There is no question that monumental strides have been taken towards gender equality since the 1960’s. However, it is the age-old conversation with a roundabout affect that leaves many with a profound sense of frustration. The topical issue of gender gaps in the workplace has long been left to simmer-only to be washed out by excuses and inadequate efforts for change.
While the most recent GEDI Female Entrepreneurship Index revealed Australia- second, only to the US- as the best place in the world for female entrepreneurs, it is imperative that we not become complacent with problem. ABS data suggests that the male population dominate over 75 per cent of all business operators, nationwide.
Furthermore, 2015 saw the gender pay gap reach a 20-year high of almost 17.9 per cent.
In a bid to close this gap between male and female entrepreneurs, chief executive of Australia Post, Ahmed Fahour, discusses their newest community engagement program ‘Tall Poppies’.
“We can create enormous economic opportunities and social benefits for communities throughout Australia by simply boosting the confidence of female entrepreneurs to start and grow a business.”
This project aims to pull the string on the tightly woven ‘mess’ that is gender imbalance in the local Queensland business sector while drawing on trends and statistic from nation wide studies, as well as some international reports. In doing so, this progressive story will unravel what it means to be a businesswoman in 2016 and offer a predation for the future of women in business.
This story is made up of four sections, with the possibilities of a fifth depending on interviews that will be held during the week of May 2. These sections include a main story in the form of a feature article. This will outline the gender equality problem within business, statistics informing readers of the severity of the issue and will include the knowledgeable opinions of business elites and experts. Following on from this will be a series of profile articles, each featuring one female entrepreneur, their achievements, struggles and ideas on the modern businesswoman.
There are multiple components that will bring this story together and create an informative yet interactive and easy read. Firstly, written and verbal information gained throughout the interviews that have already taken place, and in those to come, will best be treated as text. Text will form the bulk of this project with the profile pieces enabling an element of creative writing. The interview with Fashion Weekly director, Stacey O’Keefe, is the only interview, to date, to have taken place face-to-face, which enabled the conversation to be both, filmed and voice recorded. While this particular profile could be published entirely as a video- using a combination of footage, still images and recorded sound- it will instead follow the same formatting as the other profile pieces. However, this visual module will not go to waste, rather a smaller, more concise version will be included at the end of this particular piece. Vimeo is the tool that will be used to create and share this. The vision for the remaining profiles, with permission, will mostly be sourced material hence specific captions will need to be included inline with copyright standards.
Additionally, social networks, specifically Twitter and Facebook, will be used to exemplify the societal conversation surrounding the controversial topic. As well as that, relevant social media interactions of the story’s talent will be presented.
The need for further information, arguments, statistics and reports will be treated throughout the entire project with hyperlinks. These links will take readers to either the original source whereby the information provided was attained or will further enhance the reader’s knowledge on the topic hyperlinked. This can be seen in the “pitch” section of this progress and treatment report.
Finally, to improve the readability of statistical information that will be presented in the main story of this package, graphics, including bar graphs, charts and infographics, will be used as the treatment. These will be both created using the tool Infogram and sourced.
Work to date
Since first pitching this story, deeper and more comprehensive research has been conducted regarding statistics, movement initiatives and women’s networks. This has guided the construction of a firm angle and a clear direction for which the story will take. Moreover, this extensive research has driven the formation of informed interview guides, personalised, for each of the perspective talents that have been contacted.
Until this week (week of April 25) there has been a large struggle to lock down sources, with majority of those contacted (including corporate CEO’s, online boutique owners, small business operators, networking organisation board members and business experts) yet to return emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, and Instagram direct messages.
This aside, I have had formal interviews with two of the “profile talents” being Fashion Weekly Magazine director Stacey O’Keefe and Brew Coffee House owner/operator and QUT business student Sheriden Baker. Additionally, informal conversations have been had with other women in business leadership roles (not necessarily entrepreneurs) to get a better feel of the effects cause by the gender gap. A casual meeting with a male business operator and entrepreneur was had on April 21 has shone light on an alternative perspective of this topical discussion occurring in the main article.
On April 28 I received responses from Maxine Horne, Sharon Hunnybell and Karen Hanna, all very successful entrepreneurs, agreeing to partake in interviews. However, due to their busy schedules, I have been limited to interviews via emails and phone calls.
Moving on from here, I will be conducting the final interviews with the high profile sources listed above. These will take place during the week of May 2. Given that I am unable to take photos of my own due to the nature of the interviews with these sources, I will attain permission to use pre-existing company images and ask for any other photos I could use to be sent through.
By May 13, I will have decided which sources provided the greatest information to form a profile story as, for now, I only wish to have three of these pieces. Though, I will be open to including a fourth depending on the success of the interviews. From this date, I will begin finalising my drafts and working on my final package.
In terms of multimedia, the visual elements of this story, video footage and photographs, will be compiled and edited no later than Friday, May 18. The goal for the overall completion date for this project is Wednesday, May 25, to allow for any last minute changes or finishing touches.