Archive for March, 2011
In January the Productivity Commission released a working paper focusing on the labour force participation of women over 45.
A few key points arising from the paper;
- there has been quite a significant increase over the past three decades in ‘contribution to total hours worked’, rising from 6% in 1979 to 15% in 2009
- labour force participation rates for women 45-54 are currently 78% but decline significantly over 55, with women still retiring earlier than men (at 58 years compared to 61.5)
- a woman’s health, care giving responsibility and access to flexible working hours are the major factors in determining workforce participation
- half of women working full time want to work less hours and one quarter working part time want to increase hours
- an acknowledgement that barriers to participation are significant and not easy to address
Around 7% of mature women (200 000 potential employees!) could be attracted back into the labour force…if we bring down the barricades and support care givers, create opportunities to work longer (but differently) and promote health and wellbeing.
There is much ado about gender diversity in the workforce with the new ASX reporting guidelines. But an opportunity exists to go one step further. Employers can view gender through the life course lens and take active steps to embrace women over 45. Those who do will attract enthusiasm, experience and empathy.
All qualities that customers love…