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In February 2014, the Australian Computing Society (ACS) advertised an International Women's Day breakfast, celebrating "Male Champions of Change", honouring men advocating for diversity.
The event webpage read:
- Vic ICT for Women and ACS Victoria’s ‘ICT for Women in Victoria’ Special Interest Grop’(SIG) invite you,your colleagues and your friends to join us in celebrating this day by acknowledging those men in our lives who are champions of change.
This topic has been chosen as it reflects the global theme of International Women’s Day 2014 – “Inspiring Change” and it is a topic being discussed by CEOs locally such as Mike Smith, ANZ CEO, who is quoted as saying “It strikes me that we need to celebrate men who have a track record of hiring, developing and advancing women – but actually these men are quite rare. Making inclusive leaders the norm rather than the exception – be they men or women – might just be the circuit breaker we need on this issue.” – Mike Smith
This was criticised as an inappropriately male-centered event when scheduled for International Women's Day. Following criticism, the event was rebranded "celebrating diversity".
The phrase "Male Champions of Change" was not chosen for the event; Male Champions of Change is a formal group of powerful businessmen formed to promote gender equality in Australian workplaces.
- I get what they're aiming for, but on IWD? No. Doing it wrong. @mattjpwns
- Wow. An actual event for women in IT. @jesslee70
- I can't work out if I should somehow be grateful or vomit. @sharnatweets