The role of Sex Discrimination Commissioner, vacant since September when Liz Broderick finished her term, has finally been filled. Thanks government!
Kate Jenkins was the lead partner with Herbert Smith Freehills, specialising in equal opportunity practice for ten years, and was heavily involved in their pro bono community program. She has been the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner since 2013. She led the review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour, in Victoria Police, which uncovered appalling behaviour at all levels of Victoria Police.
She also followed Liz Broderick’s lead and convened the Victorian Male Champions of Change to encourage and support men actively participating in the fight for gender equality.
Jenkins was one of seventy people considered for the role and was chosen from a short list of seven.
She said her priorities will be focusing on the scourge of violence against women and the gender wealth disparity.
The federal Minister for Women, Michaela Cash said, in a statement
Ms Jenkins has worked closely with a wide range of organisations, including the Victoria police, to address issues of entrenched discrimination and harassment,” they said. “She has also advanced gender equality in all areas of life with a particular focus on diversity in sport, through the Fair Go Sport and Play By the Rule campaigns.
We look forward to Ms Jenkins’ contribution to the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission where she will extend her productive relationships across the Australian government and the broader Australian community, building on the outstanding work of her predecessor.
Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs, who had been covering the role while it was vacant, what typically gracious about her exclusion from the selection panel and clearly delighted by the appointment
She brings a wealth of expertise to the commission, especially law, and I am confident that she will continue to contribute greatly to our work in advancing gender equality in Australia.
Andrew Bolt was appalled by the sexism of appointing “yet another woman” to the role
Only one sex gets appointed to a job that is supposed to end this kind of preferencing of a gender in employment.
The rest of us can be confident that Kate Jenkins brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and understanding to a role she’s earned after decades of advocating for equal opportunity and women’s right to be free of harassment and violence.