Dangerous male stereotypes

Oct 9, 2018


I have had the privilege of working in the mining industry for 30 years.

There are many things that have changed during my time in mining, but there is one thing I am most proud of and happy to see - mining has never been more diverse.

It is full of men, women, fathers, husbands, wives and mothers, people from different countries, varying education backgrounds and religious beliefs. It is not, contrary to the stereotype, an industry full of rough and aggressive men who use physical intimidation to get what they want.

Of course, this stereotype isn’t unique to mining. In many respects, it has been ingrained in the mythology of what it means to be an Australian, to be a ‘real man’. 

The typecasting of Australian men as a ‘tough tradie’ is often exploited and reinforced by advertising and the media by portraying men in stand over positions with a menacing look.

It is not only wrong, but dangerous to portray that a true blue Aussie man must be tough, intimidating and get angry when he doesn’t get what he wants. Glorifying male aggression and dominance as being what ‘real men’ do perpetuates and normalises violence in our communities.

White Ribbon Australia is a national organisation which challenges this stereotype and champions the important role men play alongside women in preventing domestic violence. I have supported White Ribbon since 2014 and was proud to become a White Ribbon Ambassador in 2017.

Fortescue is proud to be part of the many organisations aiming to become a White Ribbon Australia Accredited Workplace. The Workplace Accreditation Program targets both men and women and empowers them as active bystanders to ‘be the change’. This is an important step in Fortescue’s commitment to ending domestic violence as we accept our responsibility as an industry leader on important issues such as family violence.

During my career, I have seen instances that I am not proud of, but overwhelmingly, I have worked with people committed to making our industry and our community safer.  Today, I am proud to stand alongside men and women, united in the belief that good men, ‘real men’, cannot and do not sit on the sidelines while those they love are at risk of harm.


Greg Lilleyman

Chief Operating Officer

White Ribbon Ambassador