New twist in the Women’s Network “phallic” logo saga

The Federal Women’s Champion questioned the need to rename the Prime Minister and Cabinet Women’s Network, according to released this week under freedom of information laws.
The Women’s Network logo gained notoriety earlier this year when it was criticized online for its shape, with some calling it “phallic”. The Women’s Network is one of many inclusion and diversity initiatives within the Prime Minister’s Department and Cabinet.
The Morrison government quickly removed the logo in March after the backlash.
The newly released documents show that the senior official had questioned why the rebranding was necessary if the organization had not asked for it.
The title of “women’s champion” is held by a senior official alongside her normal role. The objective of the position is to promote diversity and inclusion in leadership.

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

At the time, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministry were keen to point out that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had not approved the design.
“The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office were not part of this logo design,” the statement read.

The department explained that the renaming of the Staff Diversity Networks took place “to establish a consistent look and feel”.

In March, Yumi Lee of the Older Women’s Network called the logo “ridiculous” and “insulting”.
“They designed and used a logo for the Women’s Network which, when you look at it, is so insulting to us. It perfectly illustrates how out of touch they are,” she told SBS News in March.
The logo controversy came as the Coalition had been criticized for its handling of women’s issues.
The – released last November – found that more than half (51%) of all respondents in the report had experienced at least one incident of bullying, sexual harassment or actual or attempted sexual assault.
Documents relating to the Women’s Network logo show that the Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Department was “ultimately supportive” of the rebranding as long as the Network was happy with it.

The shape of the logo was not discussed in the meeting minutes, or in several emails discussing the rebranding.

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