On paper, Australian women and girls can do anything - they can attain an education, become a CEO, earn the same as men, and as we will see again tonight, even play football at an elite level. In many ways, there's never been a better time to be a woman.
In sport, women strive for equality on and off the pitch. We catch up with Lauren Arnell, Captain of Carlton Football Club, to find out more about the AFLW pay debate and the fight to give gender inequality the boot.
Friday 27 October marks National Teacher's Day - a time to reflect on those who fulfil support us to educate and form our children. They give generously, work tirelessly, and their impact is both profound and long-lasting.
At the Victorian Womens Lawyers Lesbia Harford address last week, writer Clem Ford argued that “Men with power cannot hold onto it and argue in favour of gender equality at the same time. It doesn’t work like that.
A $52,000 fine, imposed on an employer for denying an employee's request for flexible hours after returning from parental leave and instead making her redundant, has been widely reported today. And with good reason: employers rarely lose cases brought against them with regards to pregnancy related discrimination.
For ten years now, I have targeted my efforts to addressing the oppression of women in our workplaces. And so you'd think that by now, my reactions to discrimination, bullying and harassment, both personal and institutional, would be somewhat desensitised. In reality though, that is far from the truth. When the Australian Federal Police chief, Andrew Colvin, shared a report this week on the findings of a 6 month independent cultural audit by former sex discrimination commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, into the AFP, my instant thoughts went to the individuals - women and men - who had been subjected to what is not just inappropriate behaviour, but illegal.
There's nothing quite like the power of a public figure taking on her former employer, suing them for, well, being shafted by their employer. Following the break down of negotiations between Talitha Cummins and her former employer Seven News, Cummins has confirmed that she will now be doing just that, pursuing justice in the Federal Court.
When it comes to gender equality and the concept of unconscious bias, it seems ironic that we continue to see gender equality solely as a women’s issue. Sure – for as long as 80 women are murdered every year at the hands of men who are supposed to love them, and just 15% make it to CEO - it will be a women’s issue. But to see gender equality through a prism of power and privilege that only oppresses women implies that freedom for men is absolute. Which it is not. And it is not until we acknowledge what men have to gain through gender equality that we will see more women operating professionally with their own license to operate, rather than fitting in with the system.
A friend of mine proudly announced to me recently, that he was advertising for a woman through a new flexibility recruiter who was helping women to more fully participate in the workforce. He went on to tell me that he could access great talent, that was also experienced, but because they want flexibility, they're prepared to trade off remuneration. Those who know me can only imagine my response to my well-intentioned friend included words such as 'exploitation' and 'sex discrimination'.
In the Aboriginal culture, the term "dadirri" means to practice deep listening, out of respect. Deep listening describes the processes of deep and respectful listening to build community—a way of encouraging people to explore and learn from the ancient heritage of Aboriginal culture, knowledge and understanding.
Each year, as the festive season starts to ramp up, I like to attend the Australian Human Rights Commission's Annual Awards ceremony and recognise those who have contributed to advancing human rights in our society. And this year was no exception. The Awards are a reminder of the extraordinary contributions individuals and businesses make to promote the dignity and potential of every human being, and peace for all of us on earth. For me, this event is an important reminder of what is truely important in our world, at a time when 'the gift of giving' is often being exploited.
Talking of equity, last year I was driving my then 5 year-old son to a birthday party, and we inevitably started talking about his own upcoming birthday party. A football party, at the Boulevard oval, Dad can umpire, Ned can be captain of the other team, we’ll eat hotdogs – he went on - you get the drill, and very few details were ignored. And I have to admit that until this point, there had been no discussion about girls being invited or not. So his next comment really stumped me “and the girls can be the crowd.”
Meet someone who has experienced discrimination. Meet Jemma. Jemma is a 41 year old mother of two. While pregnant with her first child, Jemma was discriminated against by her employer. This is her story...
We hear it all the time, “oh but my boss is really nice”, “but they’ve always been so good to me”, “but that’s illegal”… so many reasons why YOU won’t be the one that is discriminated against when you become pregnant and have a child. But the reality is, you very well could be. 1 in 2 Australian women are discriminated against whilst pregnant, on maternity leave or when returning to work.
While pregnancy and motherhood can be a blissful time for many women, it can also be a confusing, exhausting, uncertain, troublesome mess of a time for others. In fact the perinatal period (which includes pregnancy and the year following birth) is when women are at their most vulnerable and at the greatest risk of poor mental health.
A report released this week reveals that the gender pay gap manifests even among top tier managers in Australian organisations, with men being paid on average $100,000 more per year than women. The report, Gender Equity Insights 2016: Inside Australia's Gender Pay Gap, also revealed for the first time a measurable link between increasing gender diversity on boards and lower pay gaps for managers.
If freedom to work and care is only for mothers, then it limits the freedoms accessible to fathers, especially when it comes to parenting. The introduction of paid parental leave schemes that are accessible equally by mothers and fathers is key to driving parity. But it's going to require leadership to encourage men to take it up and get out of the workplace...
The numbers are in, and according to an interview conducted by Harvard Business Review with researchers Henriq Cronqvist and Frank Yu, CEOs with daughters are more socially responsible on every metric.
Cate Sayers has four daughters, the second of whom, Alexandra, was born with Down syndrome. All four girls love dancing and were attending the local dance school. But when Alexandra turned seven, it became clear that she needed extra support.
World Mental Health Day falls on 10 October. At any one time, 1 in 5 employees are likely to be experiencing a mental health condition, with the knock-on effect impacting corporate Australia to the tune of over 6million lost working days each year. Support for people with mental illness is estimated to cost Australia in excess of $28.6 billion annually.
Journalist and commentator Tracey Spicer last night stood up at Ben Jenkins' and Zoe Norton Lodges Story Club, and read a poem she had written about gender discrimination in the workplace. It is a witty rhyme about the discrimination she was subjected to during her time at Channel 10. Her career with the network ended when she was sacked over email after the birth of her second child. We love it.
Women doing the same job as men are supposed to be paid the same by law. Yet the gender pay gap currently stands at 17.9%, meaning Australian women, including you, have to work an extra 65 days this year to earn the same as men. That’s a whopping $284.20 a week less.
If you've spent more than 5 minutes with me over the past couple of years, you would know that I am very passionate about supporting women through pregnancy, while on parental leave, and to return to a successful career. So when Rudd introduced Government Paid Parental Leave, I embraced it, but was somewhat disappointed that it didn't go far enough.
Its my business to listen to women sharing their stories of bias, discrimination and harassment in the workplace, not because they like to complain, but because they are barriers to their full participation in the workplace.
Cherie Blair’s inspiring keynote address at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week today was a great call to action to increase the support provided to women entrepreneurs. The Cherie Blair Foundation leads by example in this space, delivering a host of support to female entrepreneurs worldwide. With a clearly stated aim of supporting women with the capability, the confidence and the important access to capital they need to grow and expand their businesses, the Cherie Blair Foundation has delivered support to over 100,000 women in over 70 countries.