FWC appointments

AWRA congratulates Minister for Employment and Women Michaelia Cash on her appointments to the Fair Work Commission – which importantly continues to close the gender diversity gap at our nation’s employment tribunal.

It is pleasing to see real headway being made in improving the gender balance at the FWC.

With these appointments, female representation has risen to 39 percent, (up from 17 percent in 2013) strengthening the expertise and experience on the FWC.

Seven of the eleven appointments to the FWC made by Minister Cash in the past two years have been women.

This is an important step in increasing representation of women and shows decisive action is being taken to ensure gender diversity in key government administrative bodies such as FWC.

This increase in talent, gender diversity and professional capability of the FWC, our nation’s employment tribunal, is long overdue and most welcomed.

At AWRA we are proud of the way we assist employers by building their capacity in the areas of inclusion and diversity.

Feel free to get in touch to find out how we can assist in your organisation’s gender diversity journey.

Gender segregation in the workplace report

The Senate Inquiry’s Gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s economic equality report has been tabled, making recommendations for the implementation of a national policy framework to achieve national pay equity.

Hearings were held in Sydney and Melbourne during April, with 42 submissions received by the Labor-dominated committee.

The committee recommended coordinated efforts to address factors that adversely affect women’s workforce participation and gender segregation including reforms to flexible work, an extension to the period of Paid Parental Leave and improved access to affordable high quality early childhood education and care.

Other recommendations included:

  • The amendment of the Fair Work Act 2009 to improve its capacity to address equal remuneration;
  • That the Department of Education and Training update the National Career Development Strategy and the Australian Blueprint for Career Development in order to address the need for gender-sensitive career guidance and counselling in Australian schools and training institutions. This should recognise that women and men respond differently to information about occupations and provide mixed gender role models, mentors and experience with particular sensitivity to addressing gender segregation;
  • That the Department of Education and Training undertake a national evaluation of all programs and initiatives associated with increasing the number of girls in STEM education;
  • That the government restore and protect the budget of the Pay Equity Unit; and,
  • That the government conduct a review of the UK’s recent Gender Pay Gap Reporting Initiative.

There was disagreement in the committee over the recommendations, on the grounds that the report did not fully acknowledge the current measures implemented by the government, or the progress that is already being made in workplaces throughout Australia.

Towards 2025: An Australian Government strategy

Minister Cash recently launched a key strategy to increase the number of women in the workforce.

The strategy, titled Towards 2025: An Australian Government strategy to boost women’s workforce participation, outlines the government strategy to reduce the gender participation gap by 25 percent by 2025.

“Getting more women engaged in work is an economic and social priority for the Turnbull Government – it’s good for women, families, business and our economy,” Minister Cash said.

“Boosting women’s workforce participation is essential to raising living standards and securing Australia’s future prosperity. It has the potential to add up to $25 billion to the Australian economy.”