Parents@Work News Alert: 1 in 2 mothers, 1 in 4 fathers experience discrimination in the workplace

Stand Up Australia - Our Working Mums and Dads Deserve Better

1 in 2 Mothers, 1 in 4 Fathers Experience
Discrimination in the Workplace 

17th April 2014. Parents@Work – An astounding and worrying statistic emerged last week from the National Survey conducted as part of the Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review. 1 in 2 mothers and 1 in 4 fathers experience discrimination in the workplace. 

Equally astonishing is the perceived lack of outrage expressed in the media – in fact, there's been barely any follow up after the initial headlines aired in the mainstream news. Why is this?  

If we follow recent history of discrimination faced by footballers on the field or other media personalities, the news coverage for the story can last for days until the perpetrator is named and shamed. Shaming here isn't the point (awareness and change are) but it does highlight how inconsistent our values and standards can be. Ordinary mums and dads face discrimination every day – at a stage in their lives when many are vulnerable both emotionally and financially. These parents are expected to juggle it all and suffer in silence as they raise our next economy-boosting generation and future leaders (who will, let's not forget, be tackling our looming aged care crisis).

This issue is far too important to be dropped – the silence must be lifted which is why it's imperative we make the statistics count while they are fresh. 

So, to reiterate – 50% of today’s mothers are experiencing workplace discrimination. These aren't mothers from two generations ago, when awareness was low and laws were non-existent. This is happening right now. For fathers the figure sits at 27% (also astounding considering the majority take less than 4 weeks for parental leave). 

What is the impact on parents and organisations and what can be done?

The effects of discrimination on parents wellbeing and livelihood was also measured with 84% of mothers experiencing a significant negative impact on mental and physical health, career and job opportunities, financial stability and their family.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick comments: "The major conclusion we can draw from this data, is that discrimination has a cost – to women, their families, to business and to the Australian economy and society as a whole."

Whilst it's crucial to recognise the costs and inefficiencies of discrimination it's also important to learn from those organisations doing the right thing.

Lochiel Crafter, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors comments: "State Street is committed to supporting women and working parents in the workplace; we believe that maintaining a culture of diversity and inclusion is key to helping our employees feel valued and our business succeed. This training demonstrates our commitment to retaining and developing our people by providing parents returning to work with all of the information and support they need to excel in their roles."  

To find out the full impact discrimination has on organisations and employees plus some ‘top tips’ on what you and your organisation can do to make changes (including our free e-book) click here.

We hope you'll join us in our endeavour to advocate and push for change to create more family friendly and discrimination free workplaces. 
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Press Enquiries to:
Emma Walsh, Managing Director, Parents@Work
(02) 9967 8377
Human Rights Commission, National Review on Discrimination Related to Pregnancy, Parental Leave and Return to Work 2014, viewed 14 April 2014.

About Parents@Work
Parents@Work support organisations to provide the best business case for gender equality by setting them up with the programs, tools and guidance required to meet the new legislative requirements. Established in 2013 to help organisations become best practice family friendly and flexible employers of choice Parents@Work create and manage working parent programs and advise on flexible work solutions. They also help employers to attract and retain talented parents, reduce pregnancy discrimination and promote flexibility and gender equality. The complete Parents@Work Program includes 24/7 access to an interactive online portal, career coaching, seminars, training, toolkit resources, policy guidance and provision of the latest research on working parents.

For a Family Friendly Flexible Health Check, call or email us now for a no-obligation consultation with a working parent expert.

02 9967 8377 


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