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The Australian National University

ABC Radio National - Big Ideas: Of Meritocracy’s Un-meritorious Outcomes with Dr Fiona Jenkins

Dr Fiona Jenkins, philosopher and ANU Gender Institute Convenor was recently an invited guest speaker at the prestigious Cranlana Programme Alumni Speaker Series.

This talk was broadcast on ABC Radio National 'Big Ideas' on Wednesday 2nd October at 8pm - podcast available via ABC Radio National Big Ideas website.

Abstract: There seems to be an obvious puzzle about the supposedly meritocratic systems governing appointments to senior positions in many areas of public life: if merit is the sole cause of achievement, why is it that the preponderance of talent and hard work is to be found among a small class of white males?  Faced with such a puzzle, do we continue to believe in the system of meritocracy or do we conversely find an element of laughable exaggeration in meritocratic claims? I will argue here that some cheering, satirical and system-undermining laughter is much called for in view of the depressing circumstances in which women so often continue to find themselves today, and against the backdrop of the common assumption that gender equality has already been achieved.

Read a brief interview with Dr Jenkins on the Cranlana News page.

The event details, including full tanscript of the talk is available here.

The Cranlana Programme is an independent organisation with a broad objective to cultivate wisdom in leadership.