Building Up The Numbers

Building Up The Numbers

Victoria Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell

Women Making A Difference

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has drawn on her personal journey from local government Councillor to Minister in her speech opening the Local Government Women’s Professional Development Forum today.

Speaking to more than 200 women who serve Victoria’s communities in various roles, Minister Powell urged a continued focus on how to achieve equality between men and women in local government.

“I’m fully aware that the local government sector has a fair distance to travel before men and women will be found in equal numbers in both the elected representatives and the ranks of senior management.” Mrs. Powell said.

There are only 18 female mayors in Victoria, just 30 % of councillors are female and there are 5 councils with no female councillors currently sitting.

 

Only 18 % of Victoria’s 79 councils have female CEOs and research indicates that just 20 % of senior management in local government are women.

“We need to do better than we currently do in assisting women to rise to the most senior positions in local government.” Mrs. Powell said.

“With women accounting for more than 50 % of graduates from law schools, medical schools and economic faculties the days when women lacked the qualifications or experienceto take on the top jobs in our society are long behind us.”

“Other impediments are restricting the climb of women to top of the professional tree and we need to identify and remove those obstacles.” Mrs. Powell said.

To help address the issue the Victorian Government has partnered with the Victorian Local Governance Association on the Think Women for Local Government 2012 project.

The project is based on the three principles of gender equality, diversity and women’s active citizenship and its aim is to increase the number and diversity of female candidates in the 2012 local government elections.