March 19, 2014 — Change is in the air in Australia and Catalyst is thrilled to announce our presence there! With a population projected to double within the next 60 years, Australia is uniquely poised to break through ongoing barriers to women’s advancement.
Catalyst’s presence will provide Australia and its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific business community with new resources to meet the challenges unique to that region and culture—and help women advance in Australian business and throughout the corporate world at large.
Australia has pioneered initiatives that serve as models for other countries, but it still faces challenges. Below are five facts that will enable women leaders and advocates to capitalise on this growing momentum:
More Women on Boards: Women’s representation on public company boards shot up from 10.7% in 2010 to 17.6% in 2014 after the passage of a diversity-related corporate governance code amendment in 2012 according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Political Representation: According to the Council of Australian Governments, 28.9% of those holding total parliamentary positions across Australia are women. However, in the lower house, only 26% of those holding parliamentary positions are women. This is lower than the OECD average.
The Pay Gap Down Under: Australian women earn, on average, $262.50 AUD less per week than their male counterparts, according to the 2014 WGEA Gender Pay Gap Statistics. That’s a significant difference! Just think of what you could do with an extra $13, 650 AUD a year.
Parental Leave: In 2010, Australia became the second-to-last industrialised country to offer federally subsidised parental leave. (Better late than never!) Of developed countries, only the United States lacks government-funded parental leave of any kind.
Recruiting Men as Allies: As Catalyst research has demonstrated, and according to an article in the Australian Financial Review, enlisting men’s support is crucial to reshaping Australia’s corporate climate for women: “Soon after her appointment as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick realised she needed to get the blokes on board.”
Catalyst is actively partnering with Australian leaders and advocates to make positive change—not just in Australia, but around the world.
We’re excited to help lead the way forward for women and business!