PACIFIC Bay Resort was the venue for the first regional roundtable for 2021 held by ‘economic Security 4 Women’ (eS4W), which is a National Women’s Alliance, funded by the Australian Government through the Office for Women.
Locally, Business Professional Women (BPW) and Zonta are members of the eS4W alliance.
The event was called ‘Boosting Economic Security for All Women living in Australia’ and Stephen Koukoulas, the eS4W economist in residence, discussed a range of issues before holding a Q & A session.
eS4W’s role is to lead the advancement of economic security and leadership for women, engage and collaborate with organisations and individuals and engage with the Australian Government on relevant policy issues.
Mr Koukoulas talked primarily about wage disparity.
Main causes were not only the discrepancies between starting salaries of male and female targeted graduates, but that women were more highly represented in health and education, which had lower salaries and increments than other professions.
This affects superannuation with adverse effects on women’s retirement.
According to Mr Koukoulos, the ‘hot topics’ to be advocating for to improve the economic situations of women are childcare, jobs and salaries, the future of work, women in regional, rural and remote areas, and superannuation.
This is especially important because a national poll from June 2020 found 80% of people agreed that gender wage parity is needed, 56% of people feel that moves for it benefit well-to-do people more, 51% feel that gender wage parity has been mostly achieved and 47% feel that gender equality (men and women being equal) has come far enough already.
Major issues discussed included more women into higher education, which leads to higher incomes and free childcare, which is more than repaid by increased productivity.
Mr Koukoulas told the audience, “We want to raise awareness to issues, get people fired up and also celebrate successes and changes and advocate for future generations.”
By Andrew VIVIAN