Ministerial Statement

Supporting women to participate in the workforce is an economic and social priority for the Turnbull Government — it’s good for women, families, business and our economy.

Boosting women’s workforce participation is essential to raising living standards and securing Australia’s future prosperity. It has the potential to add up to $25 billion to the Australian economy.

Harnessing the power of our most important asset — the human capital of all 24 million Australians — will allow our children and grandchildren to capitalise on the opportunities of the 21st century economy.

That’s why, under Australia’s presidency, G20 leaders committed to reduce the gender participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025. For Australia, this means decreasing the gap by three percentage points from 12.1 per cent to 9.1 per cent by 2025. On current results, we are on track to achieve this goal.

The Turnbull Government has a strong record of supporting women in the workforce, with women’s employment at a record high of over 5.6 million, representing 46.5 per cent of employed Australians.

The participation gap is narrowing, but we are not complacent. We will continue to work to ensure that we achieve our target of reducing the gender participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025.

That is why this Government is implementing a new child care system to provide parents with more choice and opportunity to work. A more affordable, accessible and flexible child care system will support families so they can choose their child care around their work, rather than limiting their work hours to suit their child care.

We are also supporting more women into the jobs of the future and establishing the environment to encourage more women to own and run their own business.

We are increasing women’s financial literacy and helping them boost their superannuation to ensure that they are economically secure and independent.

We are also ensuring the right incentives are in place so that women can see both the short and long-term financial benefits of maintaining a connection with the workforce.

The Government is leading by example. We have set goals for 50-50 gender balance at all leadership levels in the Australian Public Service and for women to hold 50 per cent of Government board positions. Our efforts are paying off with women now representing 43 per cent of our ongoing Senior Executive Service employees and just over 41 per cent of all Australian Government board members.

This Strategy outlines the practical work the Turnbull Government is undertaking to increase the opportunities for women to work if that is their choice. We note that this is not the sole responsibility of government — business, families and the community all have a role to play. The ultimate objective of this Strategy is to enable women, men and families to have the freedom to make choices that best suit their individual circumstances.

 

MICHAELIA CASH
Minister for Women
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service