Australian dating customs

Currently, under Tony Abbott, Australia has one female cabinet minister – one.

That’s two less women than the British and Afghan cabinets, respectively.

According to the Ernst & Young report, ‘macho culture’ and ‘macho Australian male dominance’ were the reasons most frequently given for the absence of women at the top of industry here. I’ve been told by previous employers that I didn’t get a promotion because I’m in a long-term relationship, might get pregnant within the first two years of working there, that I was valuable in meetings despite being a woman because I have ‘a mouth on me’, and that I should wear something that revealed my tits for a pitch at a male-dominated firm.

The ‘macho’ culture here extends further than bravado and inappropriate comments in the workplace.

Dating and making friends involves the same kind of imbalance.

All dating sites are geared around ‘getting a root’ rather than finding a relationship and men here are certainly not shy about telling you that the role of women is to be seen and not heard.

While on dates with Australian men, I’ve been accused of being ‘one of those stupid feminists who thinks they can buy a man’ because I bought the second round of drink.

By comparison, in Britain, women make up 19 per cent of FTSE 100 directors and, while there’s still a pay gap, it’s smaller than Australia’s at 15 per cent. I think all women should wear heels, I just can’t take them seriously otherwise,' he said, with a smile.It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting a male senior executive to say to me following a business pitch.Having grown up watching the laid-back, open-minded characters in I expected this 'New World’ to be more forward-thinking and relaxed than stuffy old Britain.I was surprised to discover that same sex marriage is illegal and obtaining an abortion is very difficult.

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After all, what could a woman possibly have to contribute to serious men’s business?

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