In a move much anticipated by the Australian public, Malcolm Turnbull has more than doubled the number of women in the federal cabinet. The new PM has appointed three additional women, making up five in total. Along with Julie Bishop (Deputy Leader and Minister for Foreign Affairs) and Sussan Ley (Minister for Health and Minister for Sport), the cabinet features Marise Payne (Minister for Defense), Michaelia Cash (Minister for Employment, Minister for Women, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service), and Kelly O’Dwyer (Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer).
Understandably, this reshuffling could potentially mean big changes. Women have different ways of thinking and as such will bring a different perspective to the decision making process. So just how big are the changes and what could they really mean? What will these wonderful women bring to the table that men will not? Here are our top 5 reasons (one for every leading lady!) to be pleased that more women are in power:
1. Marise Payne is the first female Minister for Defense
Yep; Marise Payne is the first female Minister for Defense in Australia’s history. The fact that Malcolm Turnbull has appointed a woman to this traditionally male avenue indicates that he thinks outside the square of perceived gender boundaries, which is much needed if the voice of women in politics is to grow.
2. The Minister for Women is actually a woman
One of the biggest criticisms Tony Abbott faced was his self-appointment as Minister for Women. It seemed more than a little odd that he believed he could fully understand being a woman when he had no firsthand experience of, well – being a woman. Michaelia Cash is a much needed breath of fresh air and will ensure that the position gets the focus and energy it deserves.
3. Kelly O’Dwyer is a kick-ass choice for anything economical
Kelly O’Dwyer has been presented with the unenviable task of doing a one-woman job previously shared by two men. Basically, as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business, she’s going to be at the forefront of one of the less pleasant aspects of politics; tax reform. In addition to this, she will be appointed to cabinet’s powerhouse expenditure review committee, which is central to the government’s budget process. This could, in time, make her one of the most powerful ministers in the Turnbull government.
While some may be daunted, Kelly O’Dwyer is more than up to the task. She was passed up for the position by Tony Abbott, but now comes at it with a history of pre-political-career law practice, and an incredibly solid parliamentary background in economics. This began in 2004, when she was adviser to former Treasurer Peter Costello, becoming Senior Advisor in 2005, and has continued in various treasury positions right up to her appointment to cabinet. We’re in good hands!
4. The Minister for Sport is still a woman
It’s fantastic that Sussan Ley has remained Minister for Sport. She pushes the presence of women in an area in which women are grossly under-represented. Given the huge discrepancy in interest/viewing/funding between women’s and men’s sport, it is vital that women get as much of a plug as they can. Sport is integral to Australia’s image, profits and way of life. Women in sport must not be overlooked and a female Minister for Sport will help facilitate this.
5. Julie Bishop
Regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on, it is undeniable that Julie Bishop has done an extraordinary job as Deputy Leader and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Her representation of Australia overseas is beyond reproach, and her quiet, no-nonsense authority is a force to be reckoned with on home shores. More to the point; she’s never played the “I’m a woman” victim card to excuse any criticism she receives. She is an excellent example for any woman who aspires to positions of power, and encourages women not to be ashamed of wanting success.
In short, the new found girl power of the Turnbull government can be summed up in one paragraph: “I believe that as more women around the world take on leadership positions – in their communities, countries, across continents – the impact of female leadership will be profound… And let’s face it, including women in leadership teams adds a diversity of attitudes, outlooks and experience. And greater diversity means the team is more likely to come up with new ideas, more creative approaches, and more flexible thinking and responses to challenges.”
Who said that? You guessed it; Julie Bishop. Go figure.
What do you think about Malcolm Turnbull’s new cabinet? Let us know in the comments below!
Image via Dailytelegraph.com.au