What The New Workplace Gender Equality Act Means To You

workplace gender equality act passedJust recently, new measures were enacted into the Parliament, mainly to address the issue with gender inequalities in Australian workplaces. The Australian Government introduced newly modified legislation to Parliament.

 

This legislation depicted the intention of improving and subsequently continuing the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act, in addition to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. The move was successful, as the amendment bill for the aforementioned Acts passed on November 22nd of this year.

 

The amended Act is now referred to as the Workplace Gender Equality Act. To correspond with the aforementioned, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency is now the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

 

The main objectives of both Acts will help combat gender inequalities and improve gender related workplace diversity. This comes in the form of promoting and improving workplace and employment related gender equality, in addition to supporting employers to remove barriers preventing women from fully participating in the workplace. In other words, the newly amended Workplace Gender Equality Act is designed to bring light to the issues Australian women face at work.

 

As a woman in today’s workforce, the WGEA will expose and help correct the barriers preventing you from seeking work. Workplace inequalities have always been present within in the Australian workforce. Several studies, with substantial evidence, have proved these inequalities over the years.

 

In fact, women have been under-represented in higher earning positions and industries. It has created a 17.5 percent gap as a pay discrepancy between the salaries of men and women. Many attribute the discrepancy to ingrained cultural stereotyping and expectations, however the issue is so important that trivial matters like the aforementioned shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat.

 

A significant change with the new Act helps women better combat workplace discrimination in Australia. Employers have always been required to report data relating to the gender composition of their workforces.

 

The WGEA now requires employers to submit more details information to the Agency. Most of the information is available to view online, allowing analysis and evaluation of their results by the public and other sources. Employers will have to disclose information to both employees and shareholders regarding their gender composition data.

 

This newly implemented system will allow employers to keep track of the gender discrepancies found in their workforce. Through the implementation of this act, the security of the Australian workforce is expected to continue prospering through the advancement of gender quality in the workplace.

Details – click here.

Springboard Women's Development Program 2013

Springboard Public Programs 2016

 

The insanely popular Springboard Women’s Development Program is all set up and ready to go for 2015. Grab the brochure here or head over to www.springboard.org.au to find out more information about it.  Check out the HUGE deal when you book and pay early.

 

Springboard matches the agenda to increase women’s equity and participation in the workforce.

Springboard Women's Development Program 2013

Indigenous Employment

Promising report today from a research study into indigenous employment growth. The findings reveal that rates of employment have outstripped that of non-indigenous employment growth. For women 19% compared to 20% respectively while men were 20% vs 5%.

One key learning from the research was the impact of education. Those with a degree or higher qualification increased their prospects of employment by 50% (20% for non- indigenous).

Many have believed that education is the key to prosperity and a better life. Seems the research supports that belief.

I’m not sure what the government is specifically doing in this area but subsidizing indigenous education seems a solid investment based on these findings.

Experience Plus Older Workers

Experience Plus: Older Workers

Not long ago a relative was faced with a tough decision: continue to commute 2 hours a day each way to work for minimum wages or move to Sydney, pay a huge rent and be closer to her job but farther away from family and friends. Local work was hard to come by and when it did it was rarely permanent. My sister was in the ‘over 55’ category. She applied for literally hundreds of jobs over the course of a few months, adjusting her resume to focus on key skills required for the role. At times she was fortunate enough to get an interview which meant she had to take time off from her Sydney job to attend. When she arrived, she would invariably be told she was ‘too experienced’ for the job. My sister is a bright woman. She’s one of the generation who decided to put her career aspirations on hold to be at home for her four children. Her husband earned enough for the family to get by and she worked in casual jobs when she could to afford a few extras.

It was my, and her, firm belief after her experiences that confirmed the deep vein of ageism that runs through the Australian employment scene. (And we’re not even talkig about recruiters – thats’ a whole other story).

Experience Plus Older WorkersIt was with that in mind that I conducted a program for older workers, workers with ‘experience plus’, who need to continue to work and plan of their transition to retirement. The uptake of the program was limited. Employers largely were not convinced of the value of training and developing workers at the back-end of their working life.

I’m pleased to see another push by the government of the day to encourage employers to manage the ageing workforce scenario. It hasn’t gone away. Heavens, we’ve known about this time coming since the late 1940’s!

Applications are now open for employers (or small business owners) to apply for Experience+ Training grants of $4,950 (includes GST). Experience+ Training allows you to retain valuable skills and experience in the workplace. It provides quality training (at the Certificate III level or above) for your mature age workers (aged 50 years or over) so that they can gain the skills to successfully mentor and supervise your apprentices or trainees. The grants are paid in two installments – a start up payment of $3,500 and a completion payment of $1,450 (when the worker has completed the course).

For more information and details, go to:  Experience+ Training Guidelines and Application Form 2010-14or call the Experience+ hotline on 13 17 64 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

Applications close on 30 June 2011.

http://www.deewr.gov.au/experienceplus is the place to go to get more information on the latest government mature worker initiatives.

Leading the Police

If you’ve ever had anything to do with the Police, either directly or indirectly, you’ll know they have a reputation of being a strong, even closed, culture. The impression many of us have is that leadership is based on toughness, authority and possibly even mateship.

A recent talk I attended validated some of these thoughts. The traditional Police model of leadership is a heroic, male-oriented, command-and control environment.  There are even elements of some policing units being very close to the criminals they chase. The temptation for some police is great. As they say, the brighter the light, the darker the shade.  That kind of culture is supported and encouraged in some quarters.

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