Kathryn Greiner: It's time for quotas & Scott Morrison to act

Kathryn Greiner: It’s time for quotas & Scott Morrison to act

Kathryn Greiner
Businesswoman and Liberal party stalwart, Kathryn Greiner, is the latest high profile Australian to publicly change her position on quotas.

In an interview with Fairfax Media Greiner said the party’s continued failure to boost the representation of women above 25% has rendered her historic opposition to quotas as a mechanism for change void.

She now believes that getting more women involved is the only way to drastically address the ‘bro-culture’ that has permeated the party, making it less family friendly now than it was in the 1980s. Greiner has called on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to use his authority to address the problem.

“I think Scott Morrison has been vested with great authority. Now is the time for organisational change and for really sitting down and working out a strategy to encourage more women in the party,” she told Fairfax Media. “It also about taking some of these young apparatchiks and having conversations with them about respect and sexism and understanding what bullying and harassment is all about. It is the conversation that we need to have in the broader community and it’s also the conversation we need to have within the Liberal Party.”

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously argued against quotas. Last year in an interview with Leigh Sales on ABC’s 730 program he said women need ‘support’ not quotas to succeed in the Liberal party.

“I believe in any political organisation it should be a matter of one’s own credibility, exertion, work and merit,” Morrison said in September last year. “I don’t think quotas are a way of removing obstacles.”

As a senior man in the Liberal party opposed to quotas, Morrison is not alone. John Howard, Eric Abetz and Tony Abbott have all publicly expressed their disapproval over the years.

Will the voice of Kathryn Greiner making the case for change help deliver progress? It’s hard to say.

In the same interview explaining her changed position on quotas Greiner also said she supported the call from two former Liberal staffers for the party to introduce robust, transparent and confidential processes for complaints.

Dhanya Mani and Chelsey Potter have told Fairfax Media of alleged sexual assaults they experienced while working for senior politicians. Both say their complaints weren’t adequately handled and were effectively dismissed.

The Prime Minister’s response was that the allegations were “deeply concerning and distressing” and encouraged complainants to go to police.

Speaking to Fran Kelly on Radio National on Wednesday morning Kathryn Greiner said that was simply another way of shutting people up.

 

She said the buck stops with him as leader. Here’s hoping she gets an audience with the PM soon. There is plenty to discuss.

Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox