Since the introduction of the Male Champions of Change program in 2010, more than 30 heads of businesses and government agencies have signed up to the program, which is designed to “accelerate the advancement of women in leadership”. Just three have pulled out of the program — and all were heads of government departments. As reported by The Mandarin, the three organisations were the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (which is re-joining under new secretary Martin Parkinson), Treasury, and the Australian Public Service Commission. The way the MCC works is that the head of a department joins the program, and when he leaves his senior post, it is up to the new top dog to join again (the program is only open to men). When Dr Ian Watt left PM&C in 2014, his replacement, Michael Thawley, did not become a Male Champion of Change. When Parkinson left Treasury in 2014 his replacement, John Fraser, did not take up the role, and neither did secretary of the Public Service Commission John Lloyd when he took over from Stephen Sedgwick. Interestingly, all three were appointed by Tony Abbott.

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