Published by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra

Research and Stories through a Gendered Lens

BroadTalk with Licia Heath

Mar 4, 2021 | Podcast, Feature

Have you ever arrived at work, taken a good look around and felt your heart sink? Perhaps in one of those moments you’ve realised your personal values, just don’t fit the corporate lingo or company goals.

Financial advisor Licia Heath was on a yacht, on Sydney Harbour, sipping champagne with clients when that penny dropped. But it wasn’t just her job that was the problem, it was government policy and the lack of women in politics shaping that policy, that began to eat away at her.

With only 31 percent of federal MP’s female, Australia ranks a poor 50th in the world for women in parliament. In 120 years, Australia has had just 1 female Prime Minister, Julia GillardIronically, Gillard is perhaps most famously remembered for her impassioned speech on the floor of parliament house in 2012, in which she emphatically called out sexism and misogyny in Australian politics.

Nevertheless, while the impact of women’s absence from political leadership has become a common theme in media and public discussion, the actual representation of women has been slow to shift. Licia decided someone had to garner the passion and energy in all our talk, and turn it into action. And that someone was her!

Not only did she step up for one of the toughest by-elections in the nation, but when she failed to win, Licia turned her efforts to teaching other women how they too could and should have a go. She is now CEO of the not-for-profit group Women For Election Australia, and has trained hundreds of women how to rattle and shake their inner political clout!

In this 2021 series of BroadTalk, journalist Virginia Haussegger tackles the policy and the personal issues around gender equality, as she asks are there yet? And if not, why not.

BroadTalk is produced by Martyn Pearce. You can find more BroadTalk discussion on our Facebook group, the BroadTalk RoundTable.

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