Wendy Tuohy on Gender equality and women at work

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Wendy Tuohy saw the impossible situation women are put in at work when they become mothers, and it made her passionate about gender equality and exposing the truth. The pandemic has made a tough situation even worse for working mothers, who lost more jobs and are on the front line of care work (both paid and unpaid). We discussed the staggering statistics of anxiety and depression among women, which indicates the load is too big and overwhelm is rampant.

As a journalist and and columnist focusing on gender equality, women and work, women’s safety and social issues, Wendy understands what’s going because she is speaking daily with women who are impacted by systemic barriers, unfair workplace practices and inequality in the home and outside it.

There is some hope for the future though, as we talked about the second wave of the #MeToo movement in Australia and the young women leading that, as well as the shifting perspectives of men who have had the opportunity to be more involved in their family life during the pandemic.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Governments and corporates are being let off too lightly when it comes to the wellbeing of women.
  • The patchwork of care required to enable to women to return to work after having children, and how much of a barrier that is.
  • The huge toll of the pandemic on working parents, in particular working mothers.
  • Even pre-pandemic, the number of women who experience deep pain in trying to balance all the aspects of their life and children.
  • Women lost the most jobs during the pandemic, while also being the most exposed on the front line of COVID.
  • The way the #MeToo movement has taken off in Australia thanks to Grace Tame, Brittney Higgans and more brave women talking about sexual harassment.
  • Chanel Contos’ petitions on sexual harassment in schools. After we recorded, new consent laws have been introduced in NSW and are being discussed in VIC.
  • The issue that the media tends to most believe white, well-educated women.
  • Employers are realising that it’s more of an employees’ market now, and they need to look after their people. At the same time, people are being more honest about what’s happening at home, leading to increased flexibility and more compassionate workplaces.
  • As men are being more involved at home, they are finding the joy in parenting and being part of their children’s lives, and men are also saying they don’t want to return to work and miss out on their family.
  • The great resignation in the US showing that employees are talking with their feet, moving on from jobs that don’t support their lives.
  • The gender pay gap and the fallacy of the four day work week.

About Wendy Touhy

Wendy Tuohy is a journalist and columnist focusing on gender equality, women and work, women’s safety and social issues. She has been a journalist for many decades, mainly at The Age and the Herald Sun, but also with time on ABC radio Melbourne, and regular TV spots talking current affairs.

Wendy has 3 ‘kids’ aged 17-22, who she has been living with solo parenting and working full time since separating three years ago. She also has 2 kelpies and a cat, and like many working mothers has a very full life!

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You’re very good at what you do. Everyone loved your energy and was really impressed.

Sophie Anning, Corporate Affairs Director, MARS Petcare

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