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I Am Woman – the quest for gender parity goes on

by rt staff writer in Women's health

It might be 41 years since Australian-born singer Helen Reddy’s hit song I Am Woman, but the lyrics ring truer than ever. Sadly Helen is no longer with us, she passed away in September 2020.

Despite the great strides women have made since the song was released, we are still an estimated 99.5 years away from reaching gender parity, which is quite shocking when you think about it.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in March each year. In 2020, the progress that women around the world have made towards achieving equality.

The #EachforEqual social media campaign was created to remind everyone that it's on each of us to help create a gender equal planet. It is a call to action to join forces across generations, to create a world where every girl and woman has equal opportunities to fulfil their full potential. Equal access to education and income are central to levelling the playing field for women around the world.

The number of workplaces in Australia that champion gender equality reached an all-time high in 2019. The Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) awarded 141 companies with the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation in 2019.

The WGEA citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australia. There were 26 first-time recipients, including the Australian Football League, the first time a national sporting organisation has made the list. The growth in recipients showed increasing recognition by Australian employers that gender equality is both good for business and gives organisations a competitive advantage.

  • Trends among Employers of Choice include:
  • Entrenching flexible work across the organisation
  • Programs to support women into leadership
  • Tailored parental leave policies to support both women and men
  • Initiatives to encourage women to return to work after a career break
  • Setting targets to achieve gender-equal graduate recruitment intakes
  • Robust analysis and correction of gender pay gaps.

Despite this good news, the gender pay gap in Australia sits at 13.9 per cent as of February 2020. This means on average, full-time male employees are paid $242.90 a week more than their female equivalents.

And, in the yearly Global Gender Gap report produced by the World Economic Forum, Australia is ranked 44th in the world in 2020, out of 144 countries. This is actually an inferior result to two years ago when Australia ranked 39th. The report looks at four key areas: health, education, economy and politics, to gauge the state of gender equality in a country.

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