Most Working Women Not Caring for Children - ABS
7 March 2013 at 3:16 pm
New research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that the majority of working women are not caring for young children despite most employers still relying on family-friendly policies to achieve greater gender equity.
Commissioned by gender equity workplace specialists, Optimiss Consulting, the ABS research focussed on working women aged 25 to 54.
It found that more than half (53%) of women working part-time and 79% of women working full-time have no children under 12, while 79% of full-time mums have no children under 12. 64% of mums working full-time have no children under the age of 18.
“We know Australia is still struggling to achieve greater gender diversity from middle management to the most senior ranks, particularly in the private sector, and as diversity experts who work closely with leading companies we wanted to uncover factors not being explored,” Optimiss Consulting director, Kate O’Reilly said.
“The ABS data reveals what we have long suspected – a great many women in the Australian workforce either do not have children or do not have young children.
“Having policies for working parents is important and employers should continue to provide options for this group of employees but this should not be where gender equality efforts end.”
O’Reilly also said that family-friendly policies do not address many of the issues holding women back such as pay equality, access to line management roles, unconscious bias, recruitment and promotion and access to training and mentoring.
“Harder, but also rewarding, is the work that will lead organisations to ask themselves the really tough questions that bring about permanent cultural change,” she said.
“Getting the policies right for working parents is a good first step for employers to take but their efforts shouldn’t stop there if they want to reap the benefits of being able to draw from a larger talent pool when recruiting and promoting people for middle to senior roles.”