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Week of June 5th, 2017




Welcome to our news, research & resources round-up, where consultant Hannah E. Lawson shares the latest collection of news relevant to gender, diversity & inclusion in Australia and the World.

Not so super: Gender differences in superannuation – Broad Agenda 

It is well known that women have lower super balances than men, reflecting historical and continuing lower rates of employment and earnings. Many women therefore rely on sharing their partner’s super for funding their lives in older age. But how many women and men currently have no super, what are the gender differences in super balances, and what happens if couples separate? Professor Laurie Brown crunches the numbers, and they’re not pretty. Men are not only more likely to have superannuation; they also often have higher superannuation balances than women. Read More

Too white, too black, or not black enough? This is not a question for others to decide – The Guardian 

Shannan Dodson: Growing up with a last name associated with Aboriginal activism, my identity is often decided for me. In some ways it becomes a validation of my Aboriginality. As I do not fit the stereotypical “mould” of what an Aboriginal person is “meant to look like”, having my last name has at times saved me from the uncomfortable guess work that goes with my identity. However, with that comes an expectation. I remember going to a job interview, where the interviewer – aware of my family ties – greeted me in a disappointed tone, “I thought you would be a lot darker.” As if the shade of your skin colour was an indicator of your “credibility” as an Aboriginal person. As an Aboriginal person with fair skin you often get that look where people are not quite sure “what your background is” or “how much Aboriginal” you are. Many young First Nations people feel confused about their identity and where they belong. At times, it feels like you’re too white or too black for non-Indigenous people. And for our mob you’re often just not black enough – a critique that goes beyond skin colour. Read More

How We Closed the Gap Between Men’s and Women’s Retention Rates – Harvard Business Review 

Many companies continue to struggle with advancing and retaining women. BCG has found that gender disparities in senior cohorts are not completely explained by traditional workplace concerns, such as work-life balance, maternity leave, unequal pay, and differential ambitions. They have identified a very different explanation, which is just as critical: the quality of the day-to-day apprenticeship experience. When the annual employee survey data was analysed specifically for high-potential, mid-career women who regrettably left the firm,  the lowest scores were around the statement “I am satisfied with the apprenticeship and feedback I received.” Moreover, in a survey of employees leaving BCG, departing women ranked mentorship, not work-life balance, as the number one topic that the firm needs to improve on. Finally, in a survey of all North American staff, asking about 16 options of what people seek from a manager, “forming a strong relationship with my manager(s)” and “having someone in leadership who cares about me and reached out long after the project ended” were the most valued dimensions for women. Read More

How Indigenous tourism can help bring about reconciliation in Australia – The Conversation 

Indigenous tourism is “tourism activity in which indigenous people are directly involved either through control and/or by having their culture serve as the essence of the attraction”. Ideally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be able to assert some degree of control over their engagement with tourism and should secure benefits from this. One positive outcome that Indigenous tourism can offer is opportunities to foster reconciliation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples use tourism to bridge the cultural divides and create better futures by sharing culture, knowledge and country. Read More

We Recorded VCs’ Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs – Harvard Business Review 

When venture capitalists (VCs) evaluate investment proposals, the language they use to describe the entrepreneurs who write them plays an important but often hidden role in shaping who is awarded funding and why. But it’s difficult to obtain VCs’ unvarnished comments, given that they are uttered behind closed doors. The researchers were given access to government venture capital decision-making meetings in Sweden and were able to observe the types of language that VCs used over a two-year period. One major thing stuck out: The language used to describe male and female entrepreneurs was radically different. And these differences have very real consequences for those seeking funding — and for society in general. Read More

The 3 reasons why more female leaders mean more company profits – Women’s Agenda 

A global study has found that having women in senior leadership positions increases company profits. It’s impressive to hear we have such a positive impact, but why would our gender boost company revenue? The Peterson Institute for International Economics analysed results from a 2016 study comprising of 21,980 global, publicly traded companies, in 91 countries from various industries. The results showed that having at least 30 per cent of women in leadership positions adds 6 per cent to net profit margin. So how does our gender contribute to an increase in revenue?  Here are three key skills women have that could positively affect a company’s performance. Read More

Women rely on the family home to support them in old age – The Conversation 

Thanks in part to the gender pay gap, the gender wealth gap more than doubled between 2002 and 2014. But research shows Australian women don’t just trail men in total wealth, they also have less diverse asset portfolios. Women are more likely than men to have their assets tied up in a family home. This means their finances are more precarious, and they have less saved for retirement. The latest data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey show the family home accounts for close to half of the total assets held by single women, and only 39% of the total assets held by single men. Other property, superannuation, business assets and financial investments, on average, play a much larger role in the asset portfolios of men than women. Read More

More than 50 public sector workers claim family violence leave in Victoria – The Guardian 

More than 50 claims for family violence leave have been made by public-sector workers in the past year after the Victorian government introduced the clause for staff. Following the findings of Victoria’s royal commission into family violence, the state government announced it would make it compulsory for all new public-sector enterprise agreements to include up to 20 days of family violence leave separate to sick leave. Since the measure came into effect in mid-2016, family violence leave has been included in 72 enterprise agreements across the public sector, covering about 216,000 employees. Figures provided to Guardian Australia by the government show that 58 leave claims have been made one year on from the introduction of the measure, or 0.02% of public service employees in Victoria. Read More


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