Breaking the norm

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Breaking the norm

Unleashing Australia’s Economic Potential

It’s a pivotal time for gender equity in Australia.

Despite years of investment into gender equity, Australian progress has stagnated and fallen behind other countries. Women still earn 86 cents for every dollar earnt by a man, spend 1.8 hours more on domestic labour per week, and make up 6% of CEO positions on ASX200 companies. In this report, Deloitte Access Economics, in partnership with Australians Investing in Women, look for the first time at the root cause of these gender gaps, and what we stand to gain by tackling them.

Breaking the norm

‘Breaking the norm’ sheds a light on the substantial role that gender norms play in driving gender gaps in Australia. Gender norms are ideas or expectations based on gender, and they are deeply rooted in the way we think and act.

Rigid gender norms constrain decision-making by incentivising individuals to act in ways expected of their gender. On a large scale, this has important ramifications for economic growth and wellbeing.

The report finds that more flexible ideas around gender could lead to an additional $128 billion each year for Australia’s economy and 461,000 additional full time employees. This would be achieved through a combination of:

  • More women participating in the labour force;
  • Women working more paid hours (and men taking on a more equal split of unpaid labour and care);
  • More people working in roles that align with their skills, talent, and qualifications.

Read more to learn how gender norms impact behaviour, what we can do to address gender norms and drive Australia towards becoming a more prosperous and inclusive society.

Published: November 2022

Breaking the norm

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