Losing out on promotion due to your sex is an experience that many Aussie women can relate to. Women have fought for equality with men in the workplace for a long time, but the gender gap still exists across Australia, from entering the workplace as a graduate to retirement.
It can be seen in the pay differences and the lack of promotion and managerial opportunities. The gender gap in pay is 24% across all the industries, with women retiring on average with less than half the superannuation of men. Leadership roles are also dominated by men, although some improvements can be seen.
The Gender Pay Gap In Australia
In 2018 the Australian Human Rights Commission issued Face the Facts: Gender Equality in 2018. This is an engrossing, informative document that should be compulsory reading for all Aussie women. It highlighted the inequalities that need addressing and recognised improvements that have been initiated.
One area that does show a more balanced equation of the sexes is women in entrepreneurship. This is an area where women can be seen holding their own, with some terrific role models like Prue Gilbert. She founded Grace Papers, an online resource to support working parents, helping them negotiate flexible working hours and parental leave opportunities. Prue, alongside many other female entrepreneurs, shows that women have got what it takes to succeed, although their approach may be different to a man’s.
Male-Female Differences Are Important
An area that is increasingly becoming attractive to women is Forex trading, worldwide research shows that women are taking advantage of the flexible working hours made available by the growth of internet trading.
Women are excelling in the role as Forex traders. Women in Forex have challenged this previously male-dominated arena and have shown they have the skills to outperform the men. Proof that Australian women do not need to become carbon copies of men to succeed, it’s more about developing those techniques that they excel at.
- Women are less likely to take risks, they look at trading from a different perspective than men, driven by different goals which are more family and lifestyle orientated.
- They are more willing than their male counterparts to listen to advice and not push the boundaries, with female traders more willing to use a ‘buy and hold’ strategy, with its lower transaction costs and risks.
- Women have a tendency to be less confrontational than men and more confident in their decision making.
These are all skills that need to be developed and valued by women and industry. Women need to see their own value to be able to promote it successfully. Complement and challenge men, but recognise that these differences are what make women in the workplace valuable. Not only do we need to decrease the gender gap in Australia, but we also need women to realise that they are essential, and should not accept the ‘all boys’ club mentality. Things are changing, but let’s not lose sight of the goals; an equal place in the workplace, equal opportunities and level pay for both sexes.