Advancing Women

Unlocking potential and powering growth

Our economic growth, competitive advantage and future prosperity rests on our capacity to address workforce participation issues.

Increasing the workforce participation of women is one of our nation’s biggest economic and social opportunities.

Equally, ensuring we are maximising our talent and empowering women to advance in the workforce will be central to our nation’s success.


Advancing women and lifting participation


BCA Recommendation


Extend paid parental leave to facilitate greater sharing of carer responsibilities between parents.


The Government will invest $346.1 million over five years to introduce Enhanced Paid Parental Leave (PPL), which is fairer and provides full flexibility for eligible working families will be able to share up to 20 weeks of fully flexible entitlements between them. Further funding is also being provided to increase access to childcare services in regional and remote locations.


Examine the complexity of current taper rates, the subsidy and affordability of the childcare system.


The Government is expected to spend a record $10.3 billion on childcare services in 2021-22, supporting women’s workforce participation and 1.3 million Australian children and their families.

Supporting women’s economic security


BCA Recommendation

The Business Council strongly supports taking decisive action to stamp out sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in Australian workplaces. Implementation of the Roadmap for Respect, with $3.4 million being provided for measures that will support women’s safety in the workplace.


Opportunities for lifelong learning and skills


BCA Recommendation Result
Extend the Additional Identified Skills Shortage program to incentivise women to take up apprenticeships in male-dominated occupations, including in the construction industry. $482.0 million investment to help women’s career advancement, including $56.2 million to assist women to transition into the tech industry and manufacturing.



Respect Toolkit

In 2021, in response to Kate Jenkins’ Respect@Work report, Chief Executive Women members developed a set of resource to enable tangible action by boards and executive teams on sexual harassment.

Available through a dedicated public microsite the Respect is Everyone’s Business resources focus on the ‘how’ – how to start the conversation on boards and in executive teams that put and keep sexual harassment on the agenda.

The resources provide guidance on how to navigate potential resistance, how to initiate appropriate action, effective communication and how to report on progress.

Access the Respect Toolkit here.