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Discussion Paper

Women and the Future of Work

The ‘right’ policy settings will enhance the economic and financial security of women via changes in the way we work.

BPW Australia and eS4W see some of these policies focussing on:

  • Further progress in the provision of affordable and accessible childcare. This will boost female workforce participation and improve workplace flexibility, which in turn would alleviate for at risk women, the issues concerning women’s income and superannuation.
  • Education, skills and training need to be world class. This allows women to fully participate in an ever-changing economy with the skills to access higher remunerated work.
  • Increase pay for women in work, through the Fair Work Commission, for sectors of the economy dominated by female workers.
  • Funded through the Federal Government, pay superannuation on parental leave and unpaid care work.


Australian Federation of Business & Professional Women (BPW Australia) has teamed up with the economic Security4Women to survey women on their experiences and expectations on the future of work in Australia.


Part of the background to the results was the disruption to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted on employment, hours worked, workplace participation, incomes and in many instances, the workplace. COVID-19 also had a significant impact on unpaid work, with unpaid care work a high-profile issue in the survey results.


There were many important work place themes and structural changes in the labour market unfolding before the emergence of COVID-19 and these are also incorporated into the findings and issues as to how the labour market will evolve in future.


In presenting and assessing the findings, we have endeavoured to come up with concrete policy recommendations to deal with the issues raised. These are presented at the end of the paper.