“Next step in parental leave is tailoring it to give women best career rebirth”

Some commentary on the new Australian Parental Leave scheme proposed by the new Liberal government.

“Next step in parental leave is tailoring it to give women best career rebirth”

Article from Melissa Grah-McIntosh of the Brisbane Times September 11, 2013

Policies with impact for a productive society”

from Women on Boards (WOB’s)

Pay equity, women in leadership and childcare were the issues nominated as the most important to women in a recent survey of more than 1,000 members of Women on Boards.

Paid Parental Leave (PPL) was ranked the issue of least importance.

The survey was conducted over two weeks by Women on Boards to their database of more than 15,000 professional women with 1095 responses.

The purpose of the survey is to inform the future government, policy makers and the business community of issues impacting on the productivity, leadership potential and economic well being of women in Australia.

WOB Directors, Claire Braund and Ruth Medd, said the survey highlighted the complexity around the inter-related issued of maintaining workforce productivity while enabling employees to contribute to the social economy through parental and other caring responsibilities.

“The issues are complex and it is very clear that single issue policies implemented in isolation will not address the rapidly changing needs of male and female workers, business and society,” Braund and Medd said.”  see the rest of the article here

 

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Gender gap costs country $195b, says economist, via Sydney Morning Herald National 9 May 2013

By Adele Ferguson

Sydney Morning Herald National 9 May 2013

TIM TOOHEY, GOLDMAN SACHS

TIM TOOHEY, GOLDMAN SACHS

Australia is missing out on $195 billion or 13 per cent of gross domestic product by failing to close the gender gap, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Tim Toohey said.

Mr Toohey said living standards would rise, productivity would increase and pension liabilities would fall if certain policies were introduced to help close the gap.”

 

AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Original article published in Gas Today Thursday, 2 August 2012

AWRA answers call for gender diversity

Thu, 2 August 2012

The Australian Women in Resource Alliance helping the growing gas sector meet its skilled workforce needs through building greater gender diversity.

Australian Women in Resource Alliance (AWRA) Project Officer Marie Henry says that developing a greater level of workforce diversity has become a priority for employers embracing the great opportunities and challenges within Australia’s evolving energy sector.

“The country’s top six gas projects alone have a capital expenditure of more than $154 billion and the industry is reporting the shortage of professional and skilled workers could double by the end of this year,” she says.

To meet this challenge, resource industry employer group AMMA is facilitating AWRA. This part federally-funded initiative has a very clear objective: to boost the resources industry’s skilled workforce through the increased attraction and retention of women.

Ms Henry says “While women represent 45 per cent of the total Australian workforce, they make up just 16 per cent of the resource industry. This unfavourable figure has seen a number of industry stakeholders and academics unite under the AWRA banner to increase the representation of women in resources to 25 per cent by 2020.

“It may seem an ambitious goal, but we believe this can be achieved through the widespread implementation of workplace policies and procedures that both promote the employment opportunities abundant in the industry and ensure our workplaces cater to a gender diverse workforce.”

AWRA says that its Way Forward Paper is the first step in creating awareness of the economic benefits of gender diverse workforces.

The paper outlines how AWRA can facilitate the appropriate cultural change and promote best practice workplace policies to increase the participation of women in gas, mining and oil roles.

In coming months AWRA will also release its various Way Forward guides, which address a range of workplace practices and specific policies that will help our industry achieve this goal.

“Through support of the AWRA initiative, we can better promote the gas sector as an attractive career pathway for women and start making some real progress towards meeting our workforce needs,” says Ms Henry.

REFERENCES

Gas Today – http://gastoday.com.au/news/awra_answers_call_for_gender_diversity/076692/

Australian Minerals and Mining Association website

Get women back to work to prop up economy by: JESSICA IRVINE From: The Advertiser November 27, 2012 11:00PM

Get women back to work to prop up economy

 

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Women at work

Getting women back to work is good for our economy. Source: Supplied

GETTING more women back to work and further up the career ladder is key to boosting the economy, writes Jessica Irvine.

———–

Governor-General Quentin Bryce is one classy lady and a role model for young women everywhere. Speaking yesterday at the launch of the federal gender watchdog’s latest census of women in leadership, 69-year-old Ms Bryce, rocking in a skirt suit of the hottest pink you can imagine, shared her memory of life before the women’s movement.

It’s worth recalling here:

“I’m a girl of the ’60s,” Ms Bryce began. “A time when women in jobs were clustered in a narrow range of occupations.

“Marriage meant resignation. Pay was two thirds of men’s. No maternity leave. No childcare. No role models. No mentors. Little access to superannuation or higher education. There were separate job ads for women and girls, men and boys.

 “I was the only girl from my school to go to university. There were a handful of us in law school.

“I was shocked to see only one woman scholar on campus at University of Queensland and to learn that I would have to leave work when I was married. It’s no wonder women started to take action.”

Ms Bryce’s story shows how far we have come. But, as she points out, it is not nearly far enough.

Decades on, women remain shut out of the corridors of power. Despite some high-profile examples of women in politics and civic life, like our Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Ms Bryce, men continue to dominate the business world.

Of Australia’s upper 500 companies listed on the stock exchange, just 12 were headed by women at the time of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace’s 2012 census. That has since dropped to 10. That’s 2 per cent of companies headed by women.

Worse still, at the key senior executive level the feeder for future CEOs two thirds of the the top 500 companies have no women.

It must be a depressing picture for the firebrands of the 1960s and 1970s. It is certainly a wake-up call for their daughters and granddaughters of how much more work we have to do.

As our firebrand Ms Bryce put it yesterday: “Why do the new generation of 20 to 30-something women who are better educated than their male colleagues continue to earn less, labour in lower status positions and struggle to juggle the demands of childcare and work?”

Because it’s not just our top executive women who are struggling. Figures for the entire economy show Australia’s female workforce participation rate, at 59 per cent of working-aged women, is lower than our international counterparts.

In New Zealand the percentage is much higher at 72 per cent. In the UK it is 69 per cent.

Boosting the status of women at work is not just a moral but an economic imperative.

In a pre-recorded message to yesterday’s lunch, the boss of ANZ, Mike Smith, made the point: “Gender diversity is not only about equity, it also makes good business sense. It’s really as simple as that.”

See the rest of the story here

REFERENCES:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/get-women-back-to-work-to-prop-up-economy/story-e6freon6-1226525196663?sv=bd98d9ea564311b15ae4417dc5afc056

 

Presentation on Gender Diversity by Pam Dell, Associate with AltusQ

“As part of a Paediatric Education Program across Developing Countries, I was asked to present on Gender Diversity to a group of Doctors who are in positions of Leadership in their medical systems. To ensure I captured the important points,  I researched the gender issues and statistics in each country  and also challenged them to make gender diversity their strategic vision. Their mission will be to make their own workforces more indicative of their population spread and ultimately more productive.

In developing countries, these issues are much harder to address and gain acceptance, as many of their laws, cultures and customs do not currently support any type of gender diversity. But the good news is that small steps forward are being made daily and the future looks bright. The paper was received with optimism by the audience and gratefulness for highlighting these issues.”

DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION HERE

About the author – Pam Dell

Pam is an Associate  with AltusQ, Pam Dell works across Australasia within multiple organisations enabling them to become more productive by engaging their most valuable asset – people.

Her strengths lie in being able to help teams agree a vision and then lead them to deliver quantifiable results.

Her skills have been honed and tested over the last 25 years in multiple corporate environments from finance to IT, with the last decade spent in IBM.  Pam’s success as a Global Manager of a large IBM IT Division culminated in her recognition her as a TOP 25 IBM ANZ Manager in 2012.

She has built up deep experience in influencing policy and change in matrix environments. She is highly skilled in engaging diverse cultures and stakeholders to solve problems with a flair for business planning and development.

As well as her role with AltusQ, she is currently the Strategic Lead for Women in ICT Australia (WICTA)  http://www.fitt.org.au/,  an incorporated association which promotes the interests of women working in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Australia.

 

Gender Economics and Diversity for Organisations

Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, with the 2012  international conference now under way in Spain.  Gender Economics encourages organisations, and indeed countries to use all the resources available to them across both gender and diversity to improve economies, improve profitability and market share.

Many organisations in Australia recognise the positive and enriching qualities of ‘diversity’ and many of these organisations are also at the forefront of the gender equality issue.   Westpac Bank has already done a lot of work around gender equality and diversity and continues to promote initiatives that increase leadership opportunities for women in senior management.  However, there are other organisations that pay ‘lip service’ to diversity, flexibility and gender equality, yet these same organisations still qualify as a “Women’s Employer of Choice”.

True diversity and gender equality doesn’t just fit into the normalised view of a ‘gender stereotype’ for female friendly workplaces, like nursing stations and flexible working hours. Whilst these facilities are great regardless of gender, it is still in senior management that we see discrimination and “Boys Club” practices at work.  If we changed the structure of our workplaces as well as the way that they run many would attract and keep more senior women.  For example, developing alternative value measurements for success, true workplace audits that dig deep to name “Boys Club” practices and move away from what we are socially conditioned to believe women want in the workplace.  In my experience the single most destructive element that prevents women remaining in and moving into leadership roles is the “Boys Club” element and the way both women and men support it.  How can an organisation that purports to be a “Women’s Employer of Choice”, be serious when all its Board members are male?   By which standard is the organisation developing its criteria to promote women?  How can a patriarchal, primarily white male, Anglo-Saxon board structure really identify the needs and aspirations of the diverse groups of people in their organisation?

Gender Economics aims to develop these new metrics for success.  Metrics that make sure that women and minorities have a direct impact on the economy and not an indirect impact on the economy via consumerism and social dependency.   Not only would your organisation benefit by tapping into more resources, and advancing more women into leadership roles,  I believe that Gender Economics will deliver greater access to a diverse customer base by understanding alternative measures of ‘value’ against revenue.

Gender Diversity makes a difference to the ‘bottom line’

Diversity makes a difference, see the latest research by WOB (Women on Boards). Article By Claire Braund on  17 February 2012 in the Australian Mining Magazine and Shared by Dorothy Jakab and 1 more in WOB Women on Boards via LinkedIn.

The article notes some important statistics which make a strong case for an increase in women’s representation on boards and leadership positions;

“In 2004 the US-based non-profit organisation Catalyst created the link between female board directors and corporate performance in its report ‘The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation of Boards’.

The report found higher financial performance for companies with higher representation of women board directors in three important measures – return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital.

Fast forward to Australia in October 2011 and the non-profit research organisation Reibey Institute found that over three and five year periods, ASX500 companies with women directors delivered significantly higher return on equity (ROE) than those companies without any women on their boards.

In between 2004 and 2011 there were a number of significant studies and reports successfully prosecuting the business case for recruiting and retaining women into senior leadership roles and onto boards.”

The article further discusses the need for a full utilisation of all human resources, male and female in reference to the current resource shortage in the Australian Mining Industry where good resources are hard to come by.

“In Australia, this will require a significant shift in corporate culture and in the attitudes and behavior of many who occupy positions of power.

The mining sector is a dominant player in the Australian economy with major human resource demands. Surely, of all sectors it should be the one that understands the importance of a fully deployed labour force and the business benefits that diversity brings?”

Economically, Gender Diversity makes sense.

References:  Australian Mining Magazine