Thursday, May 23, 2013

Australia: Research Finds Organizations Failing To Harness Skills and Talents of Older Women in Workforce

Diversity Council Australia, in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission and with Sageco, has released research results about how underutilized older women—those 45 and older—really are and what employers can do to better harness their skills and talents for the benefit of business and the wider economy. According to "Older Women Matter: Harnessing the Talents of Australia’s Older Female Workforce," Australia’s older female workforce represent a sizeable and growing segment of the labor force but that Australian organizations are failing to harness their skills and talents. Furthermore, Australia’s performance in this area lags substantially behind comparable countries, such as New Zealand.

Among other things, the research finds that:
  • older women constitute 17% of Australia’s workforce with 45% of women aged 45 and over now in the labor force compared to 24% in 1978;
  • older women’s participation in the labor market is substantially lower than men’s in all age groups—as much as 17 points lower for women aged 55-64;
  • the most recent comparable data shows participation rates for Australian women aged 55-64 of 54.9% compared to 72% in Sweden, 69.8% in New Zealand, 59.5% in the US and 57.4% in Canada; and
  • employers can reap significant benefits if they review their attraction, retention, transition and flexible working strategies with older women in mind.
Source: Diversity Council Australia Media Alert (May 23, 2013)

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