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Thumbs up: Feminist PM Justin Trudeau vows to fight for women’s rights

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tops the latest Leadership Matters list for good leadership for his outspoken support for the fight against gender inequality, while Ardent Leisure gets a thumbs down for its handling of the Dreamworld tragedy in October.

Justin Trudeau

The Canadian PM is a self-declared feminist. In a letter to anti-poverty activist group ONE, he wrote: “I agree poverty is sexist,” acknowledging the connection between poverty and gender inequality. Vowing to tackle the issue, he went on to declare, “women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished and face greater risk of disease and poor health.”


Handan-based Chinese property services company Woffice gave staff time out from constant grinning-and-bearing-it interaction at work by initiating a “No Face” relaxation day. Staff had the option of donning masks (those depicting No Face from the anime film Spirited Away were favourites) so they could take a break from fake smiling.

The Maori

New Zealand’s Maori community has united to show support for the Native American groups protesting against the Dakota Pipeline at Standing Rock. The Sioux and other tribes are opposing the Pipeline on the grounds it will pollute their water and environment. The Haka with Standing Rock Facebook group showcases individuals and groups performing the Maori war dance and in December 2016 boasted nearly 40,000 members.

Beyond Blue

In a speech to the Business Council of Australia, the mental health support group’s chairman, Jeff Kennett, called for CEO bonuses to be linked to employee wellbeing. The former Victorian premier also called for senior executives to undergo regular mental health checks.


thumbs down leadership



The frozen yoghurt retail chain is in hot water after a landmark Federal Court decision required it to pay a fine of $146,000 for underpaying workers in its Sydney CBD store. It is the first Fair Work case successfully argued against a master franchisor. The court found that four young Korean staff on 417 working holiday visas were being paid as little as $8 per hour at the Sydney outlet.


It may have been a case of poor and unmovable timing, but Ardent Leisure’s scheduled AGM, a mere two days after four people died in an accident at Ardent’s Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast, drew flack because executive bonuses were front and centre in the discussions. CEO Deborah Thomas subsequently donated her $167,500 cash bonus for 2016 to the Red Cross.

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