• Dr Margi Brown Ash

Questions my husband asks me

My husband, Bill recently attended an industry panel where all panellists and the facilitator were white men. Bill asked the Chair of the organisation, who is a leader in promoting women in business, why? He replied he did not notice and Bill and he discussed how, in our WASP constructs, it is so easy to be blind, not to ask simple questions like Mike Smith, the ex-ANZ CEO did when he was presented with an all-male short list for a senior position: why are there no women? He was told: Because none applied. Smith responded: find out why and advertise again.

Bill loves theatre and saw most productions nominated for the 2015 Silver Matilda awards. He asked me why Prize Fighter, a new Queensland production, written by an emerging Brisbane playwright, was not up for any silver awards: he thought of several outstanding offerings, starting with best lead actor; best new Australian play; best directing. I had no answers.

Feeding off procedures that are now in place in his and other corporations Bill then asked what processes does the Matilda committee have in place to ensure:

· the committee is representative of the diverse nature of the industry and community; · the committee is aware of and attends the wide variety of productions; and · like Mike Smith, when the answer to “why?” is because the votes were not sufficient or no member saw the production, there is a process to deconstruct the “no’.

I do not know the answers and would love to know them.