‘Dinosaur’ employers are hurting Australian women
Australian Council of Trade Uunions president Ged Kearney said employers must urgently move into the present century and stop repeating the mistakes of the past.
‘This International Women’s Day we call on employers to modernise their view of work and women’s caring responsibilities,’ she said.
‘Many employers still believe family and work are mutually exclusive which is, frankly, ridiculous,’ she said.
‘It’s time we said enough is enough to those who discriminate against women because they are pregnant, have small children, disabled children or unwell parents.’
‘It’s in the employer’s interest to evolve.’
Kearney said employers are missing out on a lot of talented workers when they don’t attempt to accommodate those employees who have to carry, sometimes alone, the responsibilities of caring.
‘I’m talking about, for example, a woman with young kids who needs to leave work early or a man who wants to take time off to care for an elderly parent and an employer “letting them go” because they consider their lives too “complicated”,’ he said.
‘These ideas are barriers that discriminate against workers, forcing those with caring responsibilities, mostly women, into insecure jobs with less protection and career opportunities.’
Kearney said unions are calling on employers to open their minds to different working hours and conditions that allow women time to care, while keeping secure, productive jobs and careers.
Meanwhile, a delegation of female members of the CFMEU met Prime Minister Julia Gillard this morning in Sydney.
The delegation presented the PM with a letter, congratulating her for recent changes to the nation’s 457 visa scheme, while urging her government to help fill gaps in the workforce by encouraging greater female participation in traditionally male-dominated industries.