One of Australia's most prominent women in business has suggested that the country needs to embrace a "nanny culture" to encourage women to participate more fully in corporate life.
Carolyn Hewson, a former investment banker who sits on the boards of Stockland, BT Investment Management and BHP Billiton, told the Women in Banking and Finance forum this week that our society should take inspiration from Asia and Europe when it comes to childcare.
She said: "We do not have a nanny culture in this country and it severely hampers us – and I speak from personal and desperate experience."
Her remarks follow an announcement made by Chief Executive Women member and senior finance industry executive Jenny Fagg earlier this month.
Speaking on behalf of the group – which represents some of the top female business leaders in Australia – Dr Fagg asserted that next month's tax summit is "a perfect chance" for the government to review childcare and tax deductions.
She explained that in Australia, the high cost of child care – particularly when compared to the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong – represents "one of the biggest obstacles to women returning to work after having children".