At the ACTU’s NexGen Conference held in Sydney on 26-28 June 2017 the message was clear: the rules for working women are broken and we need to change them, IEUA-QNT Organiser Caryl Davies writes.
It is evident that, right now, the system is failing women in almost all aspects of their working lives.
Women make up 46.2% of the Australian workforce and yet they are consistently discriminated against, penalised for having children and locked out of a secure retirement.
The pay gap for full time working women in Australia is 19.1% at the base salary level and 24% for full remuneration. Women are more likely to take breaks from their careers due to caring or parenting responsibilities and often this leads to less secure working arrangements than their male counterparts.
Women are also more likely to retire into poverty and experience homelessness than men. Single women aged 55 years and over make up 70% of Australia’s homeless people. On average, women retire with 52.8% less superannuation than men.
The system is also failing working women in regards to wages, flexible working practices and access to paid family and domestic violence leave.
We need to work together to ensure that the next generation of women do not face the same systematic discrimination that we have faced for decades.