Mapping the participants

To get a broader understanding of our chosen issue, my peers and I used a mapping method in order to clarify the stakeholders and participants in regards to gender equality. To begin with, we established a few collective categories (organisations, policy makers, people etc) on which we later brainstormed openly into other subcategories and groups. We found that we had a vast array of participants due to the different types of research we had conducted. We also found that many participants came up in several places and this showed us how many stakeholders are inter-dependent. Some stakeholders have a greater influence in the issue, and to clarify this hierarchy we used colours to show the categories in which they fall in, from blue (more), red, and yellow (less).

Mapping exercise
Mapping exercise by Ahlstrom, C. Carmody, A. Dulawan, B. Vuong, A. (2016)

After this exercise I made another attempt in mapping out only the stakeholders which we categorised as having high influence. The connections between these participants were difficult to clearly make out in our initial map.

Mapping of influential stakeholders
Mapping of influential stakeholders (Ahlstrom 2016)

This mapping did not necessarily give more insight but it gave a clearer view of only the participants with largest investment in the issue, without the clutter. I decided to make another attempt in clarifying the map once again.

Mapping of gender equality
Concise mapping of gender equality issue (Ahlstrom 2016)

In this map I identified three main categories, society, policy makers and organisations, in which I arrayed the participants. In our initial map there were many duplications, which I tried to avoid here. In regards to values and world views the three categories would be hard to define as pushing towards or against equality. The organisations which we related to the issue are all working towards gender equality more or less. The government bodies and the policies and laws they create are representing a group with conflicting interests, where some view gender equality as a more emerging issue than others. This group is a direct reflection of the society, which also consists of groups with vast differences in traditional and progressive values and views.

It is interesting to consider how each of whether or not each of these stakeholders act as a barrier or driver of the shift toward gender equality, of course no organisation is going to be outwardly against such a cause, but there are plenty examples of organisations and stakeholders acting as roadblocks for different reasons. When considered through this lens the map takes on a different completion. Take the example of policy makers, while world view would suggest a move toward equality being uniform across this group actions suggest otherwise, with the example of the lack of commitment to reforms to paid parental leave across both parties being an example of a lack of drive behind the cause. It could also be argued that given the low number of women serving in the current government that from a symbolic point of view policy makers are doing more harm than good.

The same applies to media, who broadly support the cause whenever possible or at least in world view however are often seen to be acting against the cause with content they produce. The classic example of this was seen through the Olympics where female medalists were often referred to more prominently by who their husbands or partners were rather than their sporting achievements. This is often a split that is seen between media organisations, with some putting a greater emphasis on representing causes such as gender equality, while others pursue sensationalist commercial goals.


Image Archive


(Zuckerberg 2015)

This image of Mark Zuckerberg was released from a private collection attached to the birth of his daughter. The Facebook CEO also announced that he was taking 2 months paternity leave around this time. I think this image gives a positive visual interpretation as it is showing a man pursuing parenting in his child’s early years, despite the high demands of his career.


(Toohey 2010)

This image was featured in an article in the daily telegraph with one of the sub titles reading:

“SHE recently stepped out on the town in what one fashion expert described as resembling a ‘cheap motel bed sheet’.”

The article was written by Paul Toohey who is, strangely not a fashion writer, but a senior reporter at the Australian covering areas such as politics and social issues. Expert fashion tips were also disclosed in this article provided by personal stylist Imogen Lamport. The image of the former PM in this particular outfit has obviously met a lot of critique, which is the reason this article and image got published. Why many people feel compelled to react to their dislike of the clothes she’s wearing is concerning, since fashion and the work of a PM are in no way connected. This type of criticism shows that the expectation on a female PM differs from a male when it comes to appearance.


(Altman 2011)

This image depicts short comic of a women and a man having a conversation about the women’s efforts in her day. It is a concise representation of a woman’s ambition to ‘have it all’ ie maintaining a career and being the caretaker of home and children. The man response is humorous, but is expressing demands rather than support in her cause.


(Sambides 2011)

This image of construction worker Dawn Grover shows the juxtaposition of what is traditionally considered male work, and a female filling that role. What this image achieves is a challenge to roles that are traditionally considered masculine by placing a female in the position.


"So we're agreed then - there's no need to make any changes to our equal opportunities employment policies."
(Fran 2011)

This comic is an interpretation of a boardroom without equal gender representation, making decision based on this. What is seen here is an historical attitude towards equal gender representation where a group of men are tasked with assessing the fairness of gender policy. The conclusion drawn is representative of so many throughout history, where males assess the situation to be fine by their beliefs and therefore make no changes.


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(Library of Congress 1909)

This image is an historical image of the early representations of female voting. What is surprising about this image is the flipping of perceived gender roles, where any advancement of female rights comes at the cost of male rights. This was a commonly held perspective and shows the challenges faced by the equal rights movement to this day.


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(Dobi 2015)

This artwork is depicting a women with a newborn child, sitting on a see-saw with a briefcase as the counterweight. It clearly interprets the work-life balance that mothers experience with giving birth to a child.


(Bavman 2015)

This image is part of a photo series depicting fathers on paternity leave. It’s interesting to think about how the world would look like if our parental responsibility and time spent with children were split equally between the genders.


(It’s a Girl 2012)

This is a poster of a documentary called ‘It’s a girl – the three deadliest words in the world’. The documentary reports on the so called ‘gendercides’ that are happening in India and China and many other parts of the world. In india for example, there are 37 million more men than women. I have not seen this movie yet, however I think the poster is a very powerful image in itself. It shows the challenges and tragedy that exist to this day when being born and raised a female, both from the perspective of the parents, as well as the child.


(MTV VMA 2014)

The last image is depicting Beyonce Knowles at a Video Music Award performance in 2014. She clearly announces herself to be a feminist with this statement and challenges the traditions and and dominant ideology of male culture. This is an important stand to take for a pop culture icon as the flow on affects to the rest of the world are significant.


Learning Outcomes

  • Researching image sources allows more personal conclusion and is provoking ideas and objectives based on your own opinion.
  • The documentary ‘It’s a Girl (2012) brings awareness to a very upsetting message about ‘gendercides’ occurring in many parts of the world. Fighting this is fighting for gender equality, everywhere, and we must begin with ourselves to set example.
  • Paternity leave images are strong in its messaging for responsible parenthood, stronger than images of maternity leave.
By Camilla Ahlström

Ahlstrom, C. Carmody, A. Dulawan, B. Vuong, A. 2016., Mapping of stakeholders, class exercise, University of Technology, Sydney
Altman, L., 2011, Women (and men) – The dignity with work, International Communication, viewed 28 August 2016 <;
Bavman, J, 2015, Swedish Dads, viewed 28August 2014, <>
Dobi, R. 2015, Commissioned work for The Guardian, <;
Fran, 2011, Workplace Equality Cartoon, Cartoon Stock
It’s a Girl 2012, motion picture, Shadowline Films, Tucson.
MTV VMA 2014, television program, MTV, California, 2 August
Library of congress, 1909, Election Day!, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, viewed 28 August 2016
Sambides, N., 2011, Sign of the times – Women at work in Lincoln, Bangor Daily News, viewed 28 August 2016
Toohey, P., 2010, Julia Gillard’s technicolour coat shows PM needs an allowance, The  Daily Telegraph <;
Zuckerberg, M., 2015, Private collection, Facebook, viewed 28 Augsut 2016, <;
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