Women's workforce participation soars to record-high

More women are also in CEO positions, according to exciting new data

Women's workforce participation soars to record-high

Women's workforce participation in Western Australia has reached 64.5%, according to its 2022 Women's Report Card, a new record high for the state.

The Report Card, released every three years, provides a snapshot of how Western Australian women have progressed in terms of leadership, economic independence, safety and justice, as well as health and well-being. And according to this year's release, 51.5% of women are working full-time, with representation in CEO positions increasing to 19.4%.

In the public sector, Women's Report Card researcher Silvia Salazar said there is now "greater gender equality in leadership."

"In 2021, the proportion of women on State Government boards and committees exceeded 50% (52.5%) for the first time in Western Australia," said Salazar in a statement.

"By comparison, at the national level, private sector organisations still have a long way to go, with the proportion of women board members currently sitting at 33.4% in 2021," she added.

Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk said this year's report card showed "good progress" for public sector leadership and economic independence for WA women.

"It is encouraging to see that more organisations realise that greater diversity and having more women in leadership roles is good for business," she said.

Read more: Record-number of women join WA's Trainee Firefighter School

Meanwhile, the report card also revealed that WA's gender pay gap is down, but remains highest nationally, with 21.2% across all industries.

McGurk said that the industry can help in removing barriers for women so they can also pursue higher-paying careers that are traditionally dominated by men.

"Long-lasting cultural change takes time and commitment across all sectors of the community. This Government is leading the way by creating change within the public sector and also through actions and initiatives to influence our stakeholders and the communities we support."

Other findings from the report include:

  • 59.5% of university graduates are female and have exceeded male graduates since 1985, particularly in the areas of law and accounting
  • Teenage women giving birth in WA fell 26.6% since 2016
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death for women in WA
  • Women continue to face a significantly higher risk of violence than men, particularly sexual and family and domestic violence with a 21% increase in sexual assaults reported to WA police
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women account for 68% of hospitalisations due to family and domestic violence in WA.

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