While there have been significant improvements in the lives of Australian women in recent decades, women continue to trail men in three key measures of economic security: participation in the workforce, pay and superannuation.
Women in regional areas face systemic barriers that can make it more difficult for them to return to or remain in the workforce, including industry and occupation segregation, and access to training and development.
The Australian Government’s Career Revive pilot initiative, aims to increase women’s workforce participation by supporting businesses to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break.
This includes reviewing the physical workplace, as well as processes, policies and their workplace culture to identify potential barriers.
Career Revive engaged KPMG as business improvement consultants to offer guidance on how to improve the businesses practices and policies and develop a tailored action plan to address barriers in attracting and retaining skilled women who’ve been out of the workforce for an extended period.
Between August 2019 and July 2020, KPMG worked with Keech, Regional Australia Bank and Sandvik, among others, to find ways to increase female workforce participation.
Brent Bruns, Human Resources Manager for Keech said it has helped their business identify what changes can be made.
“I want to know that I have done everything I can to bring women into the workforce here. We started with recruitment. KPMG told me there was a problem, so I changed it,” Brent said.
Michelle Hyde, Senior Manager Human Resources at Regional Australia Bank said the pilot has helped them think ahead.
“In the short term we are going to work on staff engagement and performance. We are forecasting future needs of our members and thinking about skills, learning and development,” Michelle said.
Troy Montgomery, Employee Relations Manager at Sandvik said Career Revive has helped them to look closer at flexible work and explore new opportunities outside metropolitan areas.
“Our office roles are in cities – but our employees could work remotely. It gives us a chance to change the way we engage in regional centres,” Troy said.
The Department is in the process of selecting the second intake of ten businesses who will start receiving support from KPMG in November 2020.
To find more information read the Career Revive case studies.
Read the Women’s Economic Security Statement