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Australia Territory lifts target for women in leadership

Australia Territory lifts target for women in leadership

Australia Territory lifts target for women in leadership

16 January 2019

The Salvation Army in Australia is leading the way when it comes to gender equity in leadership positions.

By Lauren Martin

The Australia Territory Gender Equity Committee has successfully recommended that the target for women in leadership be lifted from a minimum of 30 per cent to 40 per cent.

After looking at recent statistics of female Salvation Army officers and staff in leadership throughout Australia, the committee found that The Salvation Army was already meeting or getting close to meeting the 30 per cent minimum target for women.

Colonel Julie Campbell, National Gender Equity Advocate, said it was encouraging to see progress being made.

“The committee made a recommendation to the territorial board that we increase the target to a minimum of 40 per cent for women and a minimum of 40 per cent for men on the territorial board, committees, councils and all levels of leadership, with the remaining 20 per cent to be made up of either male or female appointments.
                                          
“Eventually we’d love to see this filter throughout the movement,” Colonel Campbell said. “Many of our social centres already demonstrate diversity. We don’t expect that every centre, every corps and every department will look the same, but what we are asking is: ‘Please, look around and consider, who are the best people for every role and ensure the skills and expertise of women are valued and acknowledged?’”

The territory is also developing a range of resources to remind people of the biblical perspective of gender equity. “God’s intention is for us all to flourish; he made us all in his image,” said Colonel Campbell.

Twenty female Salvation Army officers have also been undertaking a Women in Leadership pilot where their skills are being recognised and they are coached and given opportunities for further development. Colonel Campbell says The Salvation Army personnel and human resources departments are “looking at ongoing development opportunities for both men and women and for both staff and officers”.

Colonel Campbell said while gender equity across The Salvation Army world might take a little longer, she said here in Australia people could expect to see a significant shift in the near future. “I would think in the next 12 months to two years we will see lots of things happening. Already there are women being appointed into roles that have traditionally been male appointments, so it is happening. This is not about devaluing men, however, we want to provide more opportunities to have the right people in the right positions.”

She said research showed that greater gender inclusion leads to greater levels of innovation. “Our leadership should reflect our broader community and, therefore, offer more highly contextualised ministry decisions. In the future, when these changes come to fruition, decision-making will be more representative of the gender make-up of our Army, which will ensure better decisions are made for our future.”

Comments

  1. I totally agree with the above comment... No woman wants to be considered for a position of leadership just to fill a quota! This is degrading. She is to be there on merit !
    As an organisation, and as APART OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Tha Salvation Army from its inception has honoured the leadership of capable AND GODLY WOMEN. She need not fall captive to the pressures of the surrounding culture which requires quotas: that’s syncretism. She just needs to follow the ways of Jesus, who honoured and liberated and gave worth to women... As a Corps Officer, I don’t know what you call the ministry I had if not LEADERSHIP on an equal and shared footing with my husband...

    In my opinion, it is unnecessary nonsense to give focus to this . Even historically, TSA has honoured women in senior leadership as World Leaders... ‘Generals’

  2. What’s this obsession with quotas? Why isn’t it best person for the job? No one cares if someone in a position is male or female, just as long as they’re competent.

  3. Congratulations! Good news. Hope you will document and share your experience of this journey, since it seems to be difficult. 👍

  4. Major Pamela Shiridzinodya
    Major Pamela Shiridzinodya

    This is a good way to support women. Indeed equity is important because every woman can play a role in uplifting the army.
    As a student of Gender studies i really appreciate this move and if encouraged.

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