Workplace gender segragation: These are the Australian occupations most affected

Workplace gender segragation: These are the Australian occupations most affected

Key points A consultation report to the government has highlighted Australia’s continued gender segregation in the workforce. Women continue to dominate in the fields of childcare and nursing, as well as reception and general clerical duties. The report, released on Tuesday, called on the government to address the issue for better labor productivity. The gender divide in Australia’s critical professions continues, with a new report finding there are “entrenched cultural barriers” in workplaces that need to be addressed. In a submission to the federal government’s Employment White Paper, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) found that more women have joined the workforce in recent decades – but are not working in male-dominated industries.

The report cited 2022 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that female workplace participation has increased by 41 per cent since 1980, but there is still a low percentage of women in industries such as construction and mining as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (VOICE). ).

Conversely, there was a low percentage of men in male-dominated industries such as health care and education. CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said gender segregation limits job mobility, labor market flexibility and productivity. “While many social, historical and economic factors have driven this segregation, many of the remaining barriers to change are cultural – whether at the government, workplace or individual level,” said Ms. Cilento. “We must tackle these entrenched cultural barriers where they whatever exists.” the outcomes of the held last September The White Paper has a focus on full employment and productivity growth and women’s economic participation and equality.

Which professions are more segregated for women?

Childcare staff, receptionists and registered nurses are among the key occupations that became even more female-dominated in 2021-22 compared to 1986-87. Meanwhile, fewer women have been employed in male-dominated fields as software programmers, construction managers, electricians and carpenters and joiners over the past three decades.

But female employment jumped slightly in truck driving, from 2.9 percent in 1986-87 to 4 percent in 2021-22.

Source: SBS News

“People of any gender should be able to do the work they are most suited to and most interested in,” Ms Cilento said. Another issue was the ‘motherhood penalty’. The report found that in their first five years of parenting their first child, women’s earnings are reduced by an average of 55 percent, while men’s earnings are unaffected. Paid parental leave was uneven, with 99.5 percent of parental leave taken by mothers. The report also found that skilled migration contributed to gender segregation, due to a greater number of visa applicants. By contrast, women make up 57 percent of secondary applications for their partner’s visas in 2021-2022. The skills or occupations of secondary applicants are not assessed, putting men in a more likely position to increase employee participation. said.

The report recommended strengthening family-friendly policies, including making paid parental leave more gender-equal, addressing gender pay gaps and more mentoring for women in STEM.

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