The Roundtable: Women in politics, workplace bullying and beyond

Melbourne School of Government Assistant Director Dr Avery Poole joined Hugh Riminton on Radio National’s ‘The Roundtable’ to discuss the alleged bullying culture in Australian politics and how this may be impacting women aspiring to elected office.

“We are very concerned that talented, competent women who have passionate views about policy positions and contemporary issues may be dissuaded from running for elected office,” Dr Poole said.

Dr Poole said the University’s Pathways to Politics program encourages women to aspire to elected office, and may help reduce the gender imbalance in Australian politics by giving women key skills to “navigate the party machinery” and the political environment.

“We need to take a serious look at the culture and the context,” Dr Poole said.

“About 30% of Federal parliamentarians are women, and it’s even lower in the Lower House.

“If we had more women in Federal parliament, we would be able to change the context, change the conversation and hopefully make it less acceptable for the sort of behaviour that has been alleged recently.”

Dr Poole joined former Liberal MP Dr Sharman Stone, former Fairwork Ombudsman Natalie James and Alexandra Grayson, Principal at Maurice Blackburn, for the discussion.

Listen to the interview