• 03 Dec 2023 9:26 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Productivity Commission has called for simpler childcare subsidies, changes to the activity test and increased access to early childhood education for children from all backgrounds. Their latest report recommends altering the childcare subsidy to allow all families to access up to three days of subsidised care a week, regardless of how many hours they work; and for families with an annual income of $80,000 or less to become eligible for a 100% subsidy, up from the current 90%.

    The Commission called on government to monitor variations in fees and investigate costs and profits across the sector every three years.  Australian families pay up to twice OECD average childcare fees.

    They also recommended measures to expand the workforce and a national early childhood education and care commission. To address the childcare worker shortage, they recommended removing barriers to educators improving their skills, giving incentives to universities who trial new approaches to teacher education and better mentoring.

    The report is out for consultation [deadline 14 February 2024] with a final report to the government due in June 2024.


  • 27 Nov 2023 8:29 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Resolutions Report from the 2023 National Conference is accessible on the member resources page of the BPW Australia website under Club Documents. All of the resolutions were passed at Conference, but several were amended first.

    Club Conference delegates are encouraged to report back to their clubs on the resolutions and review those that are highlighted for local implementation.  The BPW Australia Board will discuss the implementation and advise clubs through their State Representatives how they can contribute to our advocacy.


  • 15 Nov 2023 5:22 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Joining a board is a significant commitment, and asking the right questions can provide valuable insights into the responsibilities, culture, and expectations associated with the role. Women on Boards has set out 10 questions to consider asking before joining a board.

    Some are questions about the organisation or business, the Board itself, or the environment in  which it operates. The final key question is about you and requires some introspective reflection.


  • 29 Oct 2023 11:23 AM | Angela Tomazos

    BPW Australia (the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women), a leading women's advocacy organisation in Australia, warmly welcomes the groundbreaking Australian Government report outlining a visionary 10-year plan to unlock the full potential and contributions of women in the Australian economy. This landmark report, prepared by an advisory group of independent women across the nation, spotlights the barriers women encounter within the Australian economy and offers practical advice for the government to address these critical challenges.

    The report's findings emphasise the staggering potential of tapping into the talents and abilities of women, with an estimated AUD $128 billion in economic value at stake. This immense value can be harnessed by dismantling the existing obstacles that hinder women's progress in areas like leadership, participation, pay disparities, and wealth equality. This revelation underscores the pressing need for systemic change and comprehensive reforms to ensure that women can fully participate in and contribute to the workforce, thereby accelerating the nation's economic growth.

    Jacqueline Graham, BPW Australia President, applauds the Australian Government's commitment to tackle these pressing issues and take proactive measures to advance gender equality in the workforce. This initiative is a significant milestone in recognising the invaluable contributions women make to our economy and society.

    Jacqueline affirmed, "We are thrilled to witness the Australian Government's determination to realise gender equality in the workplace. This report and its recommendations illuminate the extraordinary untapped potential of women in our nation. By dismantling the existing barriers, we can unlock AUD $128 billion in economic value, creating a win-win situation for both women and the Australian economy. This is not just a stride towards economic growth but also a testament to our dedication to gender equality and social justice."

    BPW Australia has been working to increase women’s economic participation for more than 75 years. We believe that engaging women as full economic participants, and valuing the output of women’s work, we set the scene for a fully activated workforce building for the future. We wholeheartedly support the government's efforts in implementing the recommendations laid out in the 10-year plan and will actively collaborate with policymakers, stakeholders, and the broader community to ensure these changes come to fruition.

    We call upon all Australians to join us in celebrating this remarkable plan and in holding our government accountable for its successful execution. Together, we can forge a more inclusive and prosperous Australia, where women have equal opportunities to flourish in the workforce and to contribute their full potential to our nation's economic growth.

    To find out more, go to www.pmc.gov.au/resources/10-year-plan/recommendations


  • 29 Oct 2023 8:41 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    UN Women has announced the theme of International Women’s Day 2024: Count Her In: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment as a means to realising women’s rights and gender equality globally.

    Sam Mostyn AO, Chair of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and Besa Deda, Chief Economist of Westpac’s Business Bank joined Simone Clarke, CEO of UN Women Australia for the announcement of the International Women's Day 2024 theme this week.  CEO of UN Women Australia Simone Clarke said that it was important for women to be empowered to earn and manage their income and be afforded equal access to finance.  Simone stressed the importance of ensuring all women have equal access, capacity and capability to fully participate in the economy. This requires shifting behaviours and perceptions that inhibit economic participation and limit investment in women.  Increasing women’s economic empowerment means economies grow, children and families prosper, and women have resources available to leave abusive situations.

    In searching online for IWD2024 you may come across another theme: #InspireInclusion.  This not the official United Nations theme and it isn’t clear who is behind this International Women's Day website

  • 22 Oct 2023 9:10 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Super fund HESTA has warned the largest listed companies it intends to vote against male directors of boards with low female representation.  If you own shares, this is something you can do too. 

    Women on Boards has announced HESTA has issued a blunt warning to the ASX 300 companies it invests in and says it is going to use voting rights in a push for gender diversity and climate action.

    HESTA, which manages $76 billion largely for health and community services employees has written to the board Chair and CEOs of ASX 300 companies outlining its key priority expectations which also include decent work, and natural capital and biodiversity loss.

    For the upcoming voting season, HESTA has announced it will vote against select director re/elections at ASX300 companies where the board has less than 30% female representations and against board Chairs of companies employing single gender executive leadership teams.


  • 14 Oct 2023 1:02 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Why is it that buying cow’s milk to feed babies contributes to gross domestic product (GDP) and economic growth, but breastfeeding babies has no measurable economic value? Milking a cow is viewed as 'productive' work, economically quantified in government statistics, and recognised as essential. Breastfeeding is not.

    Unpaid work dominates the global economy but takes a back seat in economic discussions and policy-making. Everyday tasks, such as caregiving and household chores, must be recognised for what they are – invaluable unpaid labour that enables paid work to be done.

    The McKell Institute developed a paper for HESTA, the industry superannuation fund for people working primarily in health and community services. It includes survey responses from HESTA members that shows how the unpaid care they do outside work hours impacts their overall paid employment and mental health.

    The paper also discusses why unpaid work needs to be quantified the need for unpaid work to be properly recognised and considers the need for effective time use surveys to gather this information.


  • 06 Oct 2023 11:12 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The ACCC has released its interim report for the inquiry into childcare fees and services, and are inviting submissions in response to the findings and recommendations through its website - deadline 29 October.

    The ACCC is recommending price caps be considered beyond the current hourly rate backed by a "credible threat" of government intervention.

    The report found childcare operators target the most profitable areas within the wealthiest suburbs in Australia’s biggest cities, meaning privileged areas are most likely to have places and competition.  The draft recommendations include that the government consider intervening to ensure supply in remote areas, as well as additional and targeted support for First Nations communities.

    So great is the need for reform that the ACCC recommends government go back to first principles and consider what it wants to achieve with a childcare spend that's demanding ever more of the budget.

    Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly said it was important to expand access to all families. This report will inform the in-depth Productivity Commission review, helping us chart the course to universal access to early childhood education and care.


  • 24 Sep 2023 12:18 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A consortium led by Women for Election alongside gender-specialist organisations, has been awarded a $5 million federal grant over 5 years, to help increase the representation and diversity of women in public office.

    Founded in 2014 WFEA aims are to inspire women to consider a career in Australian politics, to equip women with the tools and techniques to successfully get elected and to sustain women to achieve their highest potential in elective office.

    Women for Election is non-partisan, with more than 2500 women across the political spectrum registering for events since 2019. A number of those women who’ve participated have gone on to launch campaigns or support the campaigns of other women, with some also being elected now at all levels of government.


  • 15 Sep 2023 11:40 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Plan International Australia has released their ‘Gender Compass’  – a study revealing what ordinary Australians really think about gender equality conducted in mid-2023. Gender Compass segments the Australian public into 6 groups according to their beliefs, policy preferences and behaviours in relation to gender equality.

    The findings reveal that 77% of us agree that we benefit from an equal and fair society, but the community isn’t unified on the magnitude of change required to get there. In fact, 59% of people believe that we have already achieved – or are close to achieving – gender equality.

    Plan International Australia CEO, Susanne Legena, said the study was “a pulse-check” and also a “wake-up call”. Plan believes is critical to shift social norms to build a more gender-equal society. Gender Compass is a tool through which targeted communications can be designed to effectively shift the dial.

    Download the full report , a summary of the six segments or a 1 page report summary

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

2014 December
2014 November
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2013

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