Womens economic security: Let's lead the change

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"As a nation, we must demand a life for women where they don’t just survive, but they thrive. Every woman should have the opportunity to fulfil her potential and to make meaningful choices about her life. To put it simply — there should be no limit on what she can aspire to, and no limit on what she can achieve."

 

Like plenty of others across Australia, I eagerly anticipated this year’s Budget announcement, which was released on Tuesday.

After last year’s pledge to reduce the gender workforce participation gap by 25% by 2025, I was hopeful that the government would continue its commitment to achieving gender equality.

Although the Budget itself made little mention of women’s economic security, Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer  confirmed that a separate package addressing workforce participation, pay equity and superannuation will be announced in September.

It sounds promising, but do we really need to wait on the government to get the ball moving?

At Grace Papers, we believe we all have a responsibility to press for progress in our own workplaces, and to ask ourselves what more can we be doing to support women to achieve personal and professional success - whatever it might look like to them.

We don’t need to wait until September to ask ourselves these questions.

Viva Energy is just one company leading the charge.

They became the  first company in Australia to offer employees a full-time superannuation payment of 12% base salary for up to five years during unpaid parental leave and following their return to work. Importantly, it includes full-time superannuation payments regardless of whether their employees return to work in a full-time or part-time capacity.

In Australia, 70% of all part-time workers are women, and female workers retire with a superannuation balance 42% less than that of their male counterparts. The most common cause? Women are often the primary caregivers, and need to take time out of the workforce to raise their children.

Given these challenges, Viva Energy’s new super policy is an innovative step towards reducing the systemic financial disadvantage women can face in retirement. Now, that’s commitment.

And like any employer committed to the wellbeing of its employees, Viva Energy knows life’s not all work and no play. That’s why Grace Papers has teamed up with them to offer an exclusive Mother’s Day competition...follow us on facebook or instagram to hear it first!

While we wait for the government to catch up, the onus is on us to consider ways we can put the issue of women’s economic security front and centre in our own workplaces.