92% of Australian women believe they do not enjoy equal rights according to the results of a new study conducted by cosmetic company the Heat Group and UNIFEM Australia, the United Nations Development Fund for women.
Of the 500 women polled 41% flagged domestic commitments, lack of support in the home and the resulting inability to work longer hours and promote themselves professionally, as the major stumbling blocks to gender equality in Australia. Further, more than half reported feeling pressure to conform to traditional female roles within the home.
“Programs such as the Paid Parental Leave scheme may help to move these women from the home to the workplace with greater ease, however it also highlights other issues such as access to flexible hours, the wage gap and access to affordable child care are still key issues for women,” said Gillian Franklin, Managing Director of the Heat Group.
The poll also revealed that 41% of women felt they had been passed over for promotion because of their sex, a trend that is particularly evident amongst women over 40.
Kate O’Reilly, Board Member of UNIFEM Australia said “It simply does not make economic sense not to have equality in the workplace. Companies who support the full participation of women at all levels demonstrate stronger performance.”
Of the more than 500 women polled nationally, 69% said they wanted more measures to improve the current situation of women in Australia, supporting the view that despite progress being made in Australia, we still had a long way to go.
Source: Heat Group/UNIFEM Australia