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‘Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better,’ Sheryl Sandberg has argued, while calling for women to fight for senior leadership positions in male-dominated industries. But does a focus on breaking glass ceilings and ‘leaning in’ come at a cost of passing over issues of class or downplaying the effects of economic inequality? Do advances at the top make it harder to see worsening inequality at the bottom?

In a country where the notion of a ‘classless society’ is part of popular myth, how can feminism address the specific challenges facing economically-disadvantaged women? Does mainstream feminism adequately respond to problems related to class, and how do the concerns of professional and working-class women differ?

In conversation with host Maxine Beneba Clarke, Anne Summers and Alice Pung will talk about feminism’s potency for lifters and leaners of a different kind.

Featuring

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Hate Race, the award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the poetry collections Carrying The World and How Decent Folk Behave, and many other books for adults and children.

Anne Summers

Dr Anne Summers AO is a journalist, researcher, commentator and best-selling author of nine books, including the classic Damned Whores and God’s Police, first published in 1975, and still in print. Her most recent book Unfettered and Alive, a memoir, was published in 2018. In 2021 Anne was appoint... Read more

Alice Pung

Alice Pung is an award-winning Australian writer whose books include the bestselling memoirs Unpolished Gem (2006) and Her Father’s Daughter (2011), and the novel Laurinda (2014). She is the editor of the anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008), and created the Marly books for Penguin&#... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.