WWDA’s Director of Policy and Programs, Dr Trish Mitra-Kahn attended the Women’s Job Creation Forum to represent the needs of women with disability in the context of COVID-19.

Trish also prepared a presentation to be shown at the forum on the challenges COVID-19 presented and how WWDA overcame those to support and improve workforce participation for its board, staff and members.

The Office for Women – Media Release:

The Office for Women has released the below media statement on a forum held today to help boost women’s workforce participation.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, opened the Women’s Job Creation Forum today, with the aim of the Forum to identify new and innovative ways to increase women’s workforce participation.

The online forum brought together experts from across Australia to share their experience and ideas, and to shine a light on practical initiatives to support women into work during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Minister Payne said the crisis has exacerbated the risks, disadvantages and the burdens that women around the world live with every day.

“As Minister for Women, I know that Australian women are resilient, innovative and industrious. As Foreign Minister, I know the strength of that reputation internationally and across multiple sectors. I have every hope that, after this crisis, we can create a world and a workforce that are better for women,” Minister Payne said.

The forum focused on a range of issues and ideas, including: 

  • supporting women into industries traditionally dominated by men, such as construction and mining
  • finding ways to close the ‘flexibility gap’ where 18 per cent of men work part-time, compared with 46 per cent of women
  • addressing cultural barriers to women’s participation, including workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, and
  • helping more women transition back into work following career breaks, including older women.

The Women’s Job Creation Forum fulfils a commitment from the Australian Government’s 2018 Women’s Economic Security Statement to bring together leaders to explore pathways to strengthen women’s employment, pay, participation and flexibility.

The Women’s Economic Security Statement will be refreshed later this year to assist in building opportunities for women as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.