Collective action to ‘Count Her In’

The month of March is busy with activities focused on gender equality, and we encourage our members to embrace an intersectional and inclusive approach to commemorating International Women’s Day, both during the week itself and throughout the entire month.

Closing the pay gap – not just a moral imperative, but an economic priority

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has just published data on the gender pay gap. This first public release of private sector gender pay gap data sees organisations taking another crucial step towards accountability and transparency. Our new information page on WGEA changes shares useful resources to guide members in their efforts.

DCA’s last She’s Price(d)less update report highlighted the urgent need to address the systemic factors perpetuating gender-based wage discrepancies. The report found that at the start of their career women experience a pay gap of 6% but as they progress through to top management levels, this pay gap increases to a high of 18%. Alarmingly, it showed that accounting for labour force participation rates and incomes, the national pay gap is estimated at costing $966m per week – that’s almost $51.8 billion per year.

Recently, the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce released its final report, calling for immediate action in this area. It stated: “Motherhood attracts a significant earnings penalty” and “on average, an Australian woman earns $1 million less than an Australian man across her career”.

Greater action by industry, the community, and governments to address the systemic drivers of the gender pay gap is both a collective obligation and an investment in our future economic prosperity.

DCA to contribute to CSW68, New York

I’m proud to share that DCA will contribute to UN’s sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), taking place from 11 to 22 March in New York.

DCA will be involved in two sessions. One will be delivered with Settlement Services International (SSI) and focus on RISE – a collaborative project between DCA, SSI and Chief Executive Women to build pathways to leadership for women from CARM backgrounds.

The other will focus on our ‘Centring Voice’ report, which we’ll present along with our GIDA partners who will offer their global perspectives. The joint session will focus on global challenges and lessons amplifying women’s voices.

DCA is also part of the Australian Government’s rapid response group for the CSW68 negotiations. Australia has a strong history of involvement in CSW and is a key player in the negotiations, which set out the commitments States are making to progressing gender equality.

Importantly, we will shine a light on the fact that effective systemic organisational change happens only by listening to and understanding the diverse experiences of women – especially those who experience intersecting marginalisation.

Centring marginalised voices at work

These valuable insights will also be shared in our upcoming resource on Centring Marginalised Voices at Work, which we look forward to releasing at our upcoming DCA event on 13 March.

Our Culturally and Racially Marginalised (CARM) Women in Leadership report shed light on the unique challenges faced by CARM women in organisational settings.

We know that by centring CARM women’s voices and lived experiences, we can devise more effective strategies to dismantle the systemic barrier they face.

Lessons from this work in centring the voices of CARM women has informed an approach on how to centre the voices of any marginalised group.

NSW Women’s Week 2024

As a member of the NSW Women’s Advisory Council, I’d like to share that NSW Women’s Week 2024 will take place from Monday 4 March to Sunday 10 March.

It brings me immense pride to be part of a celebration that centres inclusivity and honours the remarkable achievements of women across NSW. This week-long event will culminate in the NSW Women of the Year Awards 2024 ceremony on Thursday 7 March. If you’re in NSW, I encourage you to learn more about NSW Women’s Week 2024 and register for events.

This International Women’s Day, I urge you to join us in amplifying the voices of women, including those who have been marginalised due to their race or culture, their disability, LGBTQI+ identity, their age, caring responsibilities or their social class. Together and guided by evidence, let’s ‘count her in’, invest in women and accelerate progress towards a more equitable future. When we harness the power of collective action, we move closer to building a society where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential.

Lisa Annese CEO, Diversity Council Australia