FOR two hours the women had been silent.
Then, one woman broke the female silence, walked to the microphpone and gave her message to the meeting.
Were the 400 shareholders at BHP’s annual general meeting to see the spirit of female liberation?
Mrs A. Plowright, of Adelaide, told the meeting: “I am not going to talk about the necessary evils of money and profits.
“I want to ask you whether the articles of association debar a woman from being nominated for the board?
“And I hope you notice that two-thirds of the interested members here arer women.”
The women were amazingly quiet.
But BHP’s chairman, Sir Ian McLennan, answered Mrs Plowright’s question smilingly: “No, there is nothing to debar a woman from nominating.
“Sometimes we would like to have one or two on the board.”
Then Mrs E Hamilton, of Melbourne, rose to speak about BHP’s concern for aboriginals on Groote Eylandt.
“I would like to think that BHP is not going to allow the aboriginals to just fall into the limbo of a forgotten people,” she said.
Sir Ian assured her it would not.

(See 2015 blogs The Quest for Quotas and Unconscious Bias to see just how far, or how little, times have changed over the past 44 years)