Holgate in ‘female friendly’ PM’s blind spot


If ever there was a case of exquisite timing, it occurred in Parliament last week. At almost the same time the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, was heading his new ‘women’s cabinet’, the former CEO of Australia Post, Christine Holgate, was thumping down her lengthy and critical report in the Senate.


Labelled ‘disgraceful’ by our ‘appalled’ Prime Minister in a thunderous tongue lashing from the dispatch box in October 2020, Ms Holgate was hastily removed from her position for authorising four senior employees who had secured a very lucrative deal for Australia Post to receive Cartier watches worth around $5,000 each.

After the nation heard during Question Time that she would be ‘told to go’, Ms Holgate was (in her words) forced out of the job by Australia Post Chair, Lucio Di Bartolomeo. Details of which have been exposed in a lengthy submission to the Senate Inquiry by the highly aggrieved Ms Holgate.

And she has every right to be aggrieved....publicly humiliated in Question Time, abandoned by the Australia Post Chair (and possibly the entire board) and trampled all over in the press, Ms Holgate has been treated very poorly for being a high performing CEO who took the job on at half the pay of her male predecessor.

It is also breathtaking hypocrisy at a time when Parliament’s treatment of women is being held to account and found sorely wanting. The fact that it has taken four decades for federal politicians and judges to be subject to (rather than exempted from) Sex Discrimination Act, as announced by the new Attorney General Senator Michaelia Cash, says it all really.

Anyone who read Annabel Crabb’s weekly Friday column for the ABC – ‘Put the Chimpagne Un The Chully bun’ – may have noted her rather tongue in cheek referral to Ms Holgate as “The Person Who Actually Lost Their Job Over Something In The Last Six Months.” Of course, that is aside from the staff member who masturbated on a Parliamentary desk and, to date, appears to be the only person who has been sacked for lack of judgement in recent times.

We trust that the higher bar women are expected to jump over, the prevalence of double standards and modern HR practices will be on the agenda at any meetings of the 'women's cabinet' - if only to educate our apologetic and pink shirted PM.

Claire Braund - 12 April 2021

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