• 07 Jan 2021 5:39 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    Last month , the first interim report was released with eS4W as witness to presentation to the Senate Select Committee (Represented by Roselynne Anderson- Chair eS4W and Sharen Page- Coordinator eS4W).

    Highlights in the report that referenced the submission of eS4W summarised below. BPW Australia is a member organisation of eS4W – a National Women’s Alliance.

    A copy of the committee’s first interim report can be accessed here https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/COVID-19/COVID19/Interim_Report/section?id=committees%2freportsen%2f024513%2f73670


    The Grattan Institute's submission found that women were economically worse off when compared to other notable demographic groups,83 while economic Security4Women (eS4W) highlighted that:

    Women have been disproportionately affected during COVID-19. They make up the majority of front-line workers in care, and education and are overrepresented in precarious employment, including in the informal sector, where their benefits and protection are inadequate or lacking.84

    • 84 - economic Security4Women (eS4W), Submission 179, p. 9.


    Failure to incorporate known inequities, such as those in superannuation outcomes, has promoted greater disparity. eS4W asserted in its submission that their analysis of Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and ATO data found women, who already retire with 47 per cent less super than men,89 withdrew 4.5 per cent of their balance on average compared to 2.5 per cent for men accessing the scheme.90

    • 89 eS4W, Submission 179, p. 6.
    • 90 eS4W, Submission 179, p. 7.


    The committee strongly shares the view of eS4W that:

    Moving forward we encourage the Government to apply a gender lens on all policies…

    Women's economic empowerment will be essential if we are to ensure effective and sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19 in

    • 95 eS4W, Submission 179, p. 9.

  • 02 Jan 2021 10:05 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    This annual Women’s Health Survey researches the health experiences, needs and behaviours of Australian women. It examines gaps in women’s health information and identifies future health needs of women - as identified by women themselves. It also explores and describes women's current health experiences and behaviours. The snapshot summary reveals that a significant proportion of women in Australia are not receiving the health information and support they need. The report includes the impact of COVID-19 and the bushfires.

    The survey sample was largely English-speaking university-educated women who were born in Australia, weighted for age and education to be more representative of the national population. Too few respondents identified as being from a CALD background or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander so data must be interpreted with caution since it has been reported that CALD women have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

  • 27 Dec 2020 12:37 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Financy produces the Financy Women’s Index – a report card on women’s progress towards economic equality with men in Australia.  Financial vulnerabilities and on-going inequalities faced by many Australian women have been exposed by COVID-19 during 2020. Early in the pandemic, female job losses outnumbered male as key industries went into lockdown, home schooling was introduced and social restrictions were enforced. However as restrictions were eased, female employment growth recovered at a faster rate than male. This finding helped to lift the Financy Women’s Index by 2.2%. We know  wherever gender gaps existed before the crisis, they have persisted during it, and in many ways, women's advancement has circled back in time. The number of women engaged in part and full-time work today is similar to 12 to 18 months ago; the number of women studying post-school educational courses is where it was 2 years ago; the gender pay gap is where it stood this time last year. There is uncertainty about what the gender gap in unpaid work will look like because of COVID-19 and women’s long-term financial security, as measured through superannuation.

  • 21 Dec 2020 8:47 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    At the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women, Hilary Clinton declared that “women’s rights are human rights” and the Beijing Platform for Action laid a powerful and necessary foundation stone for our fight for gender equality.

    French President Emmanuel Macron recently noted: “It’s no secret that, in 2020, the Beijing Declaration would have no chance of being adopted”.

    In 2020, 25 years later, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins delivered the opening address to the Beijing Platform for Action at 25 conference. Her full speech is available here.  She reported that the Beijing documents remain largely aspirational; progress has been slow and some of that progress is under threat. She stressed the need to accelerate our efforts, and be increasingly strategic, if we want to finish the job. 

    As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on throughout the world, countries everywhere are thinking about how to rebuild. The evidence is clear that, if our recovery efforts focus on creating more equal and diverse societies, women, girls and societies as a whole will benefit enormously. 25 years on from Beijing, with many of the economic and social structures we took for granted a year ago now in flux, this is a golden opportunity to reaffirm the spirit of the Beijing documents, and use everything we have learned in the past 25 years to take swift, meaningful leaps forward towards gender equality.

  • 13 Dec 2020 12:45 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Superstars of STEM aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in STEM. 

    Science & Technology Australia, Australia’s peak body in science and technology, represents more than 80,000 scientists and technologists and is an influential voice for evidence and expertise in public policy.

    STA started Superstars of STEM to create a critical mass of celebrity Australian women who work as scientists and technologists - role models for young women and girls – and to work towards equal representation in the media of women and men working in all fields in STEM. Over 5 years they have equipped 150 women working in STEM with advanced communication skills and provided them with genuine opportunities to use these skills – in the media, on the stage and in speaking with decision makers. See them here.

  • 07 Dec 2020 11:58 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Suzy Cairney has learned a thing or two about boards.  Here she discusses the 5 key qualities that she deems important for successful board members to have.  She lists:

    Leadership: confidence, communication and listening skills, persistence, emotional intelligence, vision, enthusiasm, integrity and decisiveness

    Curiosity: keep learning and questioning, focus on problem-solving, continually adding value

    Lean in: winning a seat at the table is not enough, build relationships with other board members, executives and staff

    Understand the business: the financial, strategic, legal, governance and operational aspects of the business and the industry and customer settings

    Positivity: don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of information and the legal burden, look for the silver lining - positively seeking improved processes, procedures and relationships

    In this new post-COVID world, these qualities might be the difference between success and failure for aspiring Board Members. 

  • 29 Nov 2020 9:53 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The National Sustainable Development Council’s comprehensive independent report on Australia’s progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals provides a data-driven assessment of Australia’s mixed progress towards meeting the SDGs.

    The report is available as a summary report and as an interactive website with charts for each of the indicators.  Explore the data by SDG to see how we going on goals such as gender equality, ending poverty and decent work

    The report shows that Australia is performing well in health and education but is failing to address cost of living pressures and economic inequality. Women continue to lose out on pay equality and housework parity and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, being more likely to lose their jobs and experience psychological distress.

    Of 56 indicators, only 12 are on track to meet the 2030 targets. COVID-19 has exacerbated trends — including higher levels of unemployment, poverty and psychological distress — that were emerging before COVID-19, and that could fracture Australian society.

  • 23 Nov 2020 3:33 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A survey by Australian National University and Ardea Investment Management of 2,000 finance industry professionals showed 76% of men were offered a promotion at least once without requesting it, compared with 57% of women.

    Bloomberg  reports the study found that women asked for pay increases and promotions at the same rate as men, and there was no difference between their success rates in these situations. However, financial corporations offered men promotions they didn’t ask for more often than such offers were made to women. 

    ANU researcher Bronwen Whiting said the findings offer evidence of a culture whereby promotions are offered to men without asking, and underscores institutional gender bias which has historically disfavoured women in the world of finance. The findings show continuous gaps and trends within the workforce, including male fund managers on average earning more than twice as much as female managers and men in compliance roles earning 76% more than women.

    If this is happening in the finance sector, where else is this bias evident?  And is anyone measuring the gaps?

  • 17 Nov 2020 2:24 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Parenthood is presenting a series of 3 free online panel events in November with Business Chicks and Thrive by Five, with expert speakers and leaders who will inform and inspire, explaining why investing in universal access to high quality early education is the smart choice for Australia. The first webinar on 12 November explored why overhauling early education is the key to gender equality at work.  The panel included Georgie Dent from The Parenthood, Jay Weatherill from Thrive by Five, Emma Carter as an Aboriginal Early Learning expert and longterm advocate for women Wendy McCarthy AO.

    Working Australian families pay more for childcare than similar countries.  The considerable cost of not funding early learning will be borne by children and families as well as the economy. And the staff are 97% women, often with CALD backgrounds, who are underpaid for their qualifications and expertise – it’s a career not just a job.

    My summary: it's about parents [not just mums], it's about children [not just the economy], it's about early learning [not just childcare].  Mainstream solutions can't simply be transferred to Aboriginal communities - they need to be adapted to local cultural needs. The next free webinar is on the Juggle of Work and Care, Tuesday 17 November.

    Kate Noble from the Mitchell Institute summarises preschool funding across states and territories in The Conversation – much more complex than many of us realise – and exhorts that consistent and adequate funding should be an election issue.

  • 12 Nov 2020 11:45 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A report by Dr Janine Dixon, Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University’s Centre of Policy Studies, entitled ‘A comparison of the economic impacts of income tax cuts and childcare spending’  compares the cost, employment creation and impact on GDP of increased spending on child care and income tax cuts.

    Dr Dixon finds that increased public funding for childcare is nearly 20 times more effective at creating jobs than a tax cut of the same size. Her key findings are:

    1. almost 450,000 Australians with children under 5 would like to work more hours

    2. if these parents worked an additional 10 hours per week then, by 2030 GDP would increase by $15B pa

    3. net government spending of $2.8B on additional childcare would create around 135,000 jobs per year by 2030, but a similar expenditure on tax cuts would create less than 10,000 jobs.

    Modelling by The Australia Institute shows is that spending money to directly employ people in childcare and directly helping those people who are currently prevented from working is a much more effective way to create jobs than to give money to people who are already working full time in the hope that they might work even more.

BPW Australia Newsletter Archive

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