weeks ago to front-page images in The Canberra Times of topless women in G-strings serving drinks at a Geocon worksite. The idea that in 2016, a company would think it appropriate to celebrate with strippers on a worksite raises questions about how committed that company really is to promoting gender diversity in the workforce. I encouraged Canberrans to write to Geocon to make their views heard, and I am pleased that many did just that. I have since met with the managing director of Geocon to hear what is being done to ensure this never happens again. Geocon has enlisted David Morrison to serve as a 'high-level mentor' to the company's managing director and it has developed a cultural change strategy. As far as these moves are evidence of a proactive response this clear failure of judgement needs to be recognised and we need to ensure this is just a first step in a very long process towards banishing these attitudes for good. It will take more than a mentor. It will require a sustained and tangible determination to improve. I will keep pushing for progress because these attitudes, cultures and behaviours do not belong on building sites in 2016, they belong in the history books.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.