The groundbreaking scientist Dr. Gerty Cori was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine and the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. She shared the Nobel with her husband and lifelong research partner, Carl. Although their experience and education was identical, it took thirteen years before she was finally promoted to the same rank as him at the university where they worked. Together, the Coris made numerous breakthroughs in medical research, including discoveries that paved the way for understanding and developing treatments for diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Despite the institutionalized sexism she faced throughout her career, Gerty’s tremendous scientific mind could not be denied — and her work would change the field of biochemistry forever.
The court found that women on maternity leave are in a materially different situation to men taking shared parental leave, and so, as the positions are incomparable, there can be no discrimination.
It is the good girls of my generation, the girls who did as they were told and put other people’s needs ahead of their own, who have ended up facing financial disaster.
It’s pretty simple to work out why if you bother to think about it. These are the women who left work to care for their children and who returned to the workforce part-time so they could continue to put their families first. If anyone in the family had a disability, guess who left work to care for them? And when parents grew frail and needed care, it was also daughters who were expected to step up. And what was happening to their superannuation while they took time out to care for others? Not a lot. That is why women retire with an average of half the super of men and fully one-third of us leave the workforce with no super at all.
KPMG’s 2018 report The Cost of Coming Back: Achieving a Better Deal for Working Mothers found that it would cost some professionally qualified working mums almost $30 a day in tax, lost payments and out-of-pocket childcare expenses to increase their working days from three to four per week.
Other working mothers would lose almost $80 a day by moving from four to five days per week of work. Outcomes like this are at odds with the Government’s intention to boost women’s workforce participation as part of increasing our national productivity.
It is also worth considering whether Australia should follow the UK and various other countries who have introduced laws or codes banning sexism in advertising.
In June, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned ads that feature gender stereotypes (such as men lying around while women do all the cleaning or women having difficulty parking the car), following a report that found that gender-stereotypical imagery and rhetoric “can lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives.”
Motherboard published an article about a memo written by a Google employee titled “I’m Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why.” The memo, which alleges retaliation and discrimination against the author while she was pregnant, has gone viral inside the company over the past week, and has been read by more than 10,000 employees there.
One of the biggest holes in any economic discussion is the lack of accounting for unpaid work.
Housework and taking care of your children does not bring a wage, nor appear in the GDP figures, yet of course were you to pay someone to do those tasks it most definitely would. The latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (Hilda) survey, released on Tuesday, shows that this work is overwhelmingly done by women and at levels that really should shame men in this country.
Despite female lawyers increasing in number and proportion since 2011, data from the Australian Financial Review’s 2019 Law Partnership Survey shows women continue to be underrepresented in leadership levels of the profession. Just 27 per cent of partners in large and medium-sized firms are women, according to that survey.
And most women have much less super than most men.
In 2017, the median super balance for women aged 60-64 was $36,000. For men it was $110,000.
This is partly because women are much more likely than men to take time out of work or to work part-time to care for children and other family members, and partly because of the persistent gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap means women contribute less to superannuation and, as a result, are much more likely than men to experience poverty and hardship in retirement and will have to rely on the pension anyway, regardless of super.