On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women's progress towards equality - and recognise how much further there is to go. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, at a time when only eight countries allowed women to vote, and equal pay for equal work was unheard of.
While we’ve come a long way, a significant gender pay gap still exists. Australian women earn an average of 22.8% - or around $25,800 per year - less than men. Women’s unpaid work is a large contributor to this inequity – women work an average of 60.5 hours a week, with 48% of this time unpaid, compared with men, who work an average of 58 hours with just 33% of their time unpaid.
Women’s unpaid work is an invisible employment barrier
Women do a disproportionate amount of unpaid work, which includes caring responsibilities and household chores like cooking, shopping and cleaning. They’re also overwhelmingly responsible for staying on top of work, school, extracurricular and life admin communications, events and to-dos.
Working mums spend nearly two hours each week, or 11 business days a year, managing their family schedules and school communications. Responsibility for this manual and time-consuming task means they have less time to participate in paid work and negatively impacts their productivity, career progression and retention.