For women in the workforce, the atmosphere of equality is certainly different to that of the last generation. However the fight for a more balanced working environment for women across all industries and sectors continues, as does the removal of other disincentives to female roles in the workforce.
The federal government released its Women’s Statement 2012 on May 15, detailing a collection of reforms that aim to contribute toward the advancement of gender equality in Australia in terms of employment and lifestyle issues.
Developments in women’s rights as far as working and earning go can mean more productivity across the board, which is at the forefront of the government’s move coming off the back of a strong economic climate.
A joint statement from minister for employment Bill Shorten and Julie Collins, development minister for the status of women, emphasised how a robust and well-managed economy enables all Australians to receive fair pay for their hard work and contribution to the country.
It can also mean people are better able to deal with cost-of-living and household expense pressures.
A more equal atmosphere can remove many barriers to women’s enjoyment of working life and help them to excel in their chosen careers – making the possibility of a comfortable retirement easier to achieve.
Also, having a strong female presence on panels and councils can produce significant benefits for all Australians – this may be at the heart of the progression of the initiative to maintain a target of 40 per cent female representation on Australian government boards.
Building a stronger and fairer country means working toward equality for all and the government’s reforms could be a welcome sign that this will soon be a possibility.
It is estimated that closing the gap between women’s and men’s workforce participation could boost Australia’s Gross Domestic Product by up to 13 per cent.
Some of the key areas that will see reforms include the National Plan To Reduce Violence Against Women And Their Children, which will be initiated and delivered.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency will also be instituted, to regulate and analyse workplace legislation concerning equality issues.
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