WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner and convenor of the CEOs for Gender Equity, Allanah Lucas has welcomed key recommendations in the Committee for Perth’s Filling the Pool report.
“The CEOs for Gender Equity are committed to addressing Western Australia’s embarrassing gender equity record and the Filling the Pool report addresses some of the significant challenges contributing to gender inequality in WA,” she said.
She said CEOs on the group already undertook some initiatives recommended in the report such as gender pay gap audits, driving gender equity in the workplace and embracing the economic rationale for gender equality as a strategic competitive advantage.
“In addition to driving gender equity initiatives in their own organisations, the CEOs for Gender Equity have now formed three groups in the areas of education, workplace flexibility and women in leadership roles,” Ms Lucas said.
She said the CEOs chose to work on the three areas because they influenced an individual’s career from beginning to end.
Ms Lucas said studies showed real change was driven through education, so while it was important for workplaces to put initiatives in place, it was also vital girls and young women were not subject to unconscious bias when choosing school subjects, training courses and considering a career.
“Outmoded views and predispositions about the sexes allows girls to often be deterred from pursuing a range of studies and careers,” she said.
She said although it was encouraging to see some of the State’s most influential CEOs embracing gender equity through the CEOs for Gender Equity initiative and the Committee for Perth, she hoped the Filling the Pool report would encourage more CEOs to get onboard.
Among anecdotes of a “boys’ club culture” and a lack of childcare facilities, the report said the gender pay gap in WA was 25.3 percent, which is the highest in the country.
It also said there were fewer than half the national average of female CEOs, fewer than half the number of female directors and under one third the national average of female chairs.
“There should be no excuse for half of WA’s talent pool to be underutilised and discriminated against in this manner, as a State we can do better than that,” she said.
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