Coffee with Paul Anderson, CEO at Network Ten

Paul Anderson, CEO at Network Ten talks about Male Champions of Change

Last newsletter we ran a piece called Credit Where Credit’s Due to highlight the impact of  a group of senior male influencers supporting change for women, Male Champions for Change.

Now we can bring you some thoughts from Paul Anderson, CEO at Network Ten and a member of the Male Champions for Change group.

You’re a busy man so what made you decide to join Male Champions of Change?

Ten Network’s involvement in the MCC started in 2014 with my predecessor and I was lucky to see the positive learnings and collaborations before joining as an MCC last year. It was important to me to keep leading Ten in the MCC group. We enjoy a gender-balanced workforce at Ten and the perspective of the other MCC organisations really helps us drive this further into our corporate DNA.

We think it’s great that Male Champions of Change exists but some people think it’s just a profile thing.  What do you say to those people to persuade them otherwise?

I would suggest that they read the MCC’s recently published 2015 annual progress report to see the continuing work of the group and the new initiatives that are taking shape. None of us would claim to be leading organisations that are perfect in this space, however, the pace of change in gender parity is already too slow for us to wait for perfection before we step up as leaders.

We tend to think the longest lasting change is made when men walk alongside women, it’s a different mindset to handing out favours.  What are your thoughts on that?

It’s not about handing out favours and it’s not about walking either. Elizabeth Broderick always encourages the MCC group to be bold in our leadership and how we challenge and break down the barriers in our organisations that exist for women in their careers.

Male Champions of Change supports change in many aspects of the lives of women.  What have you learnt since joining the group that has surprised or shocked you most?

Two things stand out the most for me:

The first is the number of women in the Australian workforce who are impacted by family and domestic violence. Liz has led all of the MCC organisations to accept that domestic violence is a workplace issue and to understand the role we play as leaders in bringing about change through providing safe and supportive workplaces. At Ten we have developed a domestic and family violence support initiative that includes a range of options that an employee impacted by violence can utilise, including a new 10 day domestic violence leave provision.

TEN LOGOThe second thing is the value of flexibility for all our employees at Ten. While Ten has always been a workplace supportive of flexibility we followed the lead of Telstra, ANZ and ASX in 2015 to expand our flexibility to every role at Ten. What I have noticed since then is how important flexibility is for all our staff, regardless of gender, age or life circumstances. Flexibility is important to me, as well, and I have a formal arrangement in place once a week which allows more time with my family, plus some much-needed exercise. Having that formal arrangement has made me more efficient and effective.

If you could change just one thing to make the life of women better at work, what would it be?

It is hard to pick one thing, as there are many things that need to and can change. As a starting point, I would encourage all CEOs and executives to identify the unique barriers in their organisations that are preventing their female employees from having successful careers – and then work out ways to start removing those barriers.

Our thanks to Paul Anderson for his time.