IN RECENT years it has been encouraging to see the issue of a lack of women in business and more to the point, a lack of representation in senior business and management roles, being part of the public discourse.
There have been some overall gains in this regard in recent years, but for me personally I have been encouraged by some of these gains being reflected in our halls of parliament and particular so in Queensland.
I am a proud member of the cabinet of the Palaszczuk Government, where not only are the Premier and Deputy Premier Women, but the majority of cabinet members are also women.
This was a first in Australian State and Federal politics and also saw over 40% of Government MPs also being women.
I am also extremely proud to be Queensland's first female Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, a position which I feel honoured to have and an acknowledgement of history being made.
This trend is continuing with the Federal opposition since the last election now having over 40 percent of women and the recently elected NT Government following Queensland's lead with a cabinet with a majority of women.
This is important because women see the world through a different lens, bringing with them different perspectives and experiences which in turn leads them to think and do things differently.
I was encouraged to see our two most recent representatives to the YMCA Youth parliament both being females, with Teisha Russell and Ayla Duffy being great representatives for our region as well as a new voice for young women in Bundaberg.
These advancements don't happen by accident. Ingrained gender bias is difficult to shift and it is important positive action is taken to overcome this bias.
I was disappointed to hear just recently a former Prime Minister state there would never be parity of the genders in politics. Sorry but I disagree. This not only belittles the capacity of women to take on multiple roles at home and in the public, but it also belittles the men in our community who choose to take on more and more roles at home and slowly breaking the stereotype of having to be the sole 'bread winner'.
Women can do it all. I get to regularly travel through regional and western Queensland as Minister for Agriculture and I am always inspired by the stories of women who are running large agricultural businesses and stations in tough and challenging circumstances.
This goes directly to the strength of women, demonstrating what women can achieve in business and public life, and the importance of having women in position of influence and decision makers.
It is important women who are in these positions can be positive role models for our young generations, to help inspire them to be our leaders of the future.