Posts tagged gender pay gap
Quality, not just quantity: How government investment into care work could grow the economy

The undervaluing of caring work is a key driver of gender inequality. In today’s analysis, Kathy McDermott of the National Foundation for Australian Women (@NFAWomen) provides a summary of their submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. They argue that investing in social infrastructure is economically savvy, providing supports for our biggest-growing industries while also tackling the gender pay gap.

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Invisible women? Migrant workers need feminist solidarity

Domestic workers are one of the world's most invisible work forces. Their labour is performed beyond the reach of regulators, in private households, including those with significant power and influence— diplomatic and consular officials. Recent research by The Salvation Army found that domestic servitude is occurring in Australia at higher rates than official figures suggest and disproportionately affects women. In today’s post, Heather Moore (@alittlewave) of Monash University (@TSResearchGroup @MigrationMonash) shares findings of her research: Service or Servitude? A Study of Trafficking for Domestic Servitude in Australia. Her findings indicate there is a largely unrecognised feminised workforce that many Australians utilise. Too often migrant domestic workers do not enjoy equal access to protection under the law as other Australian workers do, and are are largely excluded from the mainstream policy discourse on women and rights at work.

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From “mothers having babies” to “people raising families”: Policy and cultural change at Baker McKenzie for inclusive parenting leave

There are many reasons to support fathers taking leave at the birth of a child, including indications that taking time off to be with a newborn results in increased parental engagement across childhood – an area that continues to have a strong gender imbalance in Australia – and supporting a host of other positive outcomes, including maternal wellbeing and narrowing the gender pay gap.

Yet few fathers are encouraged to or, in many cases, are unable to take parental leave at the time of birth, and often unsupportive policy creates the first barrier. In today’s analysis, Kirsty White of law firm Baker McKenzie’s Diversity and Inclusion team shares how the organisation has made history by being the first law firm in Australia to provide gender-equal parental leave, and describes some of the challenges and benefits.

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Economic inequality can deteriorate women’s mental health

This blog is the second in a four-part series on women’s mental health. As the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System continues its public hearings there is an opportunity to consider the social and economic factors that contribute to poor mental health using a gender lens. This piece by Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) and Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of @GoodAdvocacy explores how economic inequality contributes to poor mental health among women, drawing on reflections from practitioners in Good Shepherd services. You can read the first in this series here.

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Mitigating the child penalty: Policy problem or social norms?

The child penalty is a significant driver of the gender pay gap, which points to a solution through more progressive policies. Today’s analysis compares six OECD countries which reflect a range of progressive policies to support women into employment. The analysis highlights a powerful determinant of the gender pay gap external to policy solutions - social norms. This article originally appeared in VoxEU.org under the title “Child penalties across countries: Evidence and explanations”, and is authored by Henrik Klevin, Camille Landais, Johanna Posch, Andreas Steinhauer, and Josef Zeimüller.

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Apples for apples? Comparing Liberal and Labor platforms on economic security for women

With the federal election campaign in its final days, people are heading to polling booths to vote in Australia’s next government. In today’s federal election piece, Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@susanmaury) and Laura Vidal (@lauraemilyvidal), both of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, break down the Government and Australian Labor Party’s policies for women on improving economic security, providing both a comparison between the platforms and commentary on how the plans fall short. Today’s piece on economic security is the first in a two-part series.

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Time to work and time to care: Policy levers to enable gender equality

It can be argued that time is the crucial element in securing gender equality. Women work longer hours than men, but most of these hours are unpaid. Meanwhile, men spend increasingly long hours at work, resulting in promotions and pay rises unrelated to productivity or competence. In today’s federal election series, Sara Charlesworth of RMIT (@RMITCPOW) shares an overview of the Australian Work + Family Roundtable’s election benchmarks, which provides an evidence-based framework for addressing the root causes of inequalities.

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Fathers face a flexibility stigma: Time for policy and cultural change to support fathers using flexibility

The government has a strong focus on supporting women back into paid employment following the arrival of children. However, current initiatives don’t go far enough to remove barriers for many mothers to engage in career-oriented employment. In today’s analysis, Ashlee Borgkvist (@ashb_6) of the University of Adelaide (@UniofAdelaide) examines the barriers men face in accessing paid parental leave and explains how increasing uptake will result in better outcomes for mothers, fathers and children.

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It’s about time: Time Use Survey returns to make unpaid work visible

According to the recently released Women's Economic Security Statement, increasing women’s workforce participation is an economic and social priority in Australia. To that end, the $109 million package, built around three pillars - workforce participation; earning potential; and financial independence - focuses on practical measures to effect positive change. We recently looked at the Statement's potential impacts on pillar 1 - workforce participation. In today’s analysis, Helen Dalley-Fisher and Hannah Gissane (@HannahGissane) of the Equality Rights Alliance Australia (@ERAAustralia) drill down to one of the specific measures announced in the package - the reinstatement of the Time Use Survey, and how it functions to make unpaid work visible to policy-makers. This piece was originally published by the Broad Agenda.

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Citizens’ jury endorses public sector gender quotas

As the Liberal Party in Canberra debates whether to opt for targets or quotas to boost the number of seats held by women, and the Labor Party proposed public disclosure of gender pay gaps in workplaces over 1000 people, in Victoria last weekend a Citizens’ Jury quietly endorsed gender quotas for senior roles in the public service. The full juror’s report is available in this article.

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Rewarding competence – not confidence – offers a step toward equality

Women’s lack of progression in the workplace and the gender pay gap is often blamed on women; women are told that behaving more confidently will result in workplace rewards. Today’s blog by Leonora Risse (@leonora_risse) of RMIT University reports on an Australian study that challenges this advice, and suggests that organisations would be better off valuing the characteristics that women bring, rather than expecting them to become more like men. This policy analysis piece was originally presented at the inaugural Australian Gender Economics Workshop, held in Fremantle, Western Australia, on 8 and 9 February, 2018.

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Promoting women’s participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Who wins?

There has been a push to increase the number of women in STEM-related jobs, and this comes with an assumption that it’s a win-win situation: Society benefits from increased numbers of STEM specialists in the workforce while women reap the benefits of higher-status employment. However, labour economists Michael Dockery and Sherry Bawa of Curtin University report that women in STEM are experiencing a surprising number of barriers compared to other women with degrees, including higher levels of unemployment and higher levels of job dissatisfaction. This policy analysis piece was originally presented at the inaugural Australian Gender Economics Workshop, held in Perth on 8 and 9 February, 2018.  

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How the ‘child penalty’ matters for domestic and family violence (and what we can do about it)

The ‘gender pay gap’ is a major contributor to conditions that enable and perpetuate domestic and family violence. That women on average earn much less than men increases their vulnerability to financial abuse, makes it difficult for them to leave violent relationships, and leaves them much worse off financially if they do leave. Recent research suggests that it’s the ‘child penalty’ more than anything else that is currently driving the pay gap. ANZSOG Research Fellow Sophie Yates (@MsSophieRae), who is completing a PhD on gender and domestic and family violence, reflects on the importance of changing our expectations about who will take care of children if we want to significantly reduce family violence.

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Precarious work and the health cost to women

The Women’s Policy Action Tank recently published a special issue of the Good Policy newsletter, exploring three areas of policy with a gender lens: women and the criminal justice system, Indigenous women, and women’s experience of employment. Each topic is explored using a dialectical approach, in which two authors approach a topic from a different angles. We will be publishing the paired articles on our blog over the coming three weeks. This week we publish the last two articles, exploring women and work. This article is a companion piece to Productivity and Pressure: Social Services get an Unhealthy Squeeze, by Fiona MacDonald.

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Can Dads be flexible too? Gendered risks and gendered opportunities to reduce work-family conflict

Women, work, and raising children is an oft-visited topic. But what about the men? In today’s post, Amanda Cooklin from LaTrobe University’s Transition to Contemporary Parenthood Program, shares recent research into how policy can better help fathers manage work-family conflict.

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A tournament of endurance: Does equal pay mean equal time?

Are higher-status positions and good pay rewarded to those most qualified or those who win an endurance test of hours spent at the office? Today’s contributor, Lyndall Strazdins of Australia National University, presents the evidence that gender divides in the workplace are heavily influenced by the number of hours available for working. This not only limits women’s participation in the workplace with negative consequences on their financial security and influence, it is also negatively impacting on men’s work-life balance and health. She argues for an overhaul of working-time related policies to create a more beneficial working life for everyone.

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Women’s Policy Action Tank: The gender pay gap persists due to an incorrect framing of the problem

In 1995 the gender pay gap in Australia stood at 16.2 per cent.  In 2015, despite targeted policies to redress this inequality, the pay gap had actually risen, to 17.3 per cent. In this analysis, Fiona Macdonald dissects these policies.  She explains how the representation of the gender pay gap problem is both faulty in places and too narrow in others to correct this persistent injustice.

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