Conrad Liveris

About Conrad Liveris

Conrad Liveris is a community advocate and operations analyst working in policy and business development with a focus on gender equality and intergenerational issues.

Please Sir, can we have more women in leadership?

Conrad Liveris wants to see more women in leadership, hell, EVERYONE wants to see more women in leadership…so come on PM, where are they?


Last week across Federal Parliament there was an element of relaxation, and with both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten virtually checked out, their more than capable lieutenants were commanding the troops.

In terms of women in leadership, the chicks were well and truly in charge.

The government was being led by Julie Bishop, the opposition by Tanya Plibersek and in the Speakers’ chair remained the strict Bronwyn Bishop.

It was a level of women in leadership across our political spectrum that Australia has not seen before. However, this places increased pressure on the PM to increase the gender diversity in Cabinet.

Cabinet works best when the breadth and depth of the Australian experience is represented.

This is an institution that works best with a combat of ideas and when egos are challenged – like the undercurrent spat between Bishop and Abbott last week.

Abbott acknowledged in that very awkward Today appearance that this year could have gone better. In his typical style, he reflected upon his time as a Howard Government minister and how their first term could have gone better.

What this government needs is energy and ambition to achieve its policy objectives, which have taken a strident turn for the worst.

Almost everyone has pointed out a number of women who could easily be capable additions to Cabinet.

While the Federal Government doesn’t seem to be listening, the incoming Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, has pointed that his Cabinet will be 45 percent female. Nine out of 20 positions will be headed by women.

Abbott seems to be finding it difficult to emulate the national expectation that women deserve an equal place in power.

We are told that for the sake of “stability” Abbott wants to keep the same team. There are a few under-performers that deserve to be demoted, their performance is arguably not in the best interests of the government or Australia.

A reinvigorated team starts with weeding out the average and encouraging the ambitious – he needs to appoint people who are not pale, stale and male.

We need more women in leadership roles across the political divide, but particularly in the Coalition.

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