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2015 WA Womens’ Report Card

The benefits of improved gender equity are great – for women and men, organisations, our economy and community.

While we have made progress, there is more to do. The 2015 Women’s Report Card builds on the work of previous editions to provide the most comprehensive and unique compilation of information about the status and progress of Western Australian women across four areas – leadership, economic independence, women’s safety and justice, and health and wellbeing. It provides a valuable evidence base for initiatives which support women’s progress in Western Australia.

Since the last Women’s Report Card in 2012, there have been improvements in several areas including female labour force participation, which increased to 61% in 2014. It is significant that in the same period more men accessed flexible work arrangements to care for children than ever before. Sharing family responsibilities opens up opportunities for women’s increased engagement with the workforce, and their career progression.

The data in this report indicate that progress on several fronts is slow
but there is growing momentum.

Government, private and community organisations, women and men need to continue to work together to build on our achievements.

Data will play an important role in understanding and measuring our progress towards gender equity.

The work of my Women’s Interests portfolio is driven by evidence – data, research and consultation. Two Women and Superannuation resources
were developed in response to evidence which highlights women’s financial vulnerability in retirement. Similarly, Being Board Ready: A Guide for Women is a tool to improve women’s representation on boards. Statistics show that, while the percentage of women on corporate boards is improving, the rate of growth is still slow with 12.3% of ASX200 directors being female in 2012, compared with 8.3% in 2010. Several scholarship programs support women to take up and pursue careers including in traditionally male dominated, and usually well paid, occupations.

I encourage individuals and organisations to make use of this important resource to increase their understanding, inform their policies and strategies and support their decision-making across all areas that affect women.

The Western Australian community will be more productive, fairer, healthier, safer and enriched when women are able to fully contribute to and benefit from economic, social, cultural and political participation.

Hon Liza Harvey MLA