A new report from the OECD recognises that Australia’s strong economy has helped drive a healthy job market, but recommends Australia needs to help older women, indigenous Australians and mothers with young children into work to avoid a future labour shortage as the population ages.
Statistics reveal that the employment rate of women aged 25-54 years stands at 72.5%, in the lower third of OECD countries, with a high proportion of women working part-time [exceeded only by Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria and Germany] . The employment rate of single mothers was 50.8% in 2014, the third-lowest in the OECD after Ireland and Turkey.
Despite some media headlines, the OECD report does not consider stay-at-home mums a drain on the economy but rather an untapped resource that could be harnessed if barriers such as expensive childcare and the lack of flexible work options were removed.
The Women’s Agenda Ambition Report 2017 tells us women want to earn more, and they need pay equity and fair opportunities for promotion to achieve their potential. Building women's competence and capacity helps but they also need to build confidence - which is where belonging to BPW comes in. Our members gain confidence from the safe mentoring environment of their BPW club, the role models they find there, the opportunities to contribute their experience to our advocacy and lobbying, and the information we share that increases their knowledge and understanding of government policies and programs and more flexible working options that are available to them.