Was it the reverend with a dangerous conversation in the cathedral?

Reverend Jo-Kelly Moore discussed the gender imbalance in leadership roles in New Zealand on Wednesday, 10 July, in the first of a series of ‘dangerous conversations’ hosted by the Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul.

Moore spoke to a crowd of around 30 attendees, highlighting how attitudes in New Zealand need to change to allow women to ‘break the glass ceiling’ and enter more senior leadership roles.

She began her speech by outlining the consequences of her conversation, saying:

“The consequences of this conversation are not just for women, it is for our whole society – the impact on our whole society when consciously or subconsciously we prohibit women from reaching their potential and being in leadership equally in our society. There’s plenty to focus us on this issue of women and today my reflection will be limited to the bounds of these shores but I think this is a global conversation”

Moore touched on gender imbalance in the academic world, saying:

“Men cite themselves around 60 per cent more than women do. In the academic world how you gain credence and popularity and move up the chain is by being cited by others.”

Gender imbalance in the Anglican Church was also spoken about by Moore.

“Next year will be the 40th Anniversary of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. While it’s true to say that particularly over the past 20 of those years significantly more women have been ordained and appointed to vicars’ roles around our country, that is still not translating to the appointment of women to senior positions in our church.

“Of the 14 bishops that we have in the Anglican Church in this province, only two are women. There have only been three women.”

Moore then took aim at gender imbalance in wider New Zealand, saying:

“The key power brokers in New Zealand society are often white, middle-aged, middle to upper class Pākehā [men]. Our universities and [general] work out there in the world demonstrates that women are participating in equal or greater numbers in our society, but it is in the levels of leadership where the numbers plummet. We know that none of our top 50 companies have a female as a CEO. Only 16 per cent of private directorships are held by women.”

The Dangerous Conversation series will continue every Wednesday at midday throughout August at the Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul.


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