Minister for Women announces $109 million commitment to boost workforce participation

Minister for Women announces $109 million commitment to boost workforce participation

by Freya Lucas

November 20, 2018

The Australian Government will commit $109 million in funding, under the Women’s Economic Security Statement, to encourage workforce participation, economic independence and increased earning potential, Federal Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has announced today.  


Ms O’Dwyer says the funding is designed to support and deliver practical measures to help give women greater choices about their lives, build financial security for themselves and their families, and grow the Australian economy.


With more women in the workforce than ever before, 2018 has seen female workforce participation reach record highs, whilst the gender pay gap trends downward, currently at a 14.5 per cent difference.


“Despite this progress, some problems still persist,” Ms O’Dwyer said. “Women are likely to earn less than men; they are likely to work part time at over twice the rate of men; and, at retirement age there is a 42 per cent gap in their superannuation balances.


“That is why the $109 million statement is focused on assisting women at many different points of their lives, in different parts of Australia, and in different circumstances.”


The statement is designed to equip women with the tools and support they need to make the best choices about their future.


A range of measures were highlighted by Ms O’Dwyer as part of the statement, including:


  • boosting entrepreneurship in girls and young women;


  • bringing business together to help reduce the ‘flexibility gap’ and gender pay gap;  


  • expanding the parents who can access parental leave payments and the period the payment is taken;and,


  • supporting women with access to the funds they need to escape domestic violence.


“The Women’s Economic Security Statement won’t just give women and their families’ greater choice, it will also grow the Australian economy,” Ms O’Dwyer said.