• FWX Mar qtr 2024  78.3
  • FWX yr-o-yr  3.66
  • FWX qtr-o-qtr  2
  • ASX 200 Boards years to equality  5.6
  • Underemployment years to equality  19.9
  • Superannuation years to equality  17.7
  • Gender pay gap years to equality  23.3
  • Employment years to equality  25.6
  • Unpaid work years to equality  45.5
  • Education years to equality  389

The NSW Budget delivers for women but for how long?

The NSW State Budget has given women the best sign yet that change on gender equality is afoot. We look at the main pros
June 22, 2022

The NSW Government has delivered a big spending and big promising State Budget and for the most part, I like it.

The budget, which was delivered yesterday by Treasurer Matt Kean, provides $4.9 billion in spending, including $1.7 billion for childcare support, during the government’s current elected term.

It’s money that will be used to provide an unprecedented boost to the affordability and accessibility of early childhood education and care to support more women to return to work, stay in the workforce and boost pay outcomes – thereby helping to put downward pressure on the gender pay gap – currently at 13.9%.

What I like about this Budget is that it directly focuses on women and many of the underlying areas that affect financial security such as employment, affordable childcare, women’s safety and it also delves into the important area of trying to challenge languishing gender stereotypes in venture capital access, women’s sport and women’s career progression in male dominated trades.

What concerns me about this budget is that the $4.9 billion is part of a bigger $16.5 billion over 10 years, money that is largely dependent on a Liberal Government staying in power. We know that to affect long-standing structural issues, that the 10 year commitment is at the very least, critical to moving the dial on gender equality, which the Financy Women’s Index estimates will take 59 years to change.

What I also think is missing, is more of a focus on girls. I would have liked to have seen a school’s program that challenges gender stereotypes in school, particularly when in comes to financial and career progression education for girls and boys.

Overall, this Budget makes it very clear that the NSW Government is taking women’s economic progress seriously – and is different to the former Federal Liberal Government.

Mr Kean noted in a government statement that the “…investment, delivered alongside the Commonwealth’s childcare reforms and market dynamics, is expected to see up to 95,000 women enter the workforce or take on more hours, driving down the gender workforce participation gap by up to 14 per cent within a decade.”

The government also released a NSW Government’s Women’s Opportunity Statement, which looks at key areas where reform is needed. It will be repeated in every future NSW Budget.

Here’s what the NSW Budget looks like for women based on the government’s 10 year plan – which is a bit like smoke and mirrors because we don’t know if they will remain in – but hey, that’s politics!

The NSW Budget allocates $16.5 billion over 10 years in programs that will benefit women, including the following investments over four years:

  • $1.7 billion towards introducing universal pre-kindergarten
  • $1.3 billion fee relief for preschool
  • $775 million towards boosting accessibility and affordability of childcare
  • $32 million ($30 million in grants and $2 million in administration) to provide wraparound support for women to return to work

$69.4 million to improve the experiences of women in the workforce, including:

  • $21 million to increase women’s participation in the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) workforce and enhance workplace safety
  • $20.2 million to triple the number of women in construction by 2030, from 5% to 15%
  • Enhanced paid parental leave for public sector employees, including two weeks bonus leave where parents share leave more equally

$30.6 million to support women in small business and entrepreneurship, including:

  • $15 million to provide tailored support to help women build and grow their businesses
  • $12 million towards the Carla Zampatti Venture Capital Fund ($10 million for the Fund and $2 million for establishment and operation) for female led start-ups
  • $3.7 million to monitor the proportion of women-led businesses in government procurement and promote equitable practices in businesses

$150.5 million to increase women’s health and wellbeing, including:

  • $80 million to support affordable fertility treatments
  • $40.3 million for menopause hubs
  • $25 million to upgrade lighting and build female change rooms at sporting grounds
  • $5.2 million to support post-natal mental health

$108.9 million to increase respect for women and women’s financial security, including:

  • $43.6 million for wraparound support for victim-survivors of domestic violence
  • $30 million for lighting, CCTV and foot traffic upgrades and an anti-street harassment campaign
  • $18 million for expanding AV links to allow domestic violence complainants to give remote evidence
  • $9.7 million for a SafeWork taskforce to reduce sexual harassment in the workplace
  • $8 million for court appointed questioners for cross examinations of DV complainants
  • Shared equity scheme for low-income single parents and older singles, especially older single women


Financy is a fearless believer in economic equality, which uses data insights to accelerate progress and support organisational efforts in diversity, equity & inclusion.

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June 22, 2022
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