Help our daughters access the same opportunities as our sons

Blog Image for article Help our daughters access the same opportunities as our sons

I am a mother of two young children, a four year old girl and a two year old boy. I want my children to live in a world where they are paid the same, they can work in which ever industry they choose and above all, they are safe. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case for another 170 years in Australia.

Global Gender Gap Index

The World Economic Forum recently reported that Australia has slid from 36th place in 2015, to 46th place in 2016 on the Global Gender Gap Index. Rwanda, The Philippines and Nicaragua are all in the top 10. As a sporting nation, I know we love a leader board and we don't like to be beaten at anything.

How can I fix gender equality?

You are probably thinking it's very difficult for me to do anything about gender equality when I am busy trying to keep on top of all the immediate demands in my life. And that's true. But we know you have to shop. Did you know women make 85% of consumer purchase decisions? In the 2015-16 financial year in Australia women spent approximately $198.9 billion ($17.5 billion of that was online).

Shop brands with female leaders to create gender equality

You can find them in one place, Femeconomy. The collective power of our purses can advance gender equality at a faster rate. We call it The Femeconomy Effect.

Over 2000 consumer brands are listed at Femeconomy across a range of categories including clothing, makeup, accessories, shoes, electronics, toiletries, groceries and petrol. The criteria to be a Femeconomy approved brand is to have at least 30% of women on the Board of Directors or be 50% female owned. So far over 700 brands meet our criteria.

Why should you care about female leaders within companies?

Imagine this. You have a career, you become pregnant, you have a baby and are the main caregiver. You choose to stay at home and not work until you can find suitable child care (thankfully is here to help with that). Then you start to experience the gender and superannuation pay gap. When you do find child care and decide to re-enter the workforce, it’s difficult because there is a lack of companies offering flexible arrangements.

The reason we need more female leaders is to have diversity of thought where company policies are made, and research shows that the magic number to make a difference at board level is 30%.

Culture is created from the top. The voices at the top-tier can request gender equality pay audits, parental leave policies and work flexibility arrangements. It’s more likely these policies will be considered because as a society it is still the norm for Mums to take on the primary caring role.

Therefore, women who understand this challenge are more likely to change things and send the elevator back down to assist others progressing through the organisation.

What about the men?

This question often comes up and our answer is that gender equality is good for men too. Just ask Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau or any of the Male Champions of Change.

Research from the Peterson Institute of International Economics shows that going from having no women in leadership to a 30% share is associated with a 15% increase in profit for a typical firm. Everyone understands profit. If you open doors to women instead of closing them, more people in the company benefit. Men and women.

We need men to be involved in the conversation to help achieve gender equality. We need men to mentor women into leadership roles. We need them to allow both parents to choose how they want to take parental leave. We need them to be okay if Dads leave work early to pick up the kids or to get dinner on for the family. In the digital age, life can and should be more flexible. Men want more flexibility too and gender equality will enable this.

We all want our children to be safe

When I read that in Australia over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence, I know we have to keep striving for gender equality. No one's daughter should fall to this statistic.

International evidence about the key drivers of violence against women shows that preventing violence against women is connected to gender equality. According to evidence collected by the World Health Organisation, gender inequality increases the risk of violence by men against women, and gender inequalities also inhibit the ability of vulnerable people to seek protection.

So gender equality is the road to a better, safer future for our children.

We want our daughters to be inspired

If you can see it, you can be it. That is why at Femeconomy we interview female leaders and share their stories. Each story is unique and truthful.

You’re busy so here are some Femeconomy shopping tips

Tell us what you want

At Femeconomy we want to know what you like, what you want us to change and what you want more of. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn or Instagram. Or send us an old fashioned email. Whatever works for you, we'd love to hear from you.

Talk soon,

Alanna Bastin-Byrne
Founder, Femeconomy

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