“The human race is like a bird and it needs both wings to be able to fly. And, at the moment, one of its wings is clipped an we’re never going to be able to fly as high.“ – Emma Watson, Actress & Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women
Gender diversity is pretty topical at the moment as is Australia’s political landscape as we move towards our Federal Election. And I’ve been thinking a bit around this topic.
It was Julie Bishop* who said – “I believe that as more women around the world take on leadership positions – in their communities, countries, across continents – the impact of female leadership will be profound… And let’s face it, including women in leadership teams adds a diversity of attitudes, outlooks and experience. And greater diversity means the team is more likely to come up with new ideas, more creative approaches, and more flexible thinking and responses to challenges.”
(*Julie Bishop is an Australian politician, serving as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party).
I totally agree with Julie and I believe that we need to widen our horizons and appreciate the qualities different people can bring to the table in order to progress as a society. And as someone who strives to be a fair and equal employer, I aim to practice what I preach and here are a few suggestions that I believe could help bridge the gap in terms of women in the workforce.
10 ways to bridge the gap on gender diversity
- Reduce the female superannuation gap
- Employers could increase superannuation payments to women in the workforce by several percentage points. Reduce the payroll tax on employers for women employees to enable employers to pay more super;
- Whilst on maternity and parental leave, women to continue to receive superannuation payments;
- Increase the annual top up threshold one person can contribute to another’s superannuation from $3K.
- Long service leave
- Allow women to access long service leave entitlements earlier, perhaps three or five years;
- Increase long service leave entitlements for women.
- Return to work bonus. Encourage women to return to work with a bonus to help offset the costs of child care.
- Parental return to work program. Reinducting employees back into the work force after extended periods of time.
- Parental rotational program. Specifically for those who are unable to return to their previous position in the short term but can work in other roles.
- No FBT on employer benefits in relation to child care support for employees.
- Annual leave purchase from pre-tax earnings to a maximum of three months per annum.
- Banks to have a maternity/parental leave savings account where annual leave purchase can be banked and earn higher interest.
- Extended paid parental leave. No brainer.
- Equal pay. Another no brainer.
These are just some of the thoughts I have had over the last couple of days. Why have I been thinking about this?
Diversity is a weekly discussion at my main employer and constantly comes up in conversation within my network. ‘Lets employ more women’ people say, to which I respond along the following lines ‘that’s great, but what is our strategy and what are the benefits to attract said women to our workplace?’So let’s stop talking and start doing says @StanRolfe on gender diversity pay gaps Click To Tweet
It’s a bit like that Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. The line ‘if you build it, they will come’ rings loudly here. You have to have the culture and infrastructure in place to attract and retain’. If not, you’ll need to grease up your turnstiles.
So let’s stop talking and start doing! What are you doing that’s different in relation to diversity? Share your experiences, your ideas and let’s make the change!
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