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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.

The survey asked questions relating to the future of work and financial security. It was a solid response, but we note the following characteristics of the respondents:

• The geographic coverage was excellent, with responses from all States and Territories.
• 70 per cent of respondents had tertiary education.
• Just under 40 per cent were working parents.
• Less than 5 per cent of respondents were from women of ATSI or CALD backgrounds.
• Over 75 per cent were aged 45 years and older.
• 75 per cent of respondents were in paid work – either casual, part-time, full-time or are self -employed.

The key findings confirm some unfolding changes in the labour market both prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and since it hit the Australian economy.