Queensland’s new Parole Board has more women than men.
And the state’s Opposition Corrective Services spokesman Tim Mander is not happy with the lack of diversity.
During estimates last night, Mander asked how the board was “diverse”, given its “major gender imbalance.”
The board is 68% female and 32% male.
Cassandra Heilbronn alerted me to the absolute travesty.
Cassandra’s even offered to step up and be the first Female Champion of Change, given the need to re-shift the balance.
The Brisbane-based Tim Mander is a former NRL referee – where the gender diversity is obviously overwhelming. His profile also boasts that he oversaw the “massive growth of the nationally acclaimed school chaplaincy program.”
He is a former CEO of Scripture Union Queensland (SUQ), “Australia’s largest employers of school chaplains in government schools.”
And funny, Mander doesn’t appear to have previously publicly complained about the diversity of the current SUQ board, currently featuring five men and two women.
As for his own party, there are just eight women among the 41 Liberal National Party MPs.
Cassandra, a senior associate and President of the Women’s Law Association of Queensland, has been waiting for this day all her career – a day when a male starts to question a board that’s dominated by women.
She’s previously committed, on two separate occasions, to be the champion men need to promote their gender diversity cause – should the day ever come when gender equality is no longer an issue.
Indeed, when asked at a university event what she’s doing for men in the legal profession, she offered this: “When they are the only male walking into the Supreme Court applications lists to a room full of females barristers, when they are struggling to find a way to feed their newborn through a two week trial without having to openly state in Court the reason for afternoon recess, when they are spending nights wondering if they should be giving the President’s Address they really want to give as opposed to the Address that should give so as not to cause controversy at their Annual Male in Law Dinner, then I will gladly step up, advocate for them and be the first female champion of change.”
We’re not convinced today’s that day.
Mander’s upset at the pathetic 30% male representation on this board, but most boards (although admittedly government is doing better) have still never cracked the 30% female mark. Many have still never appointed a single female board member.
Mander has this morning apologised for the comments, saying in a statement this morning that “it was never my intention to reflect poorly on the women on the Parole Board.”
The Parole Board appointed 36 professional and community members last month, including seven Indigenous Australians.
“How can you describe these appointments as diverse when there’s such a major gender imbalance?” Mander said yesterday.
“It is obviously not reflective.
“I’m talking about diversity.”
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said Mander’s comment were suggesting an “outrageous inference” that the women appointed did not deserve to be there.