Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Government congratulates Australia’s best employers of women

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Wayne Swan MP, Federal Treasurer

Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and  Tanya Plibersek, today celebrated International Women’s Day with 95 organisations that are leading the way in recognising and advancing women in the workplace.

The Treasurer and Minister for the Status of Women acknowledged the 95 organisations which will receive an Employer of Choice for Women citation for encouraging women to reach their full potential.

The Rudd Government is determined to build a modern, confident and fair Australia where Australians can achieve their goals regardless of gender or background.

That’s why it’s so encouraging that these 95 organisations are showing such strong leadership in promoting women in their workplaces.

These organisations went over and above the minimum requirements, working to remove the many barriers to women’s career progress.

This is not just the right thing to do, it also makes business sense.

Improving women’s economic and social outcomes is also important to developing a stronger and more robust economy.

All 95 organisations had to meet stringent criteria set by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), to show that they were improving outcomes for women.

Women earn 83 cents for every dollar men earn and the percentage of women who occupy directorships in companies listed on the ASX stands at just 8.3 per cent.

The Government has taken a number of steps to advance opportunities for women in the workplace including increased support for child care and changes to the Fair Work Act such as the right to equal pay for work of equal or comparable value and a special bargaining stream for workers in low paid sectors.

The Government has also committed $731 million over five years to establish Australia’s first comprehensive Paid Parental Leave scheme from 1 January 2011. The national scheme will encourage women to maintain their connection with the workforce and their careers. Australia has been one of only two OECD countries, along with the USA, which did not have a comprehensive paid parental leave scheme.

The Rudd Government is determined to make real progress in advancing the status of women in the workplace and is leading by example with women occupying and excelling in many of the most senior positions in the Government.

Julia Gillard is the first woman Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, and is joined in the Commonwealth Ministry by Ministers Jenny Macklin, Nicola Roxon, Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek, Kate Ellis and Justine Elliot.

These are welcome changes but more can always be done to improve upon this, which is why the Rudd Government will continue to work for real progress in improving the working conditions and prospects of Australian women.

For a full list of the EOWA Employer of Choice for Women organisations please visit the EOWA web site.