M2 is, of course, a men’s lifestyle magazine, so we haven’t really covered issues around gender diversity and pay equity so much in the past. As men, we tend to be on the winning side of any lack of diversity and equality issues. But are we really? How does limiting perspective and experience at a governance or executive level really help our businesses adapt and respond to changing markets that are comprised of more than just middle-aged white men? There is growing call for us to look at the situation and actually create change and there is a lot of research out there to suggest that us men don’t actually need to be afraid. More women in management, on boards, and running companies is not only fair enough but there are many reasons why this is better for the economy. Last year’s Westpac & Deloitte report puts a figure of almost a billion dollars on the collective profit increase of New Zealand companies operating under proper diversity.
That’s a big chunk of change for any GDP. Over at M2woman, the team haven’t just been reporting about gender diversity, they are doing something about it. On 16 February, they launched their inaugural Journey to Excellence forum, which included an incredible panel of leading women – Theresa Gattung, Naomi Ballantyne, Justine Smyth, Linda Meade and Tracey Cross – who are at the forefront of business and efforts in this country to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Going by the calibre of what was discussed, things are changing and will continue to change regardless of whether us men want it to or not. I think it’s going to be a whole lot easier for us though if we get behind that change.