2012 IWD Topic Announced

The Australian Institute of Management has revealed the highly anticipated topic for the 2012 International Women's Day Debate.

The Debate, on Friday 9 March 2012, will see six accomplished women argue the topic 'That you have to be an iron lady to make a mark'.

The annual event is a standout International Women's Day celebration attracting capacity crowds year after year at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

AIM CEO Vivienne Anthon FAIM explains that it's a controversial topic referencing a controversial figure which has already drawn significant interest.

"In her book The New Feminism, writer and campaigner Natasha Walter wrote, 'Women who complain that Margaret Thatcher was not a feminist because she didn't help other women or openly acknowledge her debt to feminism have a point, but they are also missing something vital. She 'normalised' female success'," Ms Anthon said.

"Whilst the new biopic The Iron Lady starring Merryl Streep has brought Margaret Thatcher's life and legacy back into the limelight, it's interesting to note that in a November 2010 survey by YouGov and AOL UK, Margaret Thatcher topped a list of the 25 most influential women, ahead of The Queen, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Michelle Obama and Germaine Greer."

"What is clear is that despite her arguably divisive political policies and legacy, Margaret Thatcher was an outsider who pushed her way in, and she made a mark that remains to this day," she said.

Ms Anthon explained that the debate topic transcends politics and eras, and shines the spotlight on where are we in our perception of women in power.

"What we want the debate to look at in 2012 is whether you have to be an 'iron lady', that is to be 'tough as steel', 'out there', 'in your face' and uncompromising, to make a mark," she said.

"The debate will examine where women are at in all positions of power and how they are perceived systemically. It will also look at whether women have to work harder, for longer and make greater sacrifices than men to make a mark politically, economically and socially.

"I believe that the perception is that women have to have a bit of 'something extra' to make a mark, and that's not acceptable," Ms Anthon said.

"Both teams will have room for compelling arguments, with the negative side potentially arguing that you can make a mark by being connected, congruent and authentic, and not being a caricature.

"In true International Women's Day Debate style, the topic will be addressed from a range of viewpoints and tackled with passion, poignancy and also humour," Ms Anthon said.

Bookings are coming in fast for the 2012 International Women's Day Debate. To secure priority seating, call 1300 882 895 or visit www.aimevents.com.au.

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