Gender Segregation

Gender Segregation

Industrial and occupational gender segregation in the workplace has an important and complex relationship to women’s economic equality. United Voice welcomes the opportunity to represent our members’ concerns on this crucial issue.
Many members of our union work in industries marked by high levels of gender segregation.
Two thirds of United Voice’s members are women and a significant proportion of them work in highly gender-segregated sectors: Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), aged care, disability care and health care.

Our Summary of Recommendations

Measures to professionalise and improve conditions in female-dominated occupations and industries:
  • Significantly improve pay and conditions in feminised occupations and industries to achieve economic equality for women and to achieve gender integration in our workplaces, including government-funded 35 per cent wage increases in the children’s services and early childhood education industry.


Measures to normalise flexible work arrangements for both men and women and to ensure the equal distribution of unpaid care work:

  • Extend the right to request flexible work arrangements under s.65 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act) to make it available to all workers and include further examples of changing work arrangements.
  • Preservation and improvement of paid parental leave measures, including the introduction of ‘use it or lose it’ father-specific parental leave modelled on the schemes that exist in Nordic countries.

Measures to promote pay equity:
  • Amend the Fair Work Act to give the Fair Work Commission expert panel the power to introduce a medium-term target for the national minimum wage.
  • Reconsider how ‘equal remuneration’ is dealt with under the Fair Work Act and accord funding to applicants pursuing equal remuneration orders.
  • Remove the systemic disadvantage to women within the current superannuation scheme by implementing the recommendations made in the report of the Senate Inquiry into Women’s Economic Security in Retirement.
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