Standing up for Canberra

Women In The Workforce

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.

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