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Elizabeth Broderick’s Blue Print For Achieving Gender Equality – what the report proposes for working women – pay equity, targets, quotas, support for parents and better sex harassment policies!

Elizabeth Broderick, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner has released a report that outlines the inquiries, investments and initiatives to rectify a wide range gendered imbalances Australian face. The issues fall into five priority areas: balancing paid work and family/caring responsibilities, ensuring women’s lifetime economic security, promoting women in leadership, preventing violence against women and sexual harassment and strengthening national gender equality laws, agencies and monitoring.  I had a closer look at the Blue Print report and it has big things in store for working women.

I’m especially excited about Recommendation 7 that focuses on strengthening the representation of women at decision making levels and promotes an ambitious raft of quotas and targets for government and business – including a recommendation that all Government Boards and publicly listed companies have 40% of each gender represented within 3 years.  Even more exciting, if there is no serious progress by businesses in the face of this target, the report recommends that the Government introduce quotas. I’ve been pro quotas for years, and I’m really interested to see if a 40% target will be enough motivation, given this means there would need to be a five-fold increase in women appointed to board positions if we’re to get there without quotas – an ambitious program by anyone’s definition.

Other key recommendations for business are Recommendation 4 for a focused and funded campaign against the pay gap, Recommendation 1 for longer and better paid parental leave (one year at two thirds of your income), Recommendation 10 for strengthening the protection from sexual harassment and Recommendation 13 to ensure women experience equal outcomes in the workplace by amending the EOWW Act, and name changes to put gender equality unmistakably on the agenda.

You can download the surprisingly easy to read and very exciting report here, and I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on what will and won’t make a difference, and how groups like sphinxx can work with initiatives like the ones mentioned to really amp up our campaigns!

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