After eight years, Liz Broderick has made her last public appearance as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner. During her tenure, she’s seen the number of women on boards double, the introduction of paid parental leave and domestic violence become a priority for the government. Despite handing her title on to a yet-to-be-determined person, Broderick says she won’t lose the passion for gender equality that led her to take this position in the first place.
As she leaves office, we reflect back on five quotes that highlight her status as a champion for change.
“Gender equality is not a battle of the sexes, it’s a battle for equality, a battle that men and women must wage side-by-side. The empowerment of women is about the empowerment of humanity.”
Gender inequality does not just affect women, and Broderick has partnered with organisations such as Male Champions for Change to promote awareness of sex discrimination’s wide-reaching effects.
“Work and care should not sit at opposite ends of one hard choice.”
Many women still have to make the choice between a baby and a career. This is a decision no one should be forced to make, says Broderick.
“Inequality will affect those who have less power to a greater degree.”
Minority women and women with disabilities face additional challenges on top of gender inequality. Broderick has advocated for increased awareness about intersectional discrimination and how one-size-fits-all solutions don’t exist.
“We need to rewrite the rules when they perpetuate injustice.”
Broderick often spoke about the need for people to proactively pursue change and solutions that work within their communities, rather than act as passive recipients. She has also spoken about the importance of learning through listening to other’s stories and standing in their shoes.
And finally …
“Gender equality is the unfinished business of the 21st century.”
We have written before about the forward and backward steps in women’s push for equality in the workplace. Although Broderick has made strides, there is still a lot of work to be done, including closing the wage gap, remedying cuts to parental leave and addressing the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace. Her successor has big shoes to fill.