Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Dear Prime Minister: About that other job you have

To the current Federal Minister for Women, Tony Abbott.
Parliament House
Canberra, ACT

Dear Sir,

I wish to apply for one of the positions you currently hold in the Federal cabinet, namely that of Minister for Women.

There has been much comment about your suitability for the position since you appointed yourself to this role last year, and frankly, I just want to let you know that I understand how hard it is to get good staff. I can see why you passed over Senator Michaelia Cash for the top job (you're a feminist and she's not for one thing) and with no other women in the cabinet in which to turn to (apart from Julie, but she's pretty busy), I can understand how you ended up with the job. One employer to another Tony, I would like to offer you a few alternative candidates, starting with myself, so that you can finally fill the role properly, instead of temping it yourself (a rather drastic cost cutting measure to be honest, you don't have to balance the budget single handedly you know).

As a woman, I have a wealth of experiences that would make me an ideal candidate; below are a few particularly relevant skills and experiences that I feel will help you see me as a top candidate.

- I was born and raised as a girl, and as such was exposed to gendered stereotypes from a young age. Having been immersed in subtle media messages about how society expects my gender to behave all my life, I feel that I am well equipped to help other young girls and women navigate this minefield.

- I started work as a woman and continue to recognise myself as female in the workplace. This has often put me in awkward or unfair situations which I have had little power to change, especially when starting out as a teenager. By drawing on this experience, I can offer accurate advice on workplace equality issues and lead reform.

- I enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force as a woman and served as a female officer for 2 years. The military has a long way to go when it comes to engendered stereotyping and acceptable behaviour. I feel I can closely associate with the experiences of women in the ADF and would be honoured to use the knowledge gained in this area to help others.

Please keep in mind that I am not the only person I know who would be suitable for the role - be assured I will forward more candidates as I find them for your consideration. I would also urge you to consider employing a new Minister for Women sooner rather than later as there has been little movement in this area since your appointment last year and you must be getting awfully tired of trying to do a good job of something you have no experience in.

Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to corresponding further.


Nicole Arby

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