Saturday, March 09, 2013

Australia: Study Finds Mature-Age Women Consistently Underemployed and Underutilized

The Diversity Council Australia (DCA) reports that mature-age women (defined as 45 and older) earn only two-thirds of the income of mature-age men, have significantly lower workforce participation than men, are more likely to be underemployed than men, and retire earlier with around half the superannuation of men of the same age.

Specifically, DCA finds from Australia Bureau of Statistics data that mature women are:
  • undervalued Women aged in their fifties and above earn 37% less than men of the same age. Women between 45 and 65 are more highly represented among casual workers than men and are twice as likely to have a job with no leave entitlements than men.
  • underemployed Only 47.1% of women aged between 45 and 74 are employed full time compared to 76.9% of men. More than half of mature-age women work part time and 18% of these women (that is 164,500 women) would like to increase the number of hours they work.
  • discouraged The percentage of mature-age female discouraged job seekers has remained consistently higher than that of male discouraged job seekers for most of the last two decades. Close to half a million more mature-age women than men (452,300) are discouraged job seekers.
  • departed Women retire earlier than men (at 49.6 years of age vs 57.9 for men) and with half the superannuation of men although, on average, women live another 3 to 4.5 years longer than men.
DCA also reports that "research clearly demonstrates significant benefits for organisations and the wider economy from attracting, engaging and retaining female mature-age workers." In May, it will be releasing "Grey Matters to Women: Attracting, Engaging & Retaining Your Female Mature Age Workforce" with research on how Australian organizations can implement workforce solutions that better harness the skills and talents of Australia’s female mature-age workforce. Source: Diversity Council Australia Media Release (March 5, 2013)

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