• 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.

  • 23 Oct 2020 9:43 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Those members who joined the BPW Australia National Summit last weekend heard from the two candidates for election as BPW International President, Hellen Swales from New Zealand on the Saturday and Catherine Bosshart from Switzerland on the Sunday. 

    Catherine is currently the Vice President United Nations on the BPWI Executive – there is a proposal for consideration by the General Assembly to change the title to Vice President Advocacy.  Catherine mentioned she had set up a website focussed on the close working relationship between BPW International and the United Nations.  

    This website profiles 10 of the accredited Representatives that BPW International has with various UN agencies and committees.  It reports on meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women and international United Nations events, and endeavours to keep BPW members up to date with UN news

  • 18 Oct 2020 3:00 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The BPWA Summit – the National Conference you have when you can’t hold a National Conference – was well supported by members and a great success.  For those members who were unable to attend this Zoom event over the weekend of 17/18 October 2020, the webinar recordings will be posted on the website and made accessible to BPW clubs.  In the meantime, you can access the program, the update on the National Conference 2021 and presentations by the two expert speakers from BPW Adelaide – Heather Jensen on Women and Money and Wendy Teasdale-Smith on Zoom and Public Speaking

    Clubs: check the due dates on the last slide of the National Conference presentation and ensure you schedule time in your 2021 club program to think about resolutions your club wants to submit for debate and nominations for election to the BPWA Board.  

  • 04 Oct 2020 11:53 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In April, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the world to “put women and girls at the centre of recovery efforts” as the UN released a report highlighting how the pandemic could reverse the limited progress made on gender equality worldwide.

    Unfortunately, it seems his advice has largely been ignored, with much of the world failing to adequately address the fallout from COVID-19 on women and girls.

    That’s according to the just released United Nations’ COVID-19 Global Gender Response tracker, monitoring 2500 policy measures across 206 countries to apply a gender lens across three policy areas: those that tackle violence against women, those that support unpaid care, and those that strengthen women’s economic security.

    The UN found 42 countries had no gender-sensitive measure in place at all, and only 25 have at least 1 measure in all 3 areas.  

    The assessment of Australia’s COVID-19 response found that we have introduced measures to address violence against women and support unpaid care, but none addressing women’s economic security.

  • 27 Sep 2020 10:30 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In the past year, only 1 of 25 CEOs appointed to lead ASX 200 organisations was a woman; the previous year, there were only 2.

    Chief Executive Women’s latest report reveals that there are fewer women in the pipeline for promotion to CEO roles.  The organisational roles and positions that typically lead to CEO appointments are overwhelmingly held by men, with 2/3 of organisations having no women in these key roles. In fact, CEW identified that 96% of CEO appointments were chosen from leaders with responsibility for profit and loss, but women in company leadership roles tend to be concentrated in support function roles like HR, legal, risk and corporate affairs. It’s rare for CEOs to be selected from support function roles.

    CEW President Sue Morphet says "we're not taking advantage" of female talent with only 30 out of 200 companies having 40% to 60% women in their executive leadership team. Even in industries with a predominantly female workforce, such as Health Care, there is huge under-representation in roles with profit and loss responsibility, with only 5% of leadership line roles in Health Care companies in the ASX200 filled by women, down from 15% four years ago.

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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