• 03 Sep 2021 12:46 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The National Summit will be held online on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 September and members will be able to join the live-stream here. Check the program to see the sessions and the extensive list of speakers. You can print a pdf of the program to plan what sessions are most relevant to you or your club.

    Online roundtables were held on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 September.

  • 20 Aug 2021 1:07 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Australia) is marking Equal Pay Day 2021 by joining Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) on the call for Australians to ask #WhatsYourPayGap in their workplaces and industries. A crucial step towards bridging this divide. Research proves when organisation analyse and take action on pay equity , the gender pay gap closes.   

    The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) announced Equal Pay Day 2021 will fall on 31st August marking the 61 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work to earn the same pay as men.

    Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency created by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. The Agency is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in the Australian Workplaces.

    Key facts in 2021;

    • The national gender pay gap is 14.2%.
    • This is a 0.8pp rise from the previous gender pay gap of 13.4%
    • On average, women working full-time earned $1,575.50 while men working full-time earned $1,837.00.
    • Full-time average weekly earnings difference between women and men is $261.50.

    So; what can we do? what steps can we take, as individuals or a collective, to increase this ‘on average’ calculation? To broaden the conversation; nuance the considerations and change the narrative? To achieve a more just, more equal and more inclusive society for a strong and thriving Australia; how do we make concrete steps towards this?

     

    This year we are encouraging our BPW Australia club members and networks to join WGEA call for the first step to find out #WhatsYourPayGap? by going to WGEA Data Explorer at www.data.wgea.gov.au/home  and seeing if their employer has done a pay gap audit and acted on its findings. We want our clubs to join in the call to start a conversation with members and their networks about the gender pay gap, what it means to them and how we can help to close it. We can all work together to eliminate gender pay discrimination.” Jacqueline Graham, BPW Australia President said.

    “BPW Australia surveyed women earlier this year on their experiences and expectations of the future of work. We found women were telling us they lack the confidence on current policy settings valuing their work , for example the skills and pay for someone pushing the wheelbarrow vs someone pushing the wheelchair.”  Jacqueline said.

    WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge said the increase in the pay gap was concerning and served as a warning to ensure continued focus, effort and commitment to drive it back down again.

    “Closing the pay gap is about fairness. Our data shows women’s average full-time wages are lower than men’s across every industry and occupation in Australia. ’The gender pay gap signifies that the work of women is still not treated as being of equal value to that of men. The 2021 Gender Equity Insights Report from Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) and WGEA research reveals, the sobering reality is that, on current trends, it will take 26 years to close the total remuneration gender pay gap.” Mary Wooldridge said.

    To find out more , go to www.equalpayday.com.au


  • 19 Aug 2021 3:50 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    https://www.wgea.gov.au/newsroom/equal-pay-day-media-release

  • 14 Aug 2021 11:55 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Journalist Kristine Ziwica examines the government’s recognition of the needs of women and engagement with the women's movement and finds it seriously lacking. 

    She laments Australia’s poor showing at the UN’s Generation Equality Forum, and that Australia’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap Index, has plummeted from 15th in 2006 to 50th, close to last amongst OECD nations.  The government’s high-profile announcements in relation to women have been characterised by big press conferences followed by silence or obfuscation when it comes to delivery.

    The appointment of a Minister of Women's Economic Security is followed by the defunding of the Security4Women Alliance.  Kristine quotes Judith van Unen, Past President of BPW Australia and the co-founder of eS4W: “There is a silencing by stealth, not inviting you to a critical meeting or not renewing your funding.”

    This is the third in a three-part series on women’s economic security, supported by the Melbourne Press Club’s Michael Gordon Fellowship for social justice journalism. Part one covered older women and homelessness, while part two discussed the legal fight to close the gender pay gap.

  • 29 Jul 2021 12:15 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    https://www.wgea.gov.au/publications/australias-gender-pay-gap-statistics

    We are waiting for the date to be released by Workplace Gender Equality Agency.(WGEA)  Murray Black from WGEA advised the next release of Average Weekly Earnings stats is due on 19th August and the updated data will enable new date to be calculated. Last years EPD date was 28th August. We will update our site and equalpayday.com.au and our social media channels as soon as date is announced. 


  • 25 Jul 2021 10:54 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Founded by Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick AO, the mission of the Champions of Change Coalition is to engage leaders to help achieve gender equality and a significant and sustainable increase in the representation of women in leadership.   

    In May, the Coalition released a series of reports on preventing and responding to sexual harassment in workplaces.  This month they released their Pathway to Gender Equality in Sport: Progress Report 2019-2020 which tracks improvement and provides transparency on Group-wide and organisation performance on gender equality across 26 measures under the five categories of: leadership, participation, pathways, investment and practical actions.

    “Sport has unparalleled influence to shift cultures and mindsets across the world. Our Coalition members have stepped up and committed to transparent annual reporting and review, so we can accelerate the pace of change and move our organisations towards equality – for the benefit of all women athletes, coaches, leaders, participants and fans.” Elizabeth Broderick AO

    All very relevant during the Olympic Games.

  • 11 Jul 2021 12:36 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ report on sexual harassment in the workplace in Australia, Respect@Work, was released over a year ago.  The government published its response to the report in April, and introduced a bill to legislate some of these changes last month.

    Prof Beth Gaze, University of Melbourne, critiques the Bill that amends the Sex Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act against the report recommendations.  She commends the major changes that expand the coverage, scope and time limits of the Bill, but is concerned about the language and terms used are likely to reduce the effectiveness of the changes.  The SDA changes set a threshold of proving sexual harassment to be “seriously demeaning” which is too is too high, and sexual harassment is not specifically named in the FWA and is not regarded as a workplace health and safety issue or as serious misconduct.  The FWA offers no protection against sexual harassment by a work colleague that occurs outside of the work environment. 

    The Bill needs further changes to address these shortcomings.

  • 04 Jul 2021 10:14 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A new research report from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute called  Counting the cost to families: assessing childcare affordability in Australia found early childhood education and care ECEC is unaffordable for more than 385,000 Australian families.

    Although Australia has affordability measures for other common household expenses, we don’t have an accepted way to measure the affordability of ECEC. Nearly 40% of Australian families using ECEC services exceed the international benchmark of no more than 7% of disposable income spent on ECEC.   The Australian government’s recently announced childcare subsidy  takes effect in July 2022. These changes will help families with 2 or more children under 6 in ECEC services, but they still leave ECEC unaffordable for about 336,000 families and will not provide fee relief for about 1 million families.

    The research used HILDA data to compare the cost of ECEC to other common household expenses, and found that such expenses often exceeded utility, transport and sometimes grocery costs. 

    Making ECEC more affordable will improve workforce participation, but importantly it will ensure more children receive the developmental benefits of formal early learning.

  • 27 Jun 2021 10:55 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    This Institute for Sustainable Futures report (University of Technology Sydney) examines commitment to promising initiatives and tools put in place by governments and companies to achieve the best results in terms of creating equal employment opportunities and inclusive workplaces. The report outlines a series of case studies linked to real outcomes in terms of staff well-being and company benefits that demonstrate real traction in resolving this issue.

    A recent EU survey report highlights:

    • pervasive segregation in the labour market.

    • persistent stereotypes fuelled by inadequate work-life balances policies.

    • discrimination allowed by a lack of transparency.

    The ILO reports that the gender pay gap cannot be explained by labour market characteristics that normally influence pay rates and insists that education levels in most countries is not the issue. So what factors do explain the gender pay disparities?

    The benefits for economies are substantial in revitalising company employment and boosting productivity. The ISF report assists in:

    • articulating a clear case for gender balancing initiatives at economy, company and individual levels

    • indicating the benefits of gender balance for employment achieving company goals.

    • ensuring economic incentives exist for mothers to work.

    The commitment to increase participation of women in employment is almost universal. What is lacking is granular evidence of the application of successful initiatives that achieve this.

  • 19 Jun 2021 12:24 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    A global survey of 5,000 women across 10 countries conducted by Deloitte found that 51% of women are less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic.

    Through the pandemic, women have taken on more responsibilities at home and at work while not receiving adequate support from their employers. Nearly 80% of surveyed women indicate that their workload at work has increased as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, 66% of women report having the greatest responsibilities for home tasks and more than half of those with children say they handle the majority of childcare duties. The mounting responsibilities are taking a clear toll on their physical health, mental wellbeing, and career ambitions.

    Survey respondents were clear about what needs to be done to reverse the pandemic’s disproportionate effects on working women: organisations that prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion in their policies and culture and provide tangible support for the women in their workforces will be more resilient against future disruptions. Additionally, they will lay the groundwork needed to propel women and gender equity forward in the workplace.

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.


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