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  • 19 Jan 2020 11:04 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the League of Nations — the intergovernmental organisation, headquartered in Geneva, that emerged from the ashes of WW1.  Although the League was branded a failure due to its inability to prevent WW2, its legacies continued long after 1939 when it folded. As the template for modern global governance, and direct precursor to the United Nations which was established in 1945, the League profoundly shaped the world we live in today.

    This history parallels that of BPW.

    BPW USA was formed in 1919 by our Founder, lawyer Lena Madesin Phillips and she worked to spread the organisation internationally, with BPW International established in 1930 in Geneva.  BPW International was one the international women's organisations that lobbied and influenced the League of Nations to include and involve more women, and subsequently the United Nations where BPW advocated strongly for the establishment of the Commission on the Status of Women.

    This article in The Conversation charts the influence of Australian women and women's organisations on the work and focus of the League of Nations and the United Nations.


  • 03 Jan 2020 3:25 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    KPMG’s newest proposal, Unleashing Our Potential — The Case for Further Investment in the Child Care Subsidy, prepared in collaboration with Chief Executive Women, pushes for workforce disincentives for secondary earners to be reduced. The aim is to reduce Australia’s workforce participation gap between men and women, especially parents.

    The current government child care subsidy is based on family, rather than individual income, and it creates very high work disincentives for secondary earners – most commonly mothers. KPMG calculated the income from an extra day’s work that is lost to income tax and Medicare levy, withdrawn family tax benefit, reduced childcare subsidy and increased out-of-pocket childcare costs – and found the current system has an unacceptably high Workforce Disincentive Rate which impacts mostly mothers as second earners.   Working 4 days instead of 3 days can mean only 12% of pay earned on the 4th day adds to the family coffers.   

    But under KPMG’s proposal, she would keep almost 50% of the money earned by that 4th day’s work by capping the WDR at the second earner’s marginal income tax rate plus 20% and providing a top-up payment through the CCS system. This would benefit households across the income scale, but especially those on modest incomes who are most affected.  The plan also calls for the withdrawal of the CCS ‘cliffs’ that a family can fall off when just $1 extra earned could lose $5,000 of subsidy.

  • 29 Dec 2019 9:03 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    BPW Australia (the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women) supports the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) “Raise the Rate” national campaign. The campaign urges the Morrison Government to immediately lift the single rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and other related payments by at least $75 per week, and index Allowances to wages. The current allowance of $40 a day is too low to give people the support they need to get through tough times and into suitable work. Most people receiving Newstart live below the poverty line.

    The Australian Council of Social Service is a national advocate for action to reduce poverty and inequality and the peak body for the community services sector in Australia.  ACOSS launched the national campaign “Raise the rate” as part of Anti-Poverty week earlier this year with over 100 community organisations signed up as supporters since its launch.

    “Newstart’s purpose, to assist people back into work, is being undermined by the limited resources people on Newstart have. If we as a country wish to encourage everybody to undertake meaningful work, we should endeavour to provide a benefit program that supports this”, Jacqueline Graham, BPW Australia President said.

    “More than 100,000 parents’ on Newstart are single women who are being disproportionately impacted by the level of Newstart payments. The difficulty in entering the world of work impacts these women at the moment of their greatest need and continues to impact through their prime working lives, with concomitant effects on the broader economy and continued dependence on assistance. Just as single mother of 3 boys, Juanita, is experiencing with her story on the campaign page” Jacqueline said.

    A report issued in 2018 by Deloitte Access Economics that was commissioned by ACOSS, considers the impact of proposed policy change as a ‘catch up increase’ of $75 a week – an extra $10.71 a day that would be received by around 770,000 Australians. The report finds that increasing these payments will boost wellbeing in regional communities doing it the toughest, lifting the incomes of people most in need, as well as delivering 12,000 new jobs.

    “For over 70 years, BPW Australia has supported, encouraged and educated women and girls by succeeding in our lobbying efforts to influence local and national governments to address women’s issues. BPW Australia advocates for women at work, women who have worked and for women that  want to work. With over 75% of our membership in Regional Australia, the work of ACOSS highlights the necessary economic & well-being boost our society needs,” Jacqueline said.

    To find out more and take action go to  https://raisetherate.org.au/about/  https://raisetherate.org.au/stories/

    https://www.acoss.org.au/media-releases/?media_release=raising-newstart-and-youth-allowance-would-boost-jobs-wages-and-inject-millions-into-local-communities


  • 27 Dec 2019 2:29 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-of-the-year-that-was-2019/

    In 2019 we have seen conversation increase for family balance , financial well-being and shared parental leave. These issues for women have been presented, discussed, debated and endorsed at BPW National Conferences since 2004, with resolutions passed in 2007, 2013 and again in 2016. 

    As a non-partisan organisation, we have worked relentlessly to urge governments to continue the inclusion of equal rights for women in legislation.

    Here's to 2020 and hope becoming reality.


  • 18 Dec 2019 3:51 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Australia has failed to make the top 40 in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Index, dropping 5 places in 2 years. In East Asia and the Pacific, Australia fails to make the top 10, sitting below the Philippines and Laos. The Global Gender Gap Report lists Iceland as the most equal country overall, with Norway 2nd, Finland 4th, then Sweden, Nicaragua and New Zealand.

    Although Australia continues to lead the world in closing the education gender gap, we rank 49th on economic participation, 57th on political empowerment and 104th on health. Compare this with 2006 when Australia ranked 15th overall, 12th on economic participation, 32nd on political empowerment, 57th on health but number one on education.

    The Forum warns internationally, at the current rate of efforts being made, gender parity is a century away and the gender pay gap won’t be closed for 257 years.

  • 15 Dec 2019 3:17 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    Valuable insights from McKinsey & Company surveying executives on leadership traits and also examples of their experiences.

    Reflective organisations are able to transform themselves into truly inclusive workplaces — women-only leadership programs help them get there. 

    Women, more often than men, exhibit leadership traits highly applicable to future global challenges.


  • 08 Dec 2019 9:37 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In her first Forbes column on women, careers and the workplace, Andie Kramer declares there is no empirical evidence that women lack confidence, are poor negotiators, are risk-averse, or are overly burdened by domestic responsibilities. Women don’t need to be fixed - they are fine the way they are. Women and men are not fundamentally different emotionally, intellectually or psychologically, in fact there is more variation among women in temperament, ability and ambition than there is between women and men. 

    In fact, women and men have similar attitudes toward families and careers.  The outmoded claim that women are best suited for caregiving and supportive roles and men for challenging, leadership roles are simply thinly disguised justifications to maintain the current workplace status quo characterised by gender-biased hiring, evaluation and promotion practices and pervasive masculine norms, values and expectations.

  • 01 Dec 2019 3:07 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A resolution on paid eldercare leave was endorsed by the 2018 BPW Australia National Conference. BPW Australia lobbied both major parties prior to the 2019 election for this to be included in their platforms. A recent article in The Conversation advocates for a scheme similar to paid parental leave to ease the burden on those providing eldercare and help them stay in the workforce. It references a UK government study on how informal caring roles interact with employment and an article in The Australian in November.

    This public interest in paid eldercare leave is welcome.  BPW Australia members, including employers and employees from across the business, professional, government, academic and non-profit sectors, recognise how valuable and necessary a government-funded paid eldercare leave scheme is to maintain carers’ connection with the workforce.  Now we need a policy that parallels paid parental leave but addresses the challenges faced by employees trying to balance eldercare with work.   

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BPW Australia Newsletter Archive

Past editions of BPW Australia's electronic newsletters can be viewed as a PDF - see below.

Current editions of the quarterly e-magazine Madesin can be accessed here.


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