WOMEN UNITE: Members of the Caboolture BPW club will be
WOMEN UNITE: Members of the Caboolture BPW club will be "sponsoring" the Central Queensland club and will be on hand to answer questions at the first gathering. Contributed

New CQ women's group aiming to reduce the gender pay gap

WHEN it comes to pay packets, women around the world have had a raw deal compared to their male colleagues.

Determined to be a part of a solution to level the playing field, businesswoman Jennifer Lee joined international organisation BPW (Business & Professional Women) last year.

Ms Lee said her car dealing business frequently draws her to work in Central Queensland and after being inspired by the BPW group, she revealed a bold plan to gather CQ women together to launch a Rockhampton-based club.

Members can be any female who is in paid or voluntary work, including women who used to work and women who aspire to work.

She said the BPW goal was to take action for women's equality - at work, on boards and in leadership - by promoting personal development, mentoring and sharing of ideas and experiences.

 

CLUB FOUNDER: BPW member Jennifer Lee is proud to be the founder of the BPW Central Queensland group.
CLUB FOUNDER: BPW's Jennifer Lee wants to support CQ women. Contributed

BPW's advocacy, projects, programs and partnerships focus on issues that affect women and workplaces such as pay inequity, accessible and affordable childcare, support for women's refuges and dealing with domestic violence.

"BPW Australia is the leading advocate for women on work-life balance and workplace equity issues, (the club) equips today's women with the skills they will need tomorrow," Ms Lee said.

"(The club) recognises that Australian women in the workforce want to advance in their careers and businesses and most are also balancing family and community responsibilities."

Ms Lee hoped local independent committees like CQ would decide on their own direction when they were fully established.

"The reason I wanted to set up the club in Central Queensland was to give back to the people who give to me, and I thought BPW was a good way of doing that."

"A local BPW club will give women the opportunity to connect with women, be informed on local and global issues for women and be part of the change to bring in gender equality in Australia."

BPW's website said it lobbies government at all levels - local, state and national and consults with business, industry and organisations to provide a gender perspective on key issues.

"Our members have the opportunity to influence government decisions on issues important to women by lobbying for policy and legislative change, developing their own skills and experience in the process. We take action to achieve women's equality in social, economic, community and political terms," BPW said.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga is working to create awareness of the barriers women still experience.

 

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga. Allan Reinikka ROK100518alauga1

"On average, starting salaries for women are 7 per cent less than for their male counterparts," Ms Lauga said.

"Women are twice as likely to do unpaid work and look after loved ones with a disability or aged parents.

"Lower pay means lower superannuation benefits in retirement, which is why women are overrepresented among homeless retirees."

For more details, please phone 0409446963.

CQ's first BPW club meeting

Where: Heritage Hotel

When: January 18 from 7.30-10.30pm

Membership costs:

  • BPW Membership - $225
  • Concessional - $112.50
  • Small Business - $300

Mrs Lauga also provided some additional links regarding the gender pay gap:

There is a gender pay gap favouring men in every industry and occupational category in Australia. In nearly every industry, this gender pay gap begins at graduation.

There is a list of employers which have committed to closing the gender pay gap here, some of these companies have branches in Rocky - https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/WGEA-Employer-of-Choice-citation-holders-2017-18.pdf

There is heaps of info and stats on gender pay gap here - https://www.wgea.gov.au/learn/pay-gaps-and-life-hacks