Congratulations to everyone who was awarded Australia Day Honours this year. This post in no way is to take away from the awards and the good work that has been done (and is still being done for the most part) by these people. This post is to look at the stark gender disparity in these awards, to draw attention to the fact that despite women making up half of Australia’s population, we are recognised at a significantly smaller proportion than men.
This is really a data post, there will be graphs and tables, and links, and it will be short, because apart from pointing out the obvious issues, it’s a bit hard to say much else apart from NOMINATE MORE WOMEN EVERYONE.
I pulled the list of awardees from the ABC website, pasted them into Excel and then started noting their gender. This is problematic for anyone who doesn’t identify as male and female, and may have resulted in me misgendering someone who is gender queer. I am unaware of any genderqueer people being honoured in the very quick research I’ve put into this, so if I have made a mistake, please let me know.
Where I was unable to identify the gender of the honouree at first glance, I went and looked them up. The Sydney Morning Herald listed the titles of the awardees, sometimes making it easier, and where they had a gender neutral title, I went looking for them online, until I found a biography or photo.
So, the data breaks down as follows:
|Women Awarded||Men Awarded||Total Awards||% Women|
Half the population, less than a third of the awards in total.
Inga Ting at the Sydney Morning Herald has written:
Even if every woman nominated for an Order of Australia award this Australia Day had been successful, women would still have taken home only 40 per cent of awards, figures from the Governor-General’s office show.
Women are more likely than ever to succeed when they are nominated, but they remain no more likely to be nominated than a decade ago, according to historical data.
This year, 75 per cent of women nominated in the general division of the Order of Australia Award made the Honours List, compared with 72 per cent of women nominated in the five years to 2016 and 59 per cent in the five years to 2006.
What can do you do to help? Think of the women in your life, communities, schools, workplaces, etc that do amazing things. Nominate them for an award. Work with others to put them up in lights for the great things that they do. Let’s start recognising each other and winning these awards which we clearly deserve for the work we do.