From The Age today I found the following two articles which just staggered me. The first is about train level crossings, titled “Liberal Seats Gets Crossing Priority“:
A TRANSPORT Department list of the most dangerous railway level crossings has been ignored by the Baillieu government, which has instead directed millions of dollars towards upgrading crossings in Liberal-held seats.
Well thank the FSM that the Baillieu government has it’s priorities sorted out. It’s much more about rewarding those who voted this current government in, and far less about saving the lives of Victorians. I mean really, I should have guessed, it’s quite obvious when you think about it… no wait, it’s not.
The second is about female representation on government boards, titled “Ballieu wants more women on boards“:
THE Baillieu government has adopted a target to have women filling at least half of all positions on state boards, but has ruled out imposing quotas because ”positive discrimination” won’t always lead to the best person being picked for the job.
The Coalition has adopted a statewide target to get women into 50 per cent of government board positions, which are often regarded as a stepping stone to senior roles in the corporate sector, where women are largely under-represented.
”Targets can be very effective because it focuses the mind in making sure women are actively considered, and that their merit is taken seriously … rather than say, ‘well this spot has to go to a woman instead of the best person for the job’,” Ms Wooldridge told The Sunday Age.
I considered blogging about this when the last discussion of women on boards hit the airwaves, but I ran out of time and energy and brain. Positive discrimination/Affirmative Action/whatever you’re going to call it does have it’s place. Because if your colleagues on any given board are male, then actually thinking outside that typically “white male is the best for the job” box is rather hard. And if you are presented with two equally qualified candidates, one male, one female, then far too often the individual selected is the same as the rest of the make-up of the board – which in Australia is generally white men.
So why not put a quota in place? It won’t hurt, it will give you good quality candidates that you didn’t think of to start with, and if it all falls into a heap, then you can reverse it. Ah, the joys of being able to change your mind.