Women at Work Returns!

Samantha Sutherland, host of Women at Work Podcast

Women at Work Podcast

Welcome back to Women at Work Podcast! After a bit of a hiatus that included a global pandemic and extreme homeschooling, we’re back with this season themed women speaking up. 

While I’ve been gone, I published research into the impacts of COVID on working women.

The results were shocking but unsurprising, with women taking on even more of the increased domestic work, more of the homeschooling and more of the mental load.

Women everywhere are saying they’re burnt out, overwhelmed and overworked.

Women are leaving the workforce

Globally, we’ve seen women leaving the workforce in greater numbers than men. That’s partly due to women making up more of the part time and casual workforce and they’re the first to go during a recession, and partly because the additional load of schooling combined with a lack of childcare has actually made it impossible for women to work. The gender gap is growing globally, when it was already glacially slow progress.

In Australia, 90,000 women lost their jobs between May and August, compared to 25,000 men.

Our ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index fell 26 places to 50th out of 156 countries.

This is a ranking based on economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Australia’s score fell in every category except literacy and enrollment in education. The gender pay gap has widened since the start of the pandemic.

Australian Human Rights Commission into reducing workplace harassment

In September, the government formally adopted only 6 of the 55 recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission aimed at reducing workplace harassment. And in the latest Chief Executive Women senior executive census only one of the 23 CEO appointments last year was a women, and the representation of women in senior leadership remains almost unchanged year on year. 

We need to keep talking about it

Now I know my podcast isn’t going to fix all this. But I think the conversations that we have here on women at work are really important. 

How do you do it all? You don’t

I was interviewing someone for this season today and one of the questions I asked was still kind of, how do you do it all. And I know that that’s such a gendered question, men don’t get asked the question of how they will manage it all. 

In fact, in New South Wales, there’s a new premier Dominic Perrotet, and he has just announced that his wife is pregnant with their seventh baby. There have been some meme articles in response about how on earth will he juggle having a family and having so many children and he got asked that by a journalist. It’s kind of funny because it points out how ridiculous it is that women get asked how they will manage everything, and maybe progress isn’t men being asked a dumb question that women are regularly asked. 

It’s hard work carrying the load

But I think that we still need to acknowledge the very real lived reality of most women who have children, and that is that they are doing more of the work at home, carrying more of the mental load, and balancing more of caring and paid work than men. So the, ‘how do you do it all’ question isn’t how how are you supermum, or how are you doing everything when other people can’t do it all, but actually it’s more to show that none of us are alone. 

In all my interviews, no one has answered that question with, ‘I’ve got it nailed!’. People answer with, ‘well, I don’t, and I struggle with getting balance, and I struggle with the juggle, and homeschooling has been really hard, and I’m letting some balls drop because I can’t juggle everything’. 

Women speaking up!

So this season, I’m bringing you some amazing women who are doing amazing things. Some work in the diversity and inclusion industry and part of the question that I’ve been asking women like this is, why do you care about this? Why does this matter to you? What are you hoping to change in the world?

And then some are women who are making a difference in their own businesses that have nothing to do with gender equality, but by living the life they’re living and by doing the things they’re doing, they are helping us march towards gender equality. 

Some of this season was recorded during lockdown in Australia, some of it was recorded when we were in between lockdowns, and as we get to the end of the season of course then there’ll be recorded after we have exited our long second lockdown in Sydney and seventh lockdown in Melbourne. 

Welcome back!!

I really am happy to be back and so excited that you’re back here to join the conversation. This season if you have topics you really want me to talk about or guests that you would really love to hear from, please get in touch. I always love hearing from people and getting requests, and I hope you enjoy this season of Women at Work Podcast!

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To learn more about what I can do to help you move the dial on gender equality in your workplace, click the button below.

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

Sophie Anning, Corporate Affairs Director, MARS Petcare

Transcript

Welcome back to Women at Work Podcast! After a bit of a hiatus that included a global pandemic and extreme homeschooling, we’re back with this season themed women speaking up. 

While I’ve been gone, I published research into the impacts of COVID on working women. The results were shocking but unsurprising, with women taking on even more of the increased domestic work, more of the homeschooling and more of the mental load. Women everywhere are saying they’re burnt out, overwhelmed and overworked.

Globally, we’ve seen women leaving the workforce in greater numbers than men. That’s partly due to women making up more of the part time and casual workforce and they’re the first to go during a recession, and partly because the additional load of schooling combined with a lack of childcare has actually made it impossible for women to work. Gender gap is growing globally, when it was already glacially slow progress.

In Australia, 90,000 women lost their jobs between May and August, compared to 25,000 men. Our ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index fell 26 places to 50th out of 156 countries. This is a ranking based on economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Australia’s score fell in every category except literacy and enrollment in education. The gender pay gap has widened since the start of the pandemic. In September, the government formally adopted only 6 of the 55 recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission aimed at reducing workplace harassment. And in the latest Chief Executive Women senior executive census only one of the 23 CEO appointments last year was a women, and the representation of women in senior leadership remains almost unchanged year on year. 

Now I know my podcast isn’t going to fix all this. But I think the conversations that we have here on women at work are really important. 

I was interviewing someone for this season today and one of the questions I asked was still kind of, how do you do it all. And I know that that’s such a gendered question, men don’t get asked the question of how they will manage it all. 

In fact, in New South Wales, there’s a new premier Dominic Perrotet, and he has just announced that his wife is pregnant with their seventh baby. There have been some meme articles in response about how on earth will he juggle having a family and having so many children and he got asked that by a journalist. It’s kind of funny because it points out how ridiculous it is that women get asked how they will manage everything, and maybe progress isn’t men being asked a dumb question that women are regularly asked. 

But I think that we still need to acknowledge the very real lived reality of most women who have children, and that is that they are doing more of the work at home, carrying more of the mental load, and balancing more of caring and paid work than men. So the, ‘how do you do it all’ question isn’t how how are you supermum, or how are you doing everything when other people can’t do it all, but actually it’s more to show that none of us are alone. 

In all my interviews, no one has answered that question with, ‘I’ve got it nailed!’. People answer with, ‘well, I don’t, and I struggle with getting balance, and I struggle with the juggle, and homeschooling has been really hard, and I’m letting some balls drop because I can’t juggle everything’. 

So this season, I’m bringing you some amazing women who are doing amazing things. Some work in the diversity and inclusion industry and part of the question that I’ve been asking women like this is, why do you care about this? Why does this matter to you? What are you hoping to change in the world?

And then some are women who are making a difference in their own businesses that have nothing to do with gender equality, but by living the life they’re living and by doing the things they’re doing, they are helping us march towards gender equality. 

Some of this season was recorded during lockdown in Australia, some of it was recorded when we were in between lockdowns, and as we get to the end of the season of course then there’ll be recorded after we have exited our long second lockdown in Sydney and seventh lockdown in Melbourne. 

I really am happy to be back and so excited that you’re back here to join the conversation. This season if you have topics you really want me to talk about or guests that you would really love to hear from, please get in touch. I always love hearing from people and getting requests, and I hope you enjoy this season of Women at Work Podcast! 

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