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  • 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.   

  • 24 Nov 2019 5:59 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    #HearMeToo - we are the Generation Equality

    BPW Australia (the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women) is marking this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women by joining the global action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations.

    As reported by Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey ; Since the age of 15, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence, 1 in 4 have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner and 1 in 5 have experienced sexual violence

    Australia’s recognition of the urgency to respond to Violence against Women (VAW) has been translated into policy and government commitments through the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022 ( National Plan) and Council of Australian Governments statements .

    The National Plan has the potential to help achieve gender equality and end VAW. The latest data from Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released last week has seen evidence in changing attitudes in the workplace with a big increase in employer action on family and/or domestic violence. An increase of 13% in a year to 60.2% of employers with family and/or domestic violence policies or strategies in place.

    “Every year in November, our clubs hold events across Australia to raise awareness of VAW and to advocate the work of the many organisations . For example, our BPW club in Melbourne highlighting the work of Tricia Currie, CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Claire Waterman, Director of the Office of CEO Family Safety Victoria at an event held on 12th November ” Jacqueline said

    This year, BPW Australia will be sharing concepts daily via social media platforms as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence , kicking off Monday 25th November until the 10th December, United Nations Human Rights Day.

    To find out more , https://plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/ https://www.unwomen.org/en https://www.wgea.gov.au


  • 24 Nov 2019 11:58 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    This year marks 50 years since the landmark 1969 equal pay decision that first saw Australian women win the right to be paid the same as men for doing the same work, or work of equal or comparable value.  WGEA has released a useful graphic of their gender equality scorecard.

    In the 5 decades since this momentous decision, Australia's female workforce participation rate has reached record levels. Yet the gender pay gap remains a stubborn feature of our economy.

    However, when employers take action, it makes a difference. More women are being promoted to managerial roles; more employers are offering paid parental leave to their staff; and more organisations are implementing policies or strategies to support gender equality or promote flexible working, with a rise of 13.3% in employers with a policy or strategy on family and domestic violence.

    Unfortunately, the gender pay gap in the heavily female-dominated Health Care and Social Assistance industry has barely shifted, reflecting the historic and ongoing undervaluation of care work. Our CEO roles and boardroom tables still remain dominated by men.

  • 03 Nov 2019 6:55 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    Working Together for Equality.pdf

    Proud to again share collaborative work that BPW provided content on with 51 organisations, networks, alliances and individuals across Australia .

    Our input is reflected in critical area - Women and the economy. ( Section 2.6) 

    Thanks to the work of Carole Shaw and Sharen Page , ES4W , that coordinated and gained agreement from all involved to work together to produce a report on the 12 critical areas and emerging and persistent areas . This report will be presented to Australian Civil Society and the Australian Government . A huge effort to produce in time for InterGovernmental Meeting on Beijing+25 due to be held at UN ESCAP 26 to 29 November, 2019 in Bangkok. 

  • 03 Nov 2019 6:46 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    https://www.agec.org.au/our-manifesto/

    In April this year , Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC) held it's annual forum in Melbourne. BPW President and Director of Policy joined 20 other organisations to develop a Manifesto for Gender Equality. A living document to guide us with our endeavours

    After months of consultation , we are delighted to share the final document that was launched by AGEC in October. 

    We are extremely proud of the result and the importance of this document as the charter of AGEC’s work and purpose that aligns with BPW members aims.



  • 03 Nov 2019 9:23 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Women tend to be at a financial disadvantage to men because of career breaks or because they choose to do more in unpaid work, but this is not the full story. Economic inequality starts early with gender gaps for after-school jobs and graduate salaries, and then widens the longer a woman stays in the workforce and into retirement.

    While an evolution of the workforce is underway, bigger ideas are needed to fast track economic equality in the school system, the workforce, society and at home. Financy Women’s Index (FWX) lists ten big ideas that would make a transformational impact in the quest for financial equality in Australia. These ideas are the result of brainstorming efforts by the FWX advisory panel and economic Security4Women – the National Women's Alliance that BPW Australia established and continues to support.

  • 29 Oct 2019 10:30 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A new report from the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute examines the changing landscape of university-to-employment transitions in Australia. The authors report that over her career, the median female graduate will earn over $600,000 more than the median female with no post-school qualifications. Male graduates enjoy a larger graduate earnings premium over their lifetime, at around $790,000 more than males without non-school qualifications. The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA). data for 2016 shows that a bachelor’s degree increases individual earnings by 56% for men and 38% for women, compared with attainment of Year 11 or below.

    To some extent this can be attributed to technology: the rapid evolution in the scope, capacities, and employment impacts of new innovations like artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and big data analysis. But other disruptive forces at work include dramatic changes in work organisation, business models and employment relationships in the context of global structural change: demographic, environmental and globalisation. Given that technology is neither neutral nor uncontrollable, shifting focus to the social and institutional influences on the world of work, and the collective capacity of society to regulate and shape that world, empowers society to take the future of work more actively into its own hands.

  • 19 Oct 2019 3:24 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2019 report identifies that the biggest obstacle women face on the path to senior leadership is at the first step up to manager. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 72 women are promoted. This broken rung at the first step up to manager is the biggest obstacle that women face on the path to leadership.  It results in more women getting stuck at the entry level and fewer women becoming managers, so men end up holding 62% percent of manager-level positions.

    This early inequality has a long-term impact on the talent pipeline. Since male managers significantly outnumber women, the number of women decreases at each subsequent level. So it’s impossible for women to climb fast enough to catch up. But fixing the broken rung could add one million more women to management in corporate America over the next 3 years.

    Sheryl Sandberg, LeanIn.Org founder and COO, and Rachel Thomas, LeanIn.Org president, state that the broken rung is not attributable to women pausing careers to take care of children or to gender differences in ambition – it’s simply bias.

  • 12 Oct 2019 4:25 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Essays on Equality is a new publication from the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership. Written by GIWL researchers, members of the Advisory Council and leading researchers and campaigners, this essay collection provides research-informed reflections on the fight for women’s equality.  Although it tends to be UK-centric, they offer practical solutions to help create a fairer, more equal world.

    The foreword by Julia Gillard, CEO of the GIWL, is followed by short opinion pieces by expert writers including

    ·         Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, who reminds us that we all gain from gender equality, so it is everyone’s responsibility.

    ·         Senior Research Fellow Dr Rose Cook who questions whether the huge growth in diversity and inclusion activities, and the millions invested in them, is actually making a difference.

    ·         Professor Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains that by mistaking confidence and charisma for competence, we end up with poorer leaders and fewer women at the top.

    ·         Research Associate Emma Kinloch who tackles the thorny issue of Brexit, critiquing the ways in which women have been excluded or undermined during the UK’s negotiations for a deal with the EU.

    ·         Professor Iris Bohnet, Academic Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School, and colleagues on what venture capitalists could learn from orchestra directors who have combatted gender bias through blind recruitment processes.

    ·         Research Associate Laura Jones who argues more fundamental structural and cultural changes are needed to make workplaces fairer.

    ·         Diva Dhar from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who examines the gap in unpaid care work, which she argues must be better analysed and researched.

    ·         Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, who argues expanding gender pay gap reporting, equalising parental leave and mandating flexible working could drive real progress in improving women’s working lives.

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