Plan International Australia has called for urgent action to tackle inequality in the workplace, as new figures show women still make, on average, about a fifth less than their male counterparts.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s annual report also showed that while the proportion of women across management has increased in recent years, those in the top job are still overwhelmingly male, with women filling just over 17% of chief executive or head of business roles.
Plan International’s own research has shown there is a significant discrepancy between what girls aspire to early in life, and what they believe is realistic for them to achieve as they become young adults.
The CEO of the girls’ rights agency, Susanne Legena, said girls see inequality all around them, which inevitably excludes them from certain opportunities.
“We’ve called it ‘the dream gap’ and it’s unfortunately alive and well in Australia, and around the world.
Our report from last year found that as girls get older, their confidence decreases, and 40% of girls think gender is the biggest barrier to their chances of becoming a leader,” she said.
“As a female CEO and leader, I find this very disappointing. We are all responsible for creating the conditions in which girls feel safe and supported to take risks and excel, not only in the workplace but also in the wider world.
“Businesses and their leaders have a key role to play in stamping out inequality. It is not enough for businesses to report on the pay gap – girls and women want and need action. We aren’t perfect, and we are looking at where we can improve. This requires will and leadership from businesses in all sectors.”
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.
We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.
We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.