larger by 2060-2061 will the economy be if women's participation reached parity with men (2021-2022 NSW Intergenerational Report).
Women are underrepresented in our trades, our offices and our boardrooms. Too often they leave the workforce or reduce their working hours out of necessity, not by choice. The time has come to level the playing field, making sure more women have greater choice and opportunities when it comes to their careers.
Better support and opportunities
The Women’s Economic Opportunities Review established in February 2022 is focused on empowering women and improving their economic opportunities over the next 5 to 10 years. Supporting women to enter, re-enter and stay in the workforce is at the heart of the review. This includes identifying opportunities to reduce salary and superannuation discrepancy, as well as improve access to and affordability of childcare.
An expert panel advised of the need for a public submission process and targeted consultation with peak organisations. The Women’s Voices project gathered insights from around 200 individual women with diverse backgrounds, as well as from research studies, online conversations and organisations that work with women.
Improving economic security
A response came in the 2022 NSW Budget's Women’s Opportunity Statement, which included a suite of initiatives that will improve childcare accessibility, early childhood education, women’s health and wellbeing, ability to return to work and small business opportunities. Increasing the number of women in the workforce will not only improve their economic security and wellbeing across a lifetime, it will bring enormous social and economic benefits to everyone in NSW.
Find out more about the Women’s Economic Opportunities Review and the Women’s Opportunity Statement.
Childcare costs, caring responsibilities, domestic duties and challenges re-entering the workforce after a significant time away, are among the main barriers preventing women from participating in the workforce to the extent they would like.
Focus group with women in March 2022
“I was a chef and the hours are crazy – there’s no way I could go back to that after I had my son. So I’ve had to re-train and become a nutritionist to fit the hours in. I get paid a lot less now.”
“I’m about to go back to the workforce after 7 years out. I feel incredibly anxious about what it’s going to be like, it’s almost as though I have to start from scratch.”
In November 2021, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed
average participation rate of men in the NSW workforce.
average participation rate of women in the NSW workforce.
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