Addressing the gender imbalance: Women in Council workshop
Published: 19 Mar 2021 9:54am
Wagga Wagga City Council is aiming to help address the gender imbalance of elected councillors by running a free workshop for women considering standing for council in the 2021 NSW Local Government Elections.
The workshop will be presented by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) on Saturday 10 April 2021, with several current female councillors from across the state speaking, including NSW ALGWA President Councillor Cassandra Coleman.
Director Community Janice Summerhayes said holding the workshop was an important step towards achieving diversity in community leadership.
“Both women and people from diverse backgrounds have been historically under-represented in local councils, right across NSW,” Ms Summerhayes said.
“Despite the fact that women make up over half of NSW’s population, and despite the varied and key roles women play in our community, they continue to be under-represented in local government – only 30 per cent of NSW councillors are women.
“This affects us all, because when councils are debating and making decisions, many community voices are missing from those conversations.
“The aim of this workshop is to encourage women to consider running as candidates, and ensure they have an accurate understanding of what’s involved. There are a lot of misconceptions about the amount of time involved and potential barriers that may not actually exist.
“Our workshop will help dispel a lot of those myths and give women the information they need to take that next step and run for office.”
General Manager Peter Thompson said Council recognised the importance of equality between women and men as a fundamental aspect of a just, inclusive and diverse community.
“We are committed to promoting equal opportunities for the full participation of women and men in all aspects of public and political life,” Mr Thompson said.
“Council works hard to promote and achieve gender equity, because it is important to have gender-balanced councils that reflect the diversity of our community and to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes in a decision-making environment.
“It is equally important that all women and men feel a high sense of security that they can pursue their careers in a safe, responsive and supporting workplace.”
Council is also holding seminars on 21 April and 4 May for all potential candidates.
For more information visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/elections