• FWX March qtr  -1.6% (72.2pts)
  • FWX y-o-y change  0.9% (72.2pts)
  • Total timeframe to Gender Equality  59
  • Timeframe to Equality on Employment  28 years
  • Timeframe to Equality on Underemployment  15.5 years
  • Timeframe to Equality on Gender Pay Gap  22 years
  • Timeframe to Equality on Unpaid Work  59 years
  • Timeframe to Equality for Women On Boards  6.5 years
  • Timeframe to Equality on Superannuation  19 years
  • Gender Pay Gap 2021  13.9%
  • Gender Pay Gap sub-index 2021  (86pts)
  • Employment sub-index 2021  1.2pts (72pts)
  • Superannuation sub-index  5.4pts (74.6pts)
  • Gender Gap Superannuation  25%
  • Underemployment Rate sub-index  -8.1pts (74.6pts)
  • Education sub-index  92pts
  • ASX 200 Women On Boards sub-index  69pts
  • ASX 200 Women On Boards  34.5%
  • Unpaid Work sub-index  67pts

Women’s economic review reeks of panic and pressure

Financy women's index
Financy
February 16, 2022

I’m just not that excited about the NSW government’s women’s economic review and I should be because I’ve been covering women’s finance as a journalist for nearly a decade.

Last week the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that a new review will focus on supporting women to enter, re-enter and stay in the workforce, including through identifying opportunities to reduce salary and superannuation discrepancy and improve access to and affordability of childcare.

The review will be conducted by the NSW Government and supported by an expert reference panel of very influential and inspiring women including Sam Mostyn AO, President of Chief Executive Women as chair.

On a positive note, it’s a good thing to have a gender lens applied to budget spending and have the limelight on women’s workforce participation and opportunities.

But the problem is that this review appears more like a reactionary political tactic where women are the tool to winning much needed government support ahead of a 2023 election.

Pressure has been mounting for sometime on the NSW government to do more to recognise the structural inequalities, even within its own ranks, that many women face on a daily basis.

Indeed some of you might even remember that photograph of the Premier celebrating in a pub with all the blokes and beer, but without a female minister in sight.

Just this week nurses in NSW went on strike over years of inadequate pay and a worsening of staffing conditions in light of the pressure of the Coronavirus pandemic on the health system.

For the past five years, the health sector has occupied one of the top spots when it comes to having the highest gender pay gaps (20.7%) of any industry.

To put that gap into perspective, the average woman in this sector earn 79 cents for every $1 earned by a man.

Whilst I acknowledge that political footballing is often how many positive historical wins have taken place, I still believe that women of this country deserve a long-term commitment for the better and I am skeptical we will get it.

Here’s some (only some) of what I would like to see as part of this review.  And yes, Financy will be making a submission.

  • A measurable 10 year plan from this government to improve gender equality outcomes rather than one squarely linked to the upcoming budget.
  • Greater diversity in the expert panel, and in particular the inclusion of an Indigenous woman to represent the most vulnerable minority.
  • Cost analysis on the spend of this expert review when the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity arguably could have delivered on this initiative – albeit without the media-splash of a new panel.
  • Gender diversity in government. This review also needs to look at not only at how industries can do better but how state political parties must expand the gender depth of their ministerial ranks to ensure a constant voice is given to women.

Without women accounting for at least 40% of government ministers – advocacy will always be a hard fought matter where the boys rule. as I’m sure NSW Minister for Women Browyn Taylor has already discovered.

It is time for the female voice to be a constant in the ranks of NSW government.

Financy helps women become financially fearless and while we’re at it, we ensure that our members – individuals and organisations – are part of the solution to gender financial equality. Subscribe for FREE to our newsletter or dial things up a notch with a Financy Membership.

 

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Financy
February 16, 2022
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