• 11 Mar 2024 4:52 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The federal government has released 3 new policies to address women's inequality for International Women's Day.  These provide a wealth of data and evidence so they are great resources for BPW Australia and clubs when advocating for change. 

    Working for Women: A Strategy for Gender Equality 2024-2034 outlines where the Government will focus its efforts over the next decade to achieve its vision – an Australia where people are safe, treated with respect, have choices and have access to resources and equal outcomes no matter their gender.

    A 10-year-plan to unleash the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy 2023 – 2033 was released by the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce.  The Taskforce describes the current state of women's economic inequality, and makes 7 primary recommendations to the Government that will drive women’s economic equality and contribute to a strong and globally competitive Australian economy.

    The Minister for Women has released the 2024 Status of Women Report Card which summarises the most recent available data on the social and economic equality issues facing women and girls in Australia.  

    The Conversation provides good summary and critique of the Working for Women Strategy and Women's Agenda provides an analysis of the Taskforce’s 10-year Plan.

    BPW clubs are encouraged to review and discuss each of these policy documents; it is important that clubs keep their members up to date on new developments.

  • 03 Mar 2024 9:05 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Gender inequality is a socially constructed problem. For Australia to be a global leader in gender equality, Australia must address the systemic causes of gender inequality, while also acknowledging and addressing the severe impacts of its symptoms.

    This is the essence of the Australian Gender Equality Council’s pre-budget submission to the federal government. This comprehensive analysis gender inequality in Australia is a solid foundation for BPW advocacy and a useful resource for clubs. 

    AGEC’s research reveals that the root cause of gender inequality in Australia is gender role assignment and stereotypes which are formed in early and primary childhood. This problem can only be addressed at the household level and in early and primary school education. It is also impacted by the media our children are absorbing.

    As a country, we need to understand at what age these stereotypes and gender role assignments are occurring in Australian children. Gender role stereotypes are ultimately the cause of our gender-segregated economy, division of domestic labour, domestic and family violence and workforce participation rates and must be addressed in any Intergenerational National Strategy as a priority. Without addressing the causes of gender inequality, as a country, we will need to assign funding to addressing its symptoms ad infinitum which is both short-sighted and an unfair burden on future generations of Australians. 

  • 27 Feb 2024 9:09 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has issued advice about new pay transparency laws that will reveal private sector company gender pay gaps. BPW Adelaide submitted a resolution to the 2018 BPWA National Conference on pay transparency, which was passed.  A policy statement was developed and our then President and Director of Policy took it to all political parties prior to the 2022 federal election.  The new government outlawed pay secrecy contracts and has gone on to make pay gaps transparent too.

     WGEA has published the gender pay gaps for Australian private sector employers with 100 or more employees, as a result of amendments made to the Workplace Gender Equality Actin March 2023. Making gender pay gaps public provides a deeper understanding of workplace gender equality in Australia and is an important step towards accelerating employer action on workplace gender equality. 

    What has been published? 

    WGEA has published median base salary and total remuneration employer gender pay gaps as well as the gender composition per pay quartile. To view employer gender pay gaps visit WGEA’s Data Explorer and search by organisation. This is also where you’ll be able to access a link to Employer Statements, if the employer has chosen to publish one. You can also learn more on our interactive webpage and in our Employer Gender Pay Gap Snapshot

    Why is this important?

    Publishing gender pay gaps and the other legislative reforms have been designed to encourage employers to deploy and drive workplace policies, practices and environments that support gender equality, creating meaningful shifts in Australian workplaces. 

    What happened in the United Kingdom after employer gender pay gaps were published? 

    In the UK employers with 250 or more employees have been required to calculate and publish their gender pay gaps since 2017. Research indicates that this initiative has brought attention and action to gender inequality both within organisations and at board level and motivated some employers to narrow their gender pay gaps. Read more

  • 24 Feb 2024 12:43 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Are you a member of a Board? Or a company director? Are you aware of recent legislative reform about measuring the gender pay gap?

    Boards have a key role in to play in accelerating gender equality progress in the workplace.  Under the legislative changes, employers who report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency must share their WGEA Executive Summary and Industry Benchmark Report with their Board or governing body as soon as is practicable.

    To support directors in playing their role in accelerating change in workplace gender equality, WGEA have produced a Director’s Guide to Accelerating Workplace Gender Equality that provides context, practical insights, and questions for boards and directors.


  • 17 Feb 2024 2:06 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The ABS has compiled time-use data since 1992 to record what Australian women and men do with their time, including multitasking.  This data has told the story of women's unpaid household work compared to men. The Time-Use Survey ceased in 2013 under PM Tony Abbott then was revived in 2020 after lobbying by women's organisations.

    Now the ABS wants to reduce its scope, removing multitasking, but conduct it annually.  This will impact it’s effectiveness. In 1997 the survey found that whereas the average time spent on childcare as a main activity was about 2 hours per day, the average when simultaneous activities such as preparing meals and washing clothes were taken into account was closer to 7 hours per day. Survey participants will have to pick one activity, when they are doing 2 or 3 things at once, which will make much of women's unpaid work invisible.  We would no longer have data on the total amount of childcare and other domestic activities we are doing, and our surveys will also no longer be directly comparable to those of other countries. We need to lobby again to retain multitasking data.

    The ABS 2023 report on Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation reports that the most common reason women were unavailable to start a job or work more hours was 'Caring for children', while for men it was 'Long-term health condition or disability'.  The most important incentive for women to take on paid work was the "Ability to work part-time hours" with 51% of women rating this as "very important."

    The ABS data shows nearly 28% of women with children under 15 who want paid work cited a lack of access to early childhood education and care as a barrier to employment, due to spots being booked out or inaccessible to them geographically. This is evidence of the “motherhood penalty“, the idea that becoming a mum in Australia comes with a high price for women. Last year, Treasury analysis found that women’s earnings fall by an average of 55% in the first 5 years of parenthood, while men’s earnings are generally unaffected when they enter parenthood.

    As Georgie Dent, CEO of The Parenthood asserts: In modern Australia it takes two incomes for most families to cover a mortgage or the rent, but it takes affordable early childhood education and outside school hours and care to earn two incomes.

  • 08 Feb 2024 10:53 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Many BPW members use childcare, and some members work in the sector. Two major reports have called for governments to directly intervene in the childcare market to ensure all families can access the services they need.

    Australian parents pay twice the OECD average in childcare fees.  An Australian family on average wages with two kids spends 16% of their total budget on childcare while the OECD average is 9%, according to the ACCC. They recommend changing the hourly rate cap to a daily rate cap and removing or reconfiguring the activity test.

    The Productivity Commission urges governments to improve availability, affordability, inclusivity and flexibility of childcare services

    It’s interim report recommends all children under five should have access to three days a week of “high quality” early education and raising the maximum rate of the Child Care Subsidy to 100% of the hourly cap for about 30% of families with the lowest incomes.  It also acknowledges workforce challenges including pay rates and retention of childcare workers

    The Productivity Commission is calling for submissions on it’s interim report by 14 February. 


  • 29 Jan 2024 5:25 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Hourly earnings were highest for managers in 2023, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  Men continued to earn more per hour than women in all eight major occupation groups. There is a 19% gender gap in hourly earnings in managerial positions, dropping to 7% for those working in sales.

    Managers had the highest average hourly earnings ($67.20) followed by Professionals ($60.60). Sales workers and Labourers had the lowest of all occupations ($30.90 and $32.20) compared to an overall hourly average of $44.00. 

    Men were more likely to have their pay set by an individual arrangement (45%), while a collective agreement was the most common method for women (38%).

    In addition to important earnings insights, the ABS data provides key insights into the gender pay gap in Australia and how it is changing over time. Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “Analysing the difference between male and female earnings is complex and there is no single measure that can provide a complete picture”. He explained that hourly earnings comparisons are useful for understanding gender pay differences beyond weekly earnings measures, given women are more likely to work part-time than men. On average, hourly earnings were $46 for men, compared to $42 for women, a difference of 8.9% in May 2023 compared to 9.7% in May 2021.


  • 15 Jan 2024 1:05 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Following the Resolutions passed at National Conference, BPW Australia has developed a Policy Statement on Housing and Homelessness. These issues also link back to previous resolutions aimed at supporting women in vulnerable situations.

    The Statement can be found here: BPWA Policy Statement on Housing Stress.

    https://www.newsmaker.com.au/news/389218/housing-stress-a-burden-disproportionately-borne-by-women

    A printable version can be downloaded here: Media Release


  • 30 Dec 2023 12:05 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The annual Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Annual Report is prepared by the national Office for Women, and outlines performance against the Australian Government’s gender balance targets of 50% of Australian Government board positions overall and 40% of board positions at the individual board level.

    At 30 June 2023, women held 51.6% of Australian Government board positions, the highest rate on record, exceeding the target. Also 52.% of new appointments to Australian Government boards in 2022-2023 were women.

    The 2022-2023 Report is the first one to report on the representation of women at the individual board level. The data collected throughout the 2022-2023 financial year showed that 78.7% of boards have women represented in at least 40% of positions, which was the target prior to 2016.

  • 09 Dec 2023 5:04 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The SMH reports  about one in four Australians are part-timers, but only 7% of them are in management positions, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Chief executive Mary Wooldridge said hundreds of thousands of part-time employees faced a sudden decline in the availability of senior positions that could advance or sustain their careers.  This 'promotion cliff' mostly affected women, with the survey showing 30% of women worked part-time, compared with 11% of men. Mary Wooldridge said a lack of flexible work arrangements hindered women’s earning capacity and contributed to Australia’s pay gap.

    Non-executive director Rob Prugue wrote on LinkedIn that as a former employer, he used to hire parents as managers. "While the minimum we required was a three-day work week, these parents often worked more than this as their desire to prove to all employers that it was possible outweighed the professional demands the work placed on them," he said. "It was then that the obvious became so visible; the challenge isn’t getting the work done in a limited time, but in employers believing it cannot be done."

    Chief financial officer Karyn Ferguson, who has worked part time for over 10 years, said it was still possible to achieve your goals while working part-time.  "It takes perseverance, resilience and lots of family support. Most of all, you need the support of amazing managers and leaders in your company that provide you with opportunities to progress and believe in you.”

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.


2015

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2014

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2013

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