AWCCI has rewritten an issues paper recommending government and industry use their purchasing power and include women in their supply chains.
The Issues Paper: Collection of sex desegregated data and the procurement of contracts for women business owners in Australia is available here. Government and Industry have the power to purchase from women; but they don’t.
Women are walking away from the corporate environment to start their own business; Australia is seeing a rising tide in the surge of female entrepreneurs. These women make a significant and powerful contribution to our nation's economic growth and are a sector that we can no longer ignore.
More than 104 million women in 59 economies started and managed new business ventures in 2010.
In Australia we have seen a substantial growth of women-owned businesses in the past few years. Research suggests that the number of women starting their own business has doubled since 2007. Today there are almost 1 million women trading in Australia, however many of these women are economically disadvantaged with more than half being unable to pay themselves a wage.
To continue to overlook this growing sector of our economy will be a threat to our nation's economy. As a result, if no improvement is made, more than 1 million women could soon be living below the poverty line: with no superannuation, no savings, no exit strategy, few prospects for employment at the end of their career and no income from their business at retirement age.
Women are a significant commercial prospect. If we ignore this once in a lifetime opportunity it will be to the peril of this nation and future generations.
"Forget China, India and the Internet: Economic growth is driven by Women." (The Economist)
There are an estimated 3.6 million children under the age of 12 currently in need of some form of child care in Australia including before and/or after school care, long day care, family day care, occasional care and informal care.
Child Care policies which support working families require transformation to encourage the 3.4 million Australian women who are not working into the workforce.
The demand for Child Care is projected to climb as fertility rates rise and net immigration continues to climb.
The recommendations in this Issues Paper include:
- widening the criteria for child care accessibility to working parents by restructuring the existing child care system to include In-Home Child care
- extending long-day child care centre hours and
- include the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCR) to families who elect to use In-Home Child care.
The paper: Closing the Gap on Child Care in Australia is available here.