Australia

New twist in ‘phallic’ Women’s Network logo saga

The federal government’s Women’s Champion questioned the need for a re-branding of the Prime Minister & Cabinet’s Women’s Network, according to released this week under freedom of information laws.
The Women’s Network logo gained an amount of notoriety earlier this year when it was lambasted online for its shape, with some calling it ‘phallic’. The Women’s Network is one of several inclusion and diversity initiatives within the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
The Morrison Government quickly pulled the logo in March after the backlash.
The newly released documents show the senior public servant had asked why the re-brand was necessary if the organisation had not requested it.
The title of ‘Women’s Champion’ is held by a senior public servant alongside their normal role. The aim of the position is to promote diversity and inclusion in leadership.

She was told the idea came from the communications teams, within the Prime Minister’s department. The shape of the proposed logo, was not raised in the conversation.

At the time, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was eager to point out then Prime Minister Scott Morrison had not signed off on the design.
“The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office were not part of this logo design,” the statement read.

The Department explained the rebrand of the staff diversity networks had taken place “to establish a consistent look and feel.”

In March, Yumi Lee at the Older Women’s Network described the logo as “ludicrous” and “insulting”.
“They have designed and used a logo for the Women’s Network which, when you look at it, is so insulting to us. It just totally illustrates how out of touch they are,” she told SBS News in March.
The controversy over the logo came as the Coalition had come under fire for its handling of women’s issues.
The – released last November – found more than half (51 per cent) of all people surveyed in the report had experienced at least one incident of bullying, sexual harassment or actual or attempted sexual assault.
The documents relating to the Women’s Network logo show the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was “ultimately supportive” of the rebrand as long as the Network was happy with it.

The shape of the logo was not discussed in the meeting minutes, nor in several emails discussing the rebranding.

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