By Janine Perrett

This is the column I really should have written yesterday.

Not not because it was prophetic, or that I would have been ahead of the curve on the shock of a Twiggy Forrest company coming under scrutiny for soaring ahead of a crucial announcement.

I was going to write about International Women's Day but thought it best wait for the actual date.

Which I thought was today as I was attending two events to celebrate the event.

So when I attended the coveted Veuve Clicquot New Generation awards yesterday, I thought how wise they were to go a day earlier and had a little smile when the MC mentioned that Tuesday, March 8 was International Women's Day.

Until someone told me it actually was.

Just shows how much attention I pay to the whole business. (The anointed day I mean, not the fine Veuve awards which were won by the incredibly impressive founder of the Eat Fit Food company, Bianca Monley).

You see even though I am a female, I have never really been into the whole celebrating gender business or in particular the "special" designated day.

And this from someone who grew up during the women's revolution of the seventies and proudly embraced what was then called women's lib, or bra burners even though I didn't have a bra then.

Perhaps it was that the more we "celebrated" the day, the further we moved from what the whole concept of the women's movement was about.

Sure we talk a lot about equality on that day but seem to forget the struggles that were made along the way as we watch women young and old shy away from the term "feminist" as though it is some toxic tag.

Or it might be that the day has become a little commercialised - one columnist tagged it feminist Xmas Day..which is a bit of an exaggeration as I would never forget Christmas day.

And I do hate corporate buzz words and the one of the moment is diversity...more on that later.

And I do call much of the whole female corporate empowerment movement - gender apartheid.

In particular women's networking groups which now seem so last century; I could never understand the concept of mixing with other wannabe women instead of mixing with the evil men who had actually the power. And let's face it, mixed social groups are always more interesting.

When I started out in newspapers, the industry was a male dominated profession and I beat them by joining them. No female mentors for me. No real male ones either. Just get on with it.

I know, I know, the old do what you love and work hard advice is a bit simplistic, anachronistic these days but there is one main area I have argued for decades where finally some of my opponents have come around to my way of thinking.

And that was the dreaded "women who desperately want to be on boards brigade".

I watched this emerge in the 1990's and become such a formidable movement, that the whole board representation issue was once again front and centre on the big day.

The only problem is, that it has focused attention away from the key point of keeping women in line management so they are actually qualified for boards.

Instead we have younger and younger professional women opting out because they want to be on boards. They seem to see it as a lifestyle choice.

Some argue they couldn't rise far enough in management - just a tip, not every man gets the top job either.

They argue that women on boards will change the culture of the companies to be more female friendly - just a tip, the role of a director is to appoint the CEO to run the company. Not your job.

And now a new issue has been added to the mix - diversity

No, it's not just a new word to replace the overused gender one, but broadens it to include everyone from gays to other races and religions.

And a good thing too.

But just remember, now when appointing a new director it will not just be about having to appoint a woman for diversity, but they will be competing with a gay man as well.

As for the growing Asian population they even have their own name - the bamboo ceiling.

Not that there is anything wrong with diversity.

Or International Women's Day for that matter.  Just time to move on as they say...in all respects

Oh - and that second event I'm attending today that made me thing today was the actual day - a speech by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.  She might not call herself a feminist, unfortunately, but she is certainly a role model, to use another piece of gender jargon. 

 

You Go Girl! (Oops sorry girl is not ideal but it is a thing)