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Soon after they won the 2022 election the Albanese government established the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce. Sam Mostyn was appointed as chair with the brief to provide independent advice to the government on how to boost women’s involvement in the economy. The taskforce reported back to the government in late October, 2023. Included in their findings was the alarming statistic that barriers to women fully participating in the workforce are costing the Australian economy $128 billion.

Prior to launching my latest book, A hell of a lot of glass achieving gender equality in the workplaces of Australia at the end of October last year, I’d been fearing the topic of tackling gender equality had passed its used by date. It gave me no joy to know how much ongoing barriers to women are costing our economy – except for the fact it meant that the focus of my book was still current.

Recommendations by the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce are in key areas where inequality is prevalent including care, the workplace, education and skills, the tax and welfare system and government processes. Specific recommendations include::

  • Wholesale changes to the tax system
  • How public contracts are awarded
  • Yearlong paid parental leave
  • More investment in childcare and education
  • Ensuring the minimum wage is high enough to be a living wage
  • Finding new ways to encourage women back into the workforce.