June 2020

Locking in the Gains

This past month, CGE has been focusing on how State and Federal recovery from the pandemic can ensure that it doesn't leave women behind.

At the Ministerial Round Table on Women, CGE attended with Ministers Ellery and McGurk, to discuss issues from a variety of sectors and industries that will aid in WA's State Recovery Plan. CGE welcomed State government investment in construction, calling for an increased investment in the Health and Social Care sector as a job creation strategy. This sector is vital as it accounts for the largest and fastest growing employment sector nationally, and in WA.


For every 1% of GDP invested in this sector, twice as many jobs are created, that are inclusive of women, welcoming new entrants as well. 

Initiatives that were raised focused on adopting remote work, improving digital connectivity to encourage women to connect and build careers from home, as well as regional forums to repost to mental health grievances and creating a 'one-stop-shop' package for women to access mentoring, coaching and financial literacy advice.

CGE will continue to advocate that this is the time to be inclusive in our recovery rather than entrench gender divides.

Why strive for gender equity in business?
The evidence is compelling and convincing; the real benefit in striving for gender equity is evident in the increased efficacy that it provides. Research from the Bankwest Curtain Economics Centre (BCEC) based on Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data, has proven a causal link between greater gender diversity and an increase in the market value: having a female CEO has led to a 5% increase in market value of ASX-listed companies.

Increasing the number of women in senior leadership roles is not a 'womens' issue'; it is a 'business issue' that leads to greater productivity, profitability and market value. 

The business case for nine out of ten CEOs, who are men, to take action is clear. In her op-ed in "The West Australian" on 19th June, Tania Cecconi calls for three strategic actions that leaders can take to make a difference within their workplace.
Full BCEC report
The road to recovery

The effects of C-19 have already posed a disproportionate impact on women's employment, health and safety. The greatest threats that exist relate to health, unpaid care work and gender-based violence. Currently in Australia, women account for 75% of all health professionals, including: pharmacists, midwives, nurses and social and welfare professionals. Yet the proportion of female decision makers is only 20%. Being on the frontline of the pandemic has not only increased female exposure to the virus, but also amplified employment instability, vulnerability to abuse and growing financial strain. 

While these issues have been reported on in the short-term, it is most likely that these problems will be perpetuated and sustained long after the threat of the pandemic has subsided; as in the case of other health and financial crises . 
Global Research
Applying a gender lens to inform recovery can mobilise economies of historically unpaid work to facilitate job creation. The pandemic has put the true value of unpaid, domestic labour into sharp relief, as endorsed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, who acknowledges that female 'unpaid labour is not infinitely elastic'.  Statistics internationally show that in places such as Costa Rica, 25.3% of the nation's total GDP is latent within these 'invisible' economies. The UN urges governments to direct greater investment in teaching, nursing and public services. 
UN Global statistics on the value of unpaid female labour in 2020.
Read the Full UN Policy Brief Here

Federal Strategies

CGE welcomes the appointment of Social Services Minister Senator Anne Ruston the first woman appointed to Federal Government’s Budget committee since Scott Morrison became PM as reported by "The West Australian" on 26th June.

"Why gender matters in the impact and recovery from COVID-19" in responses, and the incorporation of gender-sensitive analysis in fields such as: public health, technology, engineering and risk communications, is essential according to this article.

Childcare: A case study in the role of public policy 

Speaking with Jenna Clarke for The West Live Podcast, Executive Officer Tania Cecconi, underscored that public policy ought to be reinforcing the importance of gender equity, not exacerbating the current gender divide. While childcare should not be favoured to the exclusion of 'shovel-ready' projects,; reversing the temporary subsidisation of childcare specifically affects not only working mothers and the growing demand for childcare services, but also thwarts the greatest source for employment opportunities in the health and service sector. Investment in childcare is vital as a job creation strategy and to increase women's workforce participation equals economic growth.
Listen Here
WA continues to lead in the gender pay gap.
WA's role in recovery
Historically, Western Australia has seen the greatest numbers in the gendered pay gap, and while the pandemic may have the ability to reinforce this, conscious decisions regarding investment, childcare subsidisation and business management may give the State the opportunity to bridge this gap. State stimulus packages can be expanded from male dominated sectors to be inclusive of the fastest growing and largest employment sector of Health Care and Social Services. 

At a business level, how do we identify and lock in the gains that we have discovered namely working from home; that either births new initiatives or maintains prevailing systems that promote gender equity or the destruction of persistent obstacles?

Find below a gendered lens, a series of questions for leaders, to aid in the evaluation of the gendered impact of decision making.

The Workplace Through a Gendered Lens
New workplace tools: Engaging the majority to ensure an equitable recovery
CGE is now offering Engagement Workshops for those at the beginning of their gender equity journey; Strategic Gender Equity Conversations for mature organisations; and Critical Coaching Conversations for those who want to develop their individual skill as gender equity leaders.  
Find More Information Here
Upcoming Events

CEO Summit 2020 I Livehire (new member)
2 September 2020 | 0730 - 0900 | Open to members only
This discussion will explore our legacy to gender equity in WA; the
values and actions we want to be known for as a CEO for Gender Equity.
This event will be online until further notice.

Do you know a CEO that should join CEOs for Gender Equity?
Our goal is to recruit 125 CEOs by 2021 to help us achieve our vision.

We want to boost women’s workforce participation, lift productivity and increase economic growth by sustainably improving gender equity in jobs and pay across Western Australian enterprises.

You can help by introducing a CEO to CEOs for Gender Equity.

If you know a CEO who would like to attend a CEO Roundtable, please contact CGE Executive Officer Tania Cecconi at
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CEOs for Gender Equity · 108 St George's Terrace · Perth, Wa 6000 · Australia

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