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  • 14 Aug 2022 12:12 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Following 2021’s Starting Better report which provided a long-term vision for the best early childhood system for Australia, the Centre for Policy Development’s Starting Now report gives leaders a roadmap with concrete achievable steps over the next 12 months.

    The paper recommends swift and coordinated action in three key areas:

    Action to give parents the confidence to balance work and home by ensuring education and care is available and affordable. This includes accelerated changes to subsidy arrangements, measures that ensure public spending flows through to families, educators and teachers, and smarter spending coordination between governments.

    Action on rewarding, secure early childhood careers so children and families can work with early childhood professionals they know and trust. This includes appropriate valuation of early educators’ work, making early childhood careers a priority at the national Jobs and Skills summit, a tripartite dialogue between unions, employers and government, training incentives for early childhood careers, and lifelong learning for early childhood professionals

    A national mission for a universal early childhood system This includes a formal agreement between First Ministers to work together on a universal early childhood system, a reform task force to implement it, a special commissioner to lead a Productivity Commission review into a universal early childhood education and care, and long-term funding agreements.

  • 07 Aug 2022 2:02 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A recent article by 4 female climate science experts in The Conversation examines how increasing the proportion of women leaders results in more progressive, science-informed climate policy – not only in Australia but around the planet.

    The major parties largely ignored gender equity and climate change throughout the 2022 election campaign, yet both issues proved to be turning points for the Australian electorate. And now climate change is a central pillar of the government’s parliamentary agenda, with a bill to enshrine a climate target into law introduced last week.

    Women are on the front line of climate change impacts, which makes our experiences and leadership critical at decision-making tables. From Barbados to Finland, we’ve seen women’s leadership on climate bring fair, innovative and ambitious policies. Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change due to systemic inequalities. In Africa, when disaster strikes, women find it more difficult to evacuate or read written warnings, and are overlooked in rescue attempts in favour of men. In Australia, researchers note sharp surges in domestic violence in the wake of disasters such as bushfires.

    Women also have a critical role to play in achieving ambitious and innovative climate action, as the Women’s Leadership statement at last year’s Glasgow climate summit noted. There are many examples of female climate leadership and the benefits that follow when women and girls are afforded the opportunity to take a lead on climate action. An OECD Working Paper  notes that women’s participation in decision-making often leads to the development of stronger and more sustainable climate policies and goals.

  • 01 Aug 2022 12:27 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    An overwhelming majority of people support the push to have superannuation paid on parental leave. A recent survey conducted by professional accounting body CPA Australia indicated they thought superannuation should be paid on government paid parental leave.  The BPW Australia 2018 National Conference resolved to advocate for super on PPL and strongly advocated for this inclusion in election platforms this year,

    CPA Australia spokesperson Dr Jane Rennie said paying superannuation on parental leave would help close the gender super gap that leaves so many women worse off in retirement. A recent report from AustralianSuper confirmed women in Australia tend to retire with about 42% less super than men, concluding that the retirement system doesn’t recognise the unpaid caring work women do throughout their lives.

  • 17 Jul 2022 10:47 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Released this week by KPMG, Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the She’s Price(d)less report is the only analysis of its kind in Australia that evaluates the contributing drivers of the gender pay gap to explain its existence and what needs to be most addressed to close the gap. The report reveals the gap is nearing almost $1 billion per week.

    Based on WGEA’s workplace survey, data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and the results of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, the report explores how the gender pay gap affects 5 key industries: healthcare and social assistance, education and training, retail trade, manufacturing and accommodation and food services. Gender discrimination remains the leading driver of pay inequity, contributing 36% of the pay gap.

    The gender pay gap remains prevalent regardless of labour force size, gender composition or average rate of pay. Women in feminised industries face particular barriers to achieving wage parity, with gender pay gaps above the national average.

    As Brianna Boecker notes in Women's Agenda, the She’s Price(d)less report shows that taking greater action to address the gender pay gap is both a collective obligation and an investment in Australia’s economic future. 

  • 10 Jul 2022 1:04 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Women are still less likely to aspire to leadership in business, despite decades of gender initiatives, and Professor Ekaterina Netchaeva says we need to find out why. 

    In her article in The Conversation, Prof Netchaeva points out that the gender gap in pay, positions and pensions for working women is well-established, but research shows that a gender aspiration gap has also emerged in recent years. This is when women do not aspire to rise through the ranks in the same way as men do, and it could affect efforts to encourage more women to apply for leadership roles at work. Her research indicates that company diversity initiatives are not working, so business leaders and managers must do a better job of factoring women’s actual aspirations into the development of these initiatives by investigating the specific reasons behind female employees’ lower aspirations, especially in male-dominated environments.

    BPW has a role to play too.  Building women's competence, capacity and confidence in a safe and nurturing environment like BPW can help raise the aspirations of working women.

  • 03 Jul 2022 12:39 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Wages and Ages: Mapping the Gender Pay Gap by Age report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency revels that men on average out-earn women across all working age groups.  Prof Michelle Grattan, in her analysis in The Conversation, points out that at every age group less than 50% of women were working full time in 2021, and in fact women are not working full-time during most of their working lives.  This holds them back from management positions and accentuates the pay gap.

    The divergence in working patterns between men and women starts from age 35, when men are mainly working full time and women mainly working part time or casually. After 35 women are more than twice as likely to work part time and casually than men.

    The WGEA found that, although women complete higher education and enter the labour market at a higher proportion than men, they are still substantially less likely to work full-time across all age groups and less likely to reach the highest earning levels.  To attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds and of all ages, employers must offer flexible working arrangements, be creative about what it takes to be a leader and create part-time management roles.

  • 24 Jun 2022 5:57 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In this extract from Kristine Ziwica’s soon-to-be-released book, she explores how moving from career feminism to care feminism will help reshape Australia’s economy.  She begins her article in Smart Company with a 2021 National Press Club speech by Sam Mostyn, an independent company director, long-time women’s advocate and President of Chief Executive Women.  Rather than focussing on career women as expected, Sam spoke about the care economy – health care, disability care, child care and aged care – where there is a predominance of women and a dismal level of pay, despite these being key frontlines in the COVID-19 pandemic. BPW Australia has been at the forefront of advocating for the care economy since before 2012.

    In this long but very readable extract, Kristine documents how these feminised sectors are undervalued and welcomes the current focus on the care economy.

  • 15 Jun 2022 5:52 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Many women face online abuse simply because they have an active online presence as part of their working life. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (Australia) has produced a research report, Women in the Spotlight, which documents women’s experiences with online abuse in their working lives.

    This research highlights women’s lived experiences of online abuse, and points to the need for greater action by online platforms and employers to prevent and respond to abuse. It is informed by in-depth interviews with 20 women who had experienced online abuse and an online survey involving 1491 women working in different sectors including law, banking, marketing, journalism and community services. It found women were retreating from online spaces and lowered their public profiles because of online abuse.

    The key findings:

    One in three women surveyed experienced online abuse in a work context. Rates of abuse were even higher for women with a public online or media profile and younger women.

    The women reported harassment, doxing and trolling, mostly on social media.  Many talked about the negative impact it had on their mental wellbeing and personal confidence.

    Many women took a backwards step professionally, avoided leadership positions and stopped discussing topics they felt were inflammatory as a result of the abuse.

  • 05 Jun 2022 1:36 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Women were everywhere and nowhere in the 2022 federal election.  The message from the election was that the things that really matter to women and their communities matter at the ballot box, too. Even if they were not part of the conversations the major parties were having.

    Associate Professor Camilla Nelson from the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia examines the ALP’s election promises and cautions what we should be watching and advocating for. She cautions that an effective gender agenda needs to take account of the diversity of women’s interests. Women are not a single voting block or socially homogeneous group so policy analysts must recognise that diversity is not a politically marginal issue but simply a description of mainstream Australian society.

  • 12 May 2022 6:28 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    Media Release 12th May 2022

    As Australia commences its pre-poll voting, women across the country are astounded and appalled that issues relating to gender equality, including women’s safety and economic security, have failed to make the core agenda of the 2022 Federal Election or the conversation amongst our leaders.

    With 12.8 million women in Australia, making up just over 50% of Australia’s population, the parties have so far said very little, if anything, about how they intend to address the issues affecting such a major group of voters.

    Today, the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), an independent non-partisan organisation representing over 500,000 women across 24 industry and community sectors, releases its Australian Federal Election 2022 AGEC Women’s Scorecard.

    The scorecard provides a star rating on how the six major parties running in the 2022 Federal Election have announced they will address the issues surrounding women, based on the parties’ published policy platforms. It includes the development of a National Gender Equality Strategy, free universal childcare, safety and respect for women, women’s economic security and achieving parity in women’s representation and leadership in Australia.

    Chair of AGEC, Ms Coral Ross AM, said that despite two years of demonstrating, lobbying, and providing evidence-based solutions to government, we are perplexed that gender equality has not been at the top of the agenda in this election campaign. 

    “The AGEC Women’s Scorecard, at this point in the election campaign, acknowledges the superior stance of The Greens and the Australian Labor Party in addressing some of the issues relating to women, with The Liberal and National Parties demonstrating very little policy improvement initiatives and One Nation and the United Australia Party showing none,” Ms Ross said.

    “It is our hope with the release of this scorecard that women take the time to review what each party will do to support their needs and vote accordingly,” she said.

    AGEC is a national, non-government, not for profit organisation, representing over 500,000 women across 24 industry and community sectors, advocating and producing research to respond to the unacceptably slow pace of change towards gender equality in Australia.

    AGEC stands ready to assist and advise the government on implementing a comprehensive gender equality strategy and program of policies.

    Read the complete Federal Election 2022 AGEC Women's Scorecard 

    For more information, please contact: Coral Ross AM: 0438 005 225 chair@agec.org.au www.agec.org.au @ausgenderequal

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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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