National Women’s Journal
As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Yes it is bread we fight for but we fight for roses too.
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
As we come marching, marching we bring the greater days
For the people hear us singing:‘Bread and roses! Bread and roses!’
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
As we come marching, marching we battle too for men,
No more the drudge and idler - ten that toil where one reposes,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!
Our lives shall not be sweetened from birth until life closes;
As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
For the people hear us singing:‘Bread and roses! Bread and roses!’
Fashioning our Future 2010 NTEU Women’s Conference
Gender pay equity New NTEU President
Science & women in the spotlight
Aboriginal women in the Academy Volume 18 September 2010 ISSN 1322–2945
Women in Power
Women’s Action Committee (WAC) The NTEU Women’s Action Committee (WAC) and the annual Women’s Conference develop the Union’s work concerning women and their professional and employment rights. The WAC meets twice a year. Its roles includes: • Act as a representative of women members, at the National level. • To identify, develop and respond to matters affecting women. • To advise on recruitment policy and resources directed at women. • To advise on strategies and structures to encourage, support and facilitate the active participation of women members at all levels of the NTEU. • To recommend action, and advise on issues affecting women. • To inform members on industrial issues and policies that impact on women. • To make recommendations and provide advice to the National Executive, National Council, and Division Executive and Council on industrial, social and political issues affecting women. • Monitor and review the effectiveness of issues, policies and structures affecting women. WAC is composed of one academic and one professional/general staff representative from each Division, plus one Indigenous member.
A ACADEMIC STAFF MEMBER P PROFESSIONAL/GENERAL STAFF MEMBER PHONE FAX EMAIL b
NT WAC Delegates A Tina Jones b (08) 8946 6521 email@example.com
QLD WAC Delegates A Donna Weeks b (07) 5459 4603 firstname.lastname@example.org
P Lisa-Marie Stones
P Carolyn Cope
NTEU NT Division PO Box U371, Charles Darwin University, DARWIN, NT 0815 b (08) 8946 7231 (08) 8927 9410 email@example.com
NTEU QLD Division 4 Briggs St, TARINGA, QLD 4068 b (07) 3362 8200 (07) 3371 7817 firstname.lastname@example.org
3138 3235 email@example.com
8946 6252 firstname.lastname@example.org
WA WAC Delegates A Kathryn Sauer b (08) 9266 7123 email@example.com
P Kathryn Clarke b (08)
6304 2109 firstname.lastname@example.org NTEU WA Division 97 Broadway, Nedlands WA 6009 b (08) 6365 4188 (08) 9354 1629 email@example.com
National President (from 10/10) Jeannie Rea b (03) 9254 1910 firstname.lastname@example.org
NSW WAC Delegates A Helen Masterman-Smith b (02) 6051 6990 email@example.com
P Jess Cronin
P Margaret Kirkby
8340 8669 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT WAC Delegates A Sara Beavis b (02) 6125 8138 email@example.com b (02)
VIC WAC Delegates A Virginia Mansel Lees b (02) 6024 9807 firstname.lastname@example.org
P Anne Prince b (03)
9905 1108 email@example.com
1st Floor, 120 Clarendon St, SOUTHBANK, VIC 3006 PO Box 1323, SOUTH MELBOURNE, VIC, 3205
(03) 9254 1910
9351 6561 firstname.lastname@example.org
NTEU NSW Division Level 1, 55 Holt St, SURRY HILLS, NSW 2010 b (02) 9212 5433 (02) 9212 4090 email@example.com
P Fran Blackbourn
NTEU SA Division Box 100, Palais Apts, 281 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000 b (08) 8227 2384 (08) 8227 0997 firstname.lastname@example.org
Indigenous Representative Alma Mir b (08) 8939 7333 email@example.com
National President (to 9/10) Carolyn Allport b (03) 9254 1910 firstname.lastname@example.org
SA WAC Delegates A Sue Knight b (08) 8302 4550 email@example.com
(03) 9254 1915
NTEU VIC Division Level 1, 120 Clarendon St, SOUTHBANK, VIC 3006 b (03) 9254 1930 (03) 9254 1935 firstname.lastname@example.org
TAS WAC Delegates A Paula Johnson b (03) 6226 2551 Paula.Johnson@utas.edu.au
P Nell Rundle b (03)
6226 2551 email@example.com
6125 5046 firstname.lastname@example.org NTEU ACT Division G Block, Old Administration Area, ACTON, ACT 0200 b (02) 6125 2043 (02) 6125 8137 email@example.com NTEU TAS Division Private Bag 101, University of Tasmania, HOBART, TAS 7001 b (03) 6226 7575 (03) 6226 2172 firstname.lastname@example.org
National Women’s Journal
Volume 18, September 2010 Editorial 2 NTEU National President Carolyn Allport. Despite victories, vigilance and persistence are needed 3 Introducing incoming NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea. NEWS Equal Pay Day in Canberra
Farewell dinner for Carolyn
Analysing the pay equity gap 12 A summary of Philippa Hall’s presentation by Margaret Kirkby. Employer of Choice for Women Awards: Can they advance the agenda for women? 13 A summary of Shannon Kerrigan’s talk by Nell Rundle. INDIGENOUS WOMEN
WOMEN’S CONFERENCE Aboriginal women and leadership in the Academy 14 Frances Wyld on fighting for equity and leadership within universities. Fashioning Our Future 2010 NTEU Women’s Conference.
A Feminist Warrior inspires engagement in social issues 8 A summary of Sharan Burrow’s talk by Fran Blackbourn. Addressing gender and pay inequity in our universities 9 A summary of Glenda Strachan’s presentation by Tina Jones. Putting science and women in the political spotlight 10 A summary of Anna-Maria Arabia’s talk by Sara Beavis.
In accordance with NTEU policy to reduce our impact on the natural environment, this magazine is printed on Behaviour – a 30% recycled stock, manufactured by a PEFC Certified mill, which is ECF Certified Chlorine Free.
Cover photo by Terri MacDonald. NTEU National President Carolyn Allport, ICTU General Secretary Sharan Burrow and incoming NTEU National President Jeannie Rea at the 2010 Women’s Conference.
One step forward, two steps back 20 We may have our first elected female Prime Minister, but there is still a long way to go before we have any measure of equity in Federal Parliament. Women in Parliament – a brief her-story From Vida to Julia, via Edith, Enid, Margaret and Carmen.
EMPLOYMENT Gender issues in academia 16 Terri MacDonald analyses the recent international report on Gender Issues in Employment and Working Conditions of Academic Staff. GENDER PAY EQUITY
News from around the globe 22 Women in higher education, from University World News. Summer in Cambodia 24 NTEU Member, Sue Clements, travelled with Teachers Across Borders to Battambang in Cambodia.
Addressing the pay divide 18 Women’s right to equal pay has not translated into a fair outcome: in 2009-10, Australian women earn 18% less than men.
frontline is published once a year by National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU),
PO Box 1323, Sth Melbourne, VIC 3205 Australia. ISSN 1322–2945, ABN 38 579 396 344 Ph: 03 9254 1910 Fax: 03 9254 1915 Email: email@example.com Editor: Carolyn Allport Production & Design: Paul Clifton Editorial Assistance: Anastasia Kotaidis All text and images ©2010 unless otherwise noted. Current and previous issues available online at: www.nteu.org.au/frontline
Farewell from the President Carolyn Allport, NTEU National President
have been honoured to have held the position of the President of the NTEU over the last 16 years, representing our members, working with our parliamentarians and friends and colleagues from across the sector. I have also been proud to stand as a committed trade unionist, believing that workers rights are fundamentally human rights, and that compassion, understanding and strong belief in the importance of social justice are the hallmarks of effective progress on issues that matter to working people. I have worked in academia since 1974, and I have never lost my passion for the ‘art of academia’ including the fundamental importance of high quality teaching and research. University staff have a responsibility to undertake their work in the public interest and for the public good. At various times over the years, we have fought battles against governments of many political persuasions on behalf of our members. There have been difficult times. However, I retain a fondness for two important areas of my work, the first of which is increasing women’s participation in the Union and encouraging them to take up union positions, including leadership. The labour movement continues to wear its masculinity, even though women dominate the higher education sector. The Women’s Action Committee (WAC) has sustained our commitment to further encourage women members to be active across all areas, including social justice and their activity has given strength to our Union. Many women are taking leading positions within our organisation and I am proud of the work done by all women that have served the NTEU. The other important area of work which I led was to build a strong place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It was fortunate that a new Minister came at the time when we had just begun our work on social justice. The agenda became critically important at a time when there were significant fractures between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. We were very successful in charting a new area within the education sector, one that would flower for the future. Indigenous policy matters and I implore members to take these issues further within the NTEU. We do such work not for any personal purpose, but to improve and enlighten the world in which we live through the work undertaken in our universities. We speak emphatically in support of both social justice and quality. I trust that the Union will continue to strive for excellence, inclusivity, and compassion in all that we do as members of the NTEU. As the President, I have been fortunate to play an active part in the work of our international union, Education International. Being part of this Union opened a new world for my own thinking, monitoring international movements such as the Bologna Process, UNESCO Conferences, the World Trade Congress, 2
vol.16, September October 2008 vol.18, 2010
where I was part of the EI delegation, and attendance at the regular International Higher Education Conferences which exhibited a genuine spirit of internationalisation. I thank the Union for these experiences, and would especially mention the extensive contribution made by Monique Fouilhoux, who guided all of us in the higher education caucus over the years.
But what of the future? We should begin by reminding ourselves that our Union was born from those whose work was embedded in Universities, recognising the critical roles that academics, researchers, students and professional staff play in creating new knowledge. This also means that we have a collective responsibility to lift the quality and capacity of higher education and all who work in the sector. Here we have an important role to play by working in our institutions to raise issues of concern to university staff. This requires strong interpersonal relationships, not simply across our institutions but also directly with government. Too often unions focus narrowly on administrative and structural issues as if the structure is all that is important. While plans are critical, it is vital that we remember that it is people who matter. It is our members and our colleagues who have built the Union, and as such it is vital that we continue to aspire to new ways of working to achieve a higher quality of work both in the universities and in the work undertaken by our Branches, Divisions and in the National Office. I thank all members who worked for our Union, especially those who have given their time to participate in the governance of the NTEU. I pay my respect to my comrades who have served in the leadership of Branches and Divisions and the National Office. Finally I would like to express my appreciation to the many staff with whom I have worked over the years during my time as President of the National Tertiary Education Union. I will always treasure your comradeship. I wish the Union good fortune for the future and thank all of you for your comradeship over the many years that I have had the privilege of serving you.
Despite victories, vigilance and persistence are needed Jeannie Rea NTEU National President-elect
After more than three decades, campaigning, teaching , researching and writing for women in education and unions, incoming NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea reflects upon the changes and the challenges for the NTEU in continuing to lead in advocacy for women.
hen I started teaching in a TAFE college in Victoria in the early 1980s, married women in the teaching service still did not have to join a superannuation fund. Thousands of two and three year trained teachers were unable to gain promotion and were paid thousands less than their colleagues doing the same job. Most of these teachers were women with interrupted service due to child bearing and rearing. However, women teachers in Victorian schools and colleges had equal pay, paid maternity leave and up to 7 years unpaid child rearing leave. Over the next few years superannuation became compulsory.* The teachers’ unions won a landmark case that not only increased the salaries and created career paths for two and three year trained teachers, but gained them thousands in back pay. All of these rights and benefits for women teachers were won by union action. As a new teacher, I was fortunate in being able to join a union that had an active women’s committee, an annual women’s conference and women represented at all levels of the union. Education unions have been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of women workers and for girls’ education, advocating for equal pay and conditions from the early twentieth century. Women and male supporters had to struggle against the sexism and misogyny of male colleagues and union leaders, but have persisted and prevailed. So when I joined Victoria University a decade later, the higher education unions were merging to form the NTEU and I was delighted to again find a strong women’s voice throughout the union with the founding President a woman. Now after more than 16 years in the job, current President Dr Carolyn Allport is retiring. Carolyn has been an exceptional advocate for women in and outside our union. As the incoming President I pledge to continue with this unrelenting commitment. NTEU is a recognised local and international leader, in many of the major industrial and political campaigns for gender equity and women’s rights including paid parental leave, pay equity, career development and affirmative action. We have a responsibility to continue to break new ground and to ensure that all women are included. Discrimination against women, and then
further prejudice against women who do not fit the mould of white, straight and middle class remains the reality for many women staff and students. Despite all the changes over the years, the persistence of everyday sexism, of sexual harassment and bullying, as well as systemic and systematic gender based discrimination continue to wear down and wear out women. Our workplaces are still organised to best accommodate men with wives to look after them and their children. I have been teaching and researching in Women’s and Gender Studies for nearly thirty years and so have taught a whole generation of students, while witnessing the development of the theory and praxis of feminist scholarship. What has changed is that young women Gender Studies students of today do not doubt their abilities or their rights to pursue their goals, unlike the early Women’s Studies classes where we kept searching for evidence of women’s intellectual equality with men, our suitability and capacity to undertake traditionally male tasks, and questioned combining mothering and paid work. These days young women continue to despair at how things get so difficult when they have children, while so little has changed for their male peers. The young women of today remain angry about the socially constructed privilege of being male, but they expect better behaviour of their male peers. They continue to struggle with being judged on their physical appearance, and in my opinion are far too complacent about the demeaning, relentless sexualisation of young women. When I look at my students I am so proud of their confidence in themselves and one another. But I am disappointed that they do not realise that they owe so much to the stridency and courage of women students and academics who, a generation ago, challenged what was being taught and researched and by whom. NTEU is uniquely placed as a union, and is the only organisation in the tertiary sector that includes academics, administrators, researchers, technicians and administrators. We can and will continue to push for change that can take us beyond gender equality to forge transformative changes to tertiary education that are genuinely inclusive, collaborative, and just. *I personally cheered this victory as my (unmarried) great aunt, teacher union activist Helena McGarvin had been campaigning for this from the 40s. vol.16, October 2010 2008 vol.18, September
Equal Pay Day
s Spring began, ANU Branch members came together for a barbecue to mark Equal Pay Day. This date marks the extra days, after 30 June, that the average woman must work until she earns the same amount the average man earned during the previous financial year.
This year it was on 4 September: women had to work more than an extra two months to earn the same amount of pay that men earned in the 2009-2010 year, on average. This date has been getting later for two years as the gap between men’s and women’s pay widened. Sara Beavis and Fran Blackbourn, ACT Division’s Women’s Action Committee delegates, spoke about the issue and the role
hile the introduction of the Federal Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme is seen quite rightly by many a major step forward in ensuring equity in the workplace, other notable advances that were equally important (but less publicised) include the Federal Government’s reviews into Gender Pay Equity and Equal Opportunity in the Workplace. These resulting recommendations of these reviews encompassing areas as broad as industrial relations, anti-discrimination legislation, pay equity, superannuation and long service leave, and the political representation of women within government, and if implemented are likely to have a substantial impact. However, it should also be noted that while there have been advances in many issues important to women, there are still challenges ahead – for example, this issue of Frontline reports on the reduction in the numbers of women in the new Federal Parliament (see p. 20). Clearly, there is still much that needs to be addressed. universities can play in addressing it through researching the causes of the continuing pay gap. For more information on Equal Pay Day, see report on p.18 Pictured: ACT delegates Hayley Stevenson and Fran Blackbourn at the grill for the Equal Pay Day barbecue. Photo by Jane Maze.
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vol.18, September 2010
Farewell dinner for Carolyn Allport
n Friday 27 August, a celebratory farewell dinner was held in Melbourne for outgoing NTEU National President, Carolyn Allport. Carolyn, who has been NTEU President since 1994, finishes her term at the end of September. Over dinner, speakers shared their memories and anecdotes of Carolyn’s long career in higher education and the union movement. Speakers on the night were: • Grahame McCulloch, NTEU General Secretary. • Sharan Burrow, ICTU General Secretary and former ACTU President. • Meredith Burgmann, former President of the New South Wales Legislative Council, and first President of the NTEU. • Ian Chubb, ANU Vice-Chancellor. • Terry Mason, Chair, NTEU Indigenous Policy Committee.
• Chris Game, former NTEU NSW State Secretary. • Ingrid Stage and Jens Vraa-Jensen, Education International colleagues from Denmark. Messages were also read from numerous well wishers unable to attend in person. Smaller similar functions are being held at NTEU Division offices throughout September. Above: Carolyn Allport speaks at her farewell dinner. Below: Sue Burgess, Graham McCulloch and Senator Trish Crossin; The farewell dinner in progress; String quartet plays for arriving guests. Photos by Paul Clifton.
Clockwise from top left: Speakers Meredith Burgmann, Ian Chubb, Ingrid Strage, Jens Vraa-Jensen, Terry Mason and Chris Game. vol.18, September 2010
vol.18, September 2010
NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. All photos by Terri MacDonald
Women’s Conference 2010
Fashioning our future T
he theme of the 2010 NTEU Women’s Conference was ‘Fashioning Our Future’. There is much work undertaken to improve our Union and our workplaces, and this conference focused on the work and lives of women in higher education both within Australia and internationally. The conference was fortunate to have an number of eminent women whose work has always spoken clearly for women. The first is Sharan Burrow, former ACTU President and newly elected General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ICTU). Many of you know Sharan as someone who is a regular attendee at NTEU Women’s Conference and now, with her elevation to the head of the international trade union movement, we are extremely proud of her. Fran Blackbourn provides Frontline readers with a summary of Sharan’s talk (p. 8). 010 2 E C Alongside Sharan, we also heard from Professor Glenda Strachan, REN E F who is leading an ARC Grant dealing with gender and employment CON S equity and strategies for advancement in Australian universities. ’ N E Glenda’s presentation is described by Tina Jones (p. 9). OM W U Our third speaker was Philippa Hall, currently working as a pay NTE equity consultant with the Office of Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). Margaret Kirkby reviews Philippa’s talk on p.12. For a change in pace, we reviewed the intense debates in the world of science, largely arising from the aggressive assault on peer review and independent research. For this, we heard from AnnaMaria Arabia, CEO of the Federation of Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS). Sara Beavis provides us with an analysis of AnnaMaria’s presentation on p. 10. Shannon Kerrigan, Equality and Diversity Coordinator at La Trobe University, discussed the EOWA’s ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ (EOCFW) citations, and whether they can actually advance the agenda for women. Nell Rundle outlines her arguments on p. 13. In addition, delegates talked around key areas of our work across the higher education sector such as: 0 201 • Where are women now. y l Ju • Workforce and career development. -25 4 2 • Examining the EOWA Process. urne o b l • Improving your lobbying skills. Me • Parental leave. • Academic freedom. • Intellectual Property and Moral Rights.
G N I N
O I H AS
vol.18, September 2010
A Feminist Warrior inspires engagement in social issues Fran Blackbourn University of New England
haran Burrow opened the 2010 NTEU Women’s Conference with an inspiring plenary address about continuing our engagement in the social issues of our time. As Sharan heads off to the frontline at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Brussels, and with Australia’s first woman Prime Minister in office, the time has never been more right for women to engage in current social debates: climate change, pay equity, flexible patterns of work and paid maturity leave are all paramount. As we engage in our battles for rights in the workplace, we need to focus on the facts that women in Australia are more likely to be on the minimum wage, in workplaces that are designed for men, and by men, and that are at risk of being less and less relevant to women. So with our future looking positive as our political representation increasing with women in parliament and in leadership positions, there should be no unionised workplace in Australia with less than six months maternity leave. Sharan convened the stories of impressive women from an Algerian union women’s training centre, whose struggles start before they can get to the workplace. They struggle to claim their identity within their own families; their struggle not to be invisible. Their right to actually get to work within their male strong families, with the treat of disownment being far too real, they must then fight to take their place within the union movement and to then their right to take an active role within it.
As women in Australia, we must continue the bulwark against oppression and to show courage to our comrade sheilas around the world. In 2006, Sharan said: I am a warrior for woman and we still have work to ensure the inclusion of women in the work place and in our unions. The struggles for women are multiple – too often within their families for independence, then in the workplace for rights and equal opportunity, in their unions for access and representation and then as union leaders. But the investment in and participation of women is not only a moral mandate it is an investment in democracy and a bulwark against fundamentalism and oppression. Organising women is and must continue to be a priority for the ITUC. Sharon thanked the women of the NTEU for our skills and knowledge and to our ability to take on the broader fights for a civil society. Above: Sharan Burrow at the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. Photo by Terri MacDonald
THE WEBSITE FOR CASUAL & SESSIONAL ACADEMICS 8
vol.18, September 2010
Addressing gender and pay inequity in our universities Tina Jones Charles Darwin University
riffith University lecturer, Professor Glenda Strachan addressed the 2010 Women’s Conference, with the subject matter ‘Gender and Employment Equity: Strategies for Advancement in Australian Universities’.
Professor Strachan addressed five key points: • Feminisation of universities. • Explaining the gender gap, • Policies. • Changes in universities and implications for gender equality. • What her study seeks to examine. In 1990, casual full time employees comprised 11% of university academic staff in Australia. By comparison, in 2009, casual staff increased to 19% which equates to 160% increase in casual staff from the year 1990. This shift to an increased casual staff in academia is known as ‘casualisation’.
Professor Glenda Strachan addressing the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. Photo by Terri MacDonald
In 2008, casual male staff represented 15% whereas female staff represented 26% of academic staff, many of whom are long-term casuals with fewer entitlements than full time staff which also raises the matter of gender equity. In 2005 a far greater number of women were employed in low-level positions compared to women employed in positions at the higher end where males dominate the gender scale. The majority of women employed in universities also reveal that a gender pay gap of 10-12% was evident for both academic and general staff. Consequent to gender employment and scale of pay inequal-
ARC Linkage Grant NTEU is one of three industry partners on an ARC linkage grant awarded to a research team from Griffith University (GU) and University of Queensland (UQ). The project, led by Professor Glenda Strachan is entitled ‘Gender and Employment Equity: Strategies for Advancement in Australian Universities’, and will run over three years. The broad goals of the research are to understand the ongoing impediments to gender equity in employment in the university sector, focussing in particular on the emergence of the entrepreneurial university and related changes over the past decade. The work will be used to propose ways to advance gender equity and thus to ensure Australia’s future university workforce is based on sustainable equitable practises. The research will centre on three key areas for women: senior women, classifications and career paths for general/professional staff, and casual teaching and research only staff. The research team are: Professor Glenda Strachan (GU), Associate Professor Gillian Whitehouse (UQ), Professor David Peetz, Dr Janis Bailey and Dr Kaye Broadbent (GU).
ity, Australian universities are progressively developing policies to counteract and/or resolve these issues to enable an equitable future providing pathways and opportunities for all employees. One strategy is to separate teaching staff from research staff thus enabling staff whose career choice is to dedicate their efforts to research only would be encouraged to follow that path whereas persons, many of whom are women and who may only be interested in teaching, are provided an opportunity to concentrate their focus on teaching. These changes, according to Professor Strachan, may present a bias to research outcomes as the majority of researchers are male – ‘feminisation of teaching universities and male domination of research universities’. Whether research intensive or teaching intensive the future of academic positions and pathways for both men and women in the world of academia is changing. It was a privilege to participate in the conference and meet Glenda Strachan. vol.18, September 2010
Putting science and women in the political spotlight Sara Beavis ANU
t the 2010 National Women’s Conference, a perspective on the political context of science in Australia was presented by Anna-Maria Arabia, CEO of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS). Anna-Maria identified the core importance of science due to its role in driving the economy. This is because it is central to the building of knowledge and innovation in areas such as health, natural resources development, communication and national security. Science is crucial to informing the big issues facing Australia, our region, and beyond. This is particularly evident with climate change. However, using this issue as an example, Anna-Maria Arabia noted that conflicting political views and unbalanced debates can pitch peer reviewed science against opinion and anecdotal evidence. The politicisation of the climate debate has impacted on the reputation of science, with consequences for the influence that scientists may have with governments. Within this setting it has become apparent that we need to increase awareness of the value of science knowledge. Responsibility for this starts with improving scientific literacy, and extends to: • The media asking sources whether information has been tested or not, and presenting the consensus scientific view. • Expecting politicians and decision makers to value scientists. • Fostering open discussion. At the same time, scientists need to be rigorous in their investigations, contribute to public debate and improve the processes by which their work is communicated. Importantly, politicians need to be transparent. They should accept the consensus scientific view, placing it within broader socio-economic and political contexts, or openly declare beliefs which may be in conflict with existing scientific knowledge (such as creationism, anti-nuclear absolutism, etc). In this presentation, the role of FASTS in science advocacy was identified, and included their involvement in public forums, Science meets Parliament and the Climate Change Summit. These activities and relevant publications can be accessed at www.fasts. org. Of specific interest to participants of the 2010 Women’s Conference was the FASTS report on Women in Science in Australia. Anna-Maria noted the ‘glacial rates of change’ in the involvement of women in science since a benchmark report was presented to the Australian Government in 1995 , with the most significant increases occurring in those areas traditionally identified as female dominated. Although Australia was a leader in this area of policy in 1995, this is no longer the case. Women barely rate a mention in the Australia 2020 Summit Report (2008); the Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008) and the Cutler Review of Innovation (Venturous Australia, 2008). Interestingly, female participation and achievement in science 10
vol.18, September 2010
FASTS CEO Anna-Maria Arabia talking at the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. Photo by Terri MacDonald
and technology is improving at school and undergraduate levels, with females now outnumbering male enrolments at Australian universities. However, it is sobering to note the very high levels of attrition that occur from post doctoral levels onwards to the extent that there are very few women in leadership roles in science. This occurs in both the tertiary and industry sectors. Such attrition is graphically presented in the graph of academic profiles by gender (right). Currently we have an unprecedented number of women in leading roles in this country, however, as Anna-Maria stated in her talk, “without significant female seniority in the sector, this profile of leadership- arguably based on individual achievement - is fragile.” Although parental leave and child care are major steps forward, they are still; not enough to ensure that women are fulfilling their potential within the workplace. The report by Sharon Bell on Women in Science suggests that important next steps include: • Reframing scientific career paths beyond the traditional trajectories that disempower women. • Changing institutional cultures. • Changing the ways in which decisions are made (through such mechanisms as, for example, changing the composition of decision making bodies). Additional progress could be made through mandatory annual reporting on the numbers of women employed in universities and other publicly funded research institutions. Relevant data collected would include their level and retention rates as well as specific workplace initiatives promoting and progressing parity.
Academic Profiles by Gender; Natural and Physical Sciences 2007
Source: DEEWR Selected Higher Education Student Statistics 2007; DEST Special Report FTE Staff in AOU Groups 2007 (also see http://www.fasts.org/images/news2009/fasts%20women%20 in%20science%5B1%5D.pdf)
vol.18, September 2010
Analysing the pay equity gap Margaret Kirkby University of Sydney
hilippa Hall, a pay equity consultant with the Office of Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), presented a paper at the Women’s Conference regarding pay equity in the higher education sector. It was very interesting to hear Philippa outline the latest data and research in this area but it was also depressing that women in the higher education sector are still, today in the 21st century, facing a pay equity gap. Though, as Philippa outlined, the size of the pay gap between male and female wages (whether academic or professional staff) has lessened compared to 20 years ago, a gender based pay gap is still present. In a pay equity audit in 2008 undertaken at UWA, the gender pay gap was 15% for academic staff and 12% for professional staff. The study further revealed that the use of discretionary allowances also deepened the pay equity gap. These discretionary allowances become a bigger issue in that they are used to attract or retain staff. The bulk of discretionary allowances are used for this purpose yet women have a lower share of discretionary allowances and a lower maximum compared to male employees to whom discretionary allowances are offered. The use of discretionary allowances has increased in its incidence in universities and those allowances tend to have a higher value at higher levels of academic positions and/or professional positions. In terms of workforce composition, the most significant issue is that of the vertical segregation wherein Philippa acknowledged that there is a need for expertise to be developed amongst feminist academic and professional staff on these issues. There is, undoubtedly, a need to look more deeply into being what is being observed as some observations will have less obvious rationales which only a feminist analysis can drill down into (my words not Philippa’s). For example, there is a gendered impact attached to the use of words commonly used by universities when speaking of their staff, such as, ‘ideal worker’, or ‘merit’. These words obviously raise the question of exactly what constitutes ‘performance’ let alone ‘successful performance’. When it comes to promotions, for a worker whether male or female to secure a promotion, they must display ‘merit’. Yet the worker needs support from senior colleagues to acquire ‘merit’ and also needs support to even apply for promotion. This whole process has a gendered impact for women academic staff as those who take on more teaching and/or administrative roles are not seen as having ‘merit’ because they will not have had the time or opportunity to, for example, publish papers. In terms of the issues regarding auditing of the pay equity structure, there are concerns in relation to the classification systems used for both academic, professional and administrative staff. For example, some academic staff are classified as ‘profes12
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sional‘ as opposed to ‘academic’ and/or as ‘core’ or ‘senior’. Philippa Hall raised a concern as to whether the variations in classification systems within universities results in a robust auditing process. In terms of administrative staff the classification system also comes up as many administrative staff are employed as casuals or as short-term contract staff. In terms of the pay system, the pay for some staff will come from different sources of funding which makes it much harder to analyse and identify exactly what is occurring in terms of pay equity issues. The segregation of women in lower paid and lower level positions, whether administrative or academic, is pervasive, persistent and faces resistance if attempts are made to try to undo it.
Philippa Hall speaking at the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. Photo by Terri MacDonald
Employer of Choice for Women Awards: Can they advance the agenda for women? Nell Rundle University of Tasmania
wenty-two of Australia’s 39 universities were awarded the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ (EOCFW) citation in 2010. At the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010, Shannon Kerrigan was able to help explain how this is possible, and to explore whether and how aspiration towards and achievement of these awards can actually advance the agenda for women. In order to receive an EOCFW citation, organisations need to submit an application addressing 6 criteria as well as being compliant with the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace (EOWW) Act. The 6 criteria relate to; having policies, transparent processes, and strategies that support, utilise and develop women; delivering improved outcomes for women and educating all employees about sex-based harassment; having an inclusive culture that is championed by the CEO, driven by senior executives, and that holds line managers accountable. The requirements for universities to meet these criteria make it possible for them to leave large gaps in the information and statistics provided to the EOWA, which may be the key to understanding how some of our institutions have received this citation when many of us see how far there is to go, and how little is being done in some areas. Despite this flaw in the award, its existence, and the fact that many universities are eager to achieve it as it gives them a competitive edge, can have a positive effect. As the criteria are strengthened over time, universities will be forced to advance the agenda for women. In 2010 a number of the criteria were strengthened, with criteria 5, ‘An organisation must have a gender inclusive organisational culture that is championed by the CEO, driven by senior executives and holds line managers accountable’ expanding from requiring Equal Opportunity for Women to be a standing agenda item on all committees chaired by the CEO, to requiring such a standing item on all Board meetings and Executive meetings as well. The application for EOCFW also requires analysis and reporting of gender pay and employment figures. This criterion has also been strengthened, with the inclusion of ‘hidden payments’ now required rather than simply base salaries. The collection and reporting of this data, as well as the other figures and statistics required means that universities applying for the award must set up reporting and information gathering systems. It also means that this information is available to quickly inform higher level employees and managers, enabling them to become aware of the gaps and in turn become champions of change.
While the EOCFW is not as robust as it could be, our universities are striving to meet its criteria which means that women are being kept on the agenda (quite literally!). More info on the EOWA Employer of Choice For Women List: www.eowa.gov.au/EOWA_Employer_Of_Choice_For_Women.asp
Shannon Kerrigan addressing at the NTEU Women’s Conference 2010. Photo by Terri MacDonald vol.18, September 2010
Aboriginal women and leadership in the Academy Frances Wyld University of South Australia
he Aboriginal woman as sovereign survives the colonising structures through determined struggle, raw pain, thoughtful strategy, diplomatic negotiations, resistance, resourcefulness, a use of black humour and a culturally confirmed sense of location in this land and through the practise of long-held spiritual beliefs. (Bunda 2007:78) This article is dedicated to the many Indigenous women who provide leadership in tertiary education, in particular Tracey Bunda, Nereda White, Bronwyn Fredericks and all the Tiddas (sisters) who support each through the hard times with humour and understanding. In 2006, Tracey Bunda and Nereda White won an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) grant to hold a series of residential workshops for Indigenous women titled Tiddas Showin’ Up, Talkin’ Up and Puttin’ Up: Indigenous Women and Educational leadership (Bunda and White 2009). Overall four workshops were held and I was lucky enough to attend three of them. Nereda White and Bronwyn Fredericks were successful in winning an ALTC grant this year to hold another workshop titled Tiddas Writin’ Up: Indigenous Women and Educational Leadership, which I also attended. I want to speak to my workshop experiences, the reasons for why such events are needed and why I am still struggling to put what I learnt into practice. 14
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Indigenous women in the Academy not only want to succeed (and survive) in a colonised structure they also want to follow traditional protocol as a study by Nereda White affirms: Although they [Indigenous women] acknowledged that being colonized had disrupted traditional forms of leadership and that it was not possible ‘to turn back time’, the women believed that we could learn much from ‘the old ways’. (White 2010:22). It is really important for Indigenous women to take leadership not just for themselves but to impart a better understanding to all Australians about the first culture of Australia. The Tiddas workshops were an empowering process that I couldn’t wait to put in to practice back at my university. In a previous Frontline, Bronwyn Fredericks (2009a) talked about the difficulties that Indigenous women endure and I have experienced much of this myself as an Indigenous academic. She has also outlined examples of how we are treated in some of her other writings (see Fredericks 2009b; 2011).
Tiddas Writin’ Up: Indigenous Women and Educational Leadership Workshop, Brisbane 2010. Photo by Rhonda Hagan
I had re-entered the academy with Bachelor and Masters Degrees after a short stint raising my son and then working for a non-government organisation in the area of learning. In returning to University as a staff member and a doctorate student, I was ready to resume my role as an activist for change within a place that is meant to encourage dialogue on how society works and how it should work. I was rudely awakened to find myself not regarded as an advocate but an object of oppression. In attending the Tiddas workshops I found some sanity; women who wanted to make change, follow protocol, to use our sense of resourcefulness, humour and negotiation skills (Bunda 2007:78) and to support each other as sisters. I was given good advice on speaking up and putting up. I was invigorated. I found solidarity in other Indigenous woman around the country who had similar experiences. I took this information back to my own university confident in my own abilities, asking for challenges and leadership only to find myself silenced and sent back to the end of the queue. If I spoke up my words were received badly or misconstrued. I noticed that when others spoke up they were interpreted as assertive and confident and not as angry and aggressive. As an academic I took solace in the words of Audre Lorde who said that ‘it is not the anger of Black women which is dripping down over this globe like a diseased liquid’ (1997:285). I did not create the problems caused by colonisation and I speak up about the issues we now live with as a result of colonisation but does that get me a promotion or the help for which I hold most dear; my family? In the middle of this year I attended the Tiddas Writin’ Up workshop facilitated by Bronwyn Fredericks (QUT & Monash) and Nereda White (ACU). As I looked around this room of enthusiastic Indigenous women I realised that it comprised only 20% of the original women and I asked myself ‘where had all the original Tiddas gone?’ Many of the women who had started on this process three years ago had moved out of the sector,
had moved on, had burnt out, or didn’t have the time to spare. The original Tiddas in attendance mourned this loss while still celebrating the new influx of women ready to take on the fight and to be Tiddas to each other. The enthusiasm from these women was electric. This particular workshop was on writing and I took comfort in the fact that in this colonising structure there was much I could not control but what I could control where my words, and my story. It was comforting to know that the NTEU had sponsored an activity at the workshop and therefore that our union supported Indigenous women writing up and claiming space within academia. I know that by being a union member in the NTEU I can and could call on the solidarity of all the sisters to help continue this fight for equity and support so that more Tiddas can find leadership within the academy. So come on sisters, help us in our fight for equity and leadership within the academy!
References Bunda, T (2007) ‘The sovereign Aboriginal woman’ in Moreton-Robinson, Aileen (ed.) Sovereign Subjects. Allen and Unwin: Crows Nest NSW. Bunda, T and White, N (2009) Final Project Report The Australian Learning and Teaching Council Leadership for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Program: Tiddas Showin’ Up, Talkin’ Up and Puttin’ Up: Indigenous Women and Educational Leadership. Adelaide: Flinders University and Australian Catholic University. Fredericks, B (2009a) ‘Race and equity in higher education: A harder path for Indigenous academics’, Frontline vol. 17. Retrieved 14 June 2010 from http:// eprints.qut.edu.au/ 27554/1/27554.pdf Fredericks, B (2009b) ‘The epistemology that maintains white race privilege, power and control of Indigenous Studies and Indigenous peoples’ participation in universities’, Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association eJournal, 5(1): 1-12. Fredericks, B (2011) ‘Universities Are Not the Safe Places We Would Like To Think They Are, But They Are Getting Safer: Indigenous Women Academics in Higher Education’, Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (Special Tiddas Collection, in press). Lorde, A (1997) ‘The Uses of Anger’, Women’s Studies Quarterly 25 (1): 278-285 White, N (2010) ‘Indigenous Australian women’s leadership: stayin’ strong against the post-colonial tide’, International Journal of Leadership in Education 13 (1):7-25
vol.18, vol.16, September October 2010 2008
EI report on Employment and Working Conditions of Academic Staff
Gender issues in academia Terri MacDonald NTEU Policy & Research Officer
he recently released Education International (EI) report ‘Gender Issues in Employment and Working Conditions of Academic Staff’ (2010) draws upon publicly available, global data and information collated by affiliate unions of EI to focus on the current state of affairs of employment and working conditions of female academic staff and tries to identify gender issues that remain to be tackled. This study was divided into four main parts: • Part 1. Analyses the trends concerning the enrolment rates of women in different levels and fields of study across higher education and examines potential future consequences for academic staff. • Part 2. Examine the current status of women as academic staff and provide insight into the typical career of a female academic in comparison to that of a male academic, including in relation to employment and working conditions. • Part 3. Examine how trade unions currently deal with female issues within collective bargaining and policy development activities and how they address such issues within their own governance structures. • Part 4. Consider the different issues which affect higher education from a gender perspective, such as brain drain and disability among female academic staff.
Key findings: Female enrolment and progression through studies The report found that in the period spanning from 1990 to 1997 female higher education enrolment rates rose from 46 to 46.8 per cent at the world level. Ten years later, in 2007, female enrolment is at 50.7 per cent. 16
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As at 2006, 72 countries in the world registered a higher enrolment of female than male students in higher education. Fifty countries register a higher enrolment of males in higher education. In the latter group of countries, women represent less than one third of total enrolments in a total of 28 countries. The vast majority of countries which have shown progress in achieving parity at the first stage of higher education have still not managed to attain it at the next level. With each next education level, female enrolment generally decreases. Data shows that women perform better in higher education and tend to drop out less than men across study fields, particularly at the early stages of higher education. Hence, it seems that the trend of decreasing enrolment at each next stage of higher education is still dependent on cultural and societal factors and real barriers to female progression.
Women as members of academic staff The world average of all women involved in teaching at ISCED Level 5, regardless of their qualification and status in higher education institutions, is 39 per cent. The world average of female researchers is 27 per cent. Data from the European Union (EU), North America, Australia and New Zealand shows that only 15 per cent of women hold the highest ranking positions available in the academic hierarchy. At the middle and lowest level ranks, women hold roughly
one-third and one-half of positions available respectively. Less than 5 per cent of universities worldwide are run by women. Based on the data from North America, Australia, New Zealand and Poland it can be concluded that women are particularly affected by casualisation trends. Women are far more likely to hold part-time positions, and when they do hold a full time position they are more likely to be off the tenure tracks. The gender pay-gap in the EU, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand ranges between 13 and 25 per cent and notable differences are apparent between different fields of science, where the widest gender gap exists in engineering and the applied sciences, but is also closely followed by social sciences.
Women in the union movement The way in which women or female issues are included in collective bargaining procedures varies greatly between unions in different countries. The variations depend on trade union structures, as well as national regulations on collective bargaining. Most unions describe gender issues as a high priority within their trade union, noting issues around the gender pay-gap, employment status, working conditions and promotion criteria in particular. A number of unions also identified bullying, harassment and chauvinist cultures as important issues already being tackled by them or as emerging areas that need further attention. Most unions collect, monitor or publish gender-sensitive data. However they also indicate that the data is collected on a very limited scale. Gender-sensitive impact assessment is only used by a few unions. Disturbingly, the report found some unions seemed not to have any procedures or measures by which female issues and women
are involved in collective bargaining in a formal or informal way. Within other unions, in most cases, women are members in committees involved in collective bargaining, whether by means of a formal or informal procedure.
Assessing higher education issues through the prism of gender Numerous trends affecting higher education globally have been identified in various research exercises. Some have also been prioritised over others by different international governmental and non-governmental organisations (e.g. the trend in decreasing public funding for higher education and research). Nonetheless, not many of these trends are discussed or analysed through the prism of gender. Recent analyses of some higher education issues (e.g. brain drain) show that women may be affected in different ways to men, therefore a further development of gender-sensitive impact assessments would prove useful.
Conclusion The study found that while progress has been made in tracking enrolment of female students, much remains to be done in terms of data collection on women in teaching and research in higher education. In this respect, the report recommends that efforts in this area be increased, and that frameworks be developed to collect comparable, gender-segregated data on the status of academic staff, in particular with reference to tenure, pay and progression through the hierarchical rank of the academia. ď š Photo: Women@QM Project, www.womenatqm.qmul.ac.uk vol.18, September 2010
Gender Pay Equity and Equal Pay Day
Addressing the pay divide A
fter decades of having their wages set at a lower rate than men, women earned the right to equal pay in 1972. However this has not translated into a fair and equal outcome, and in 2009-10, Australian women will earn 18% less than men. Equal Pay Day is held annually in recognition of this discrepancy and to highlight the need for improvement in gender equity. However, the date of Equal Pay Day depends on the number of extra days many women have to work after the end of the financial year to earn the same as men. In 2010, Equal Pay Day was on the 4th September - 66 days after the end of the financial year - because while women now make up half the Australian workforce, on average they earn 18% less than men. Australian women are more skilled, more educated and taking up jobs at a faster rate than at any other time in Australia’s history. Yet their work remains undervalued. While women now making up half of all tertiary graduates and half the workforce, male graduates earn $2000 more than female graduates in their first job, and $7500 more after 5 years in the workforce. Further research also shows that men are still paid more through overtime, penalty rates and bonuses, and the average Australian woman will earn almost $1 million less over her lifetime than the average Australian man. Industries which employ mostly women, and jobs which involve traditional female skills, in particular care and support roles, are undervalued and underpaid. Industries with the highest pay gap in February 2010 included the financial and insurance services industries (29.3%), health care and social assistance services (29.0%), rental hiring and real estate (28.3%) and professional scientific and technical services (27.6%). Industries with the lowest gender pay gap were transport postal and warehousing (6.5%), public administration and safety (8.6%) and education and training (9.8%). It is not coincidental that the industries that have a lower gap in pay between male and female workers also have higher rates of union membership and are usually workplaces operating under union negotiated Collective Agreements. Furthermore, this trend plays out internationally, with research from the ILO showing that women who are employed under union negotiated 18
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workplace agreements have higher rates of pay and superior conditions to those working in similar areas without such benefits. In an effort to address the growing divide in gender pay equity, the ACTU and combined unions are running a national Equal Pay Test Case for community and social workers. The Case, currently underway will address the massive undervaluation of the female dominated social and community services sector. Women’s caring roles also impact on their capacity to earn. A recent survey of 1100 professional women by the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia found that: • Nearly two thirds said that taking maternity / parental leave was likely to be detrimental to their career. • Over half said balancing work / life had impeded their career development with two thirds of women reporting their caring responsibilities affected their career progression. • Two-thirds believed working part time has or would have an impact on their career. The gender pay equity gap has more serious long term effects, with women earning up to less than half the superannuation savings of men when they retire, often after a lifetime of working and caring for family. As a consequence, women are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty in their old age than men. By underutilising educated and experienced women workers, by undervaluing work critical to the well-being of communities, and undermining security in retirement for women, the pay gap has a detrimental impact across the whole economy. Alarmingly, the trend in the data shows a widening of the gender pay gap in Australia, with the gap increasing by 0.5pp over the quarter (from 17.5%) and 1.5pp over the year (from 16.5%). The gap is now at its highest level since August 1994, and higher in the private sector at 21.7% compared with 12.1% in the public sector. The industrial changes brought about by
It’s Pay Day!
he Equal Pay Alliance represents 150 Australian organisations and thousands of women across business, unions and community groups who have joined together to actively seek and support practical action to end decades of inequity. NTEU is also a member organisation, and supports the Alliance’s continued campaign to draw attention to the issue of pay inequity. The Alliance held a number of events around Australia to mark Equal Pay Day – below are a few of the events held:
National APESMA: Release of Women in the Professions survey results
NSW Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women (AFBPW) USyd held an Equal Pay information and networking session on 24 August. AFBPW Parramatta had an Unhappy Hour at the Mean Fidler on 4 September, which included the raffle of a red purse. AIM Management Conference (‘Nice Girls Finish Second’) recognised the day, as did the EOWA and Diversity Council of Australia, at their business event with HR professionals on 30 August.
SA the Coalition’s WorkChoices (and which unions are now fighting to remove) increased the unequal bargaining power of men and women, with women going from earning 87 cents for each dollar earned by men in 2004 to 84 cents in 2007. However, this year, there are recent changes that may improve this division. Lobbying of State and Federal Labour Governments have led to the introduction of Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme. Industrial changes have improved the safety net of wages and conditions, increased protections for workers with family and caring responsibilities and Governments have given support for the national Equal Pay Test Case for community and social workers. In particular, the Victorian Government has committed funds to assist in addressing the wage increases arising out of the case. Unions will continue to lobby State and Federal Governments reduce the pay gap through the funding of wage increases arising from the equal pay case, making improvements to the paid parental leave scheme and implementing the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiries into pay equity and equal opportunity for women in the workplace. NTEU and other unions will also continue to campaign to close the gender wage gap and fight for improvements to minimum wages, advocate for improved rights for workers with family responsibilities, and increased responsibilities on employers to address gender discrimination and inequity in the workplace.
AFBPW held a Red Purse dinner on 4 Sept. with unions, politicians, academics, business and community leaders.
Vic Victoria Trades Hall Council held an Equal Pay Day morning tea on 3 September, along with the ACTU’s Unhappy Hour Friday where women received an 18% discount at the bar. AFBPW Beechworth and Geelong also held local events on 3 September.
Qld AFBPW Caboolture had a Breakfast session.
WA AFBPW Mandurah/Rockingham hosted a breakfast on 4 September. On the same day AFBPW Perth organised a public picnic in Kings Park. UWA Women and Work Research group held a pay equity quiz night on 2 September, and members at Edith Cowan University also held an Unhappy Hour at the University tavern.
Tas Unions Tas organised a Brunch to recognise the day. Find more information at www.equalpayday.com.au vol.18, September 2010
Women in Federal Politics
One step forward, two steps back Terri MacDonald NTEU Policy & Research Officer
hile many have celebrated the fact that we now have our first elected female Prime Minister in Julia Gillard, a stock-take of the numbers of women in the new Parliament is a more sobering reminder of the fact that there is still a long way to go before we have any measure of equity in Government. While women have always been under-represented in Australian politics, the 2010 Federal Election saw a fall in the numbers of women representatives elected to Federal Parliament. Disappointingly, less than a quarter of the members elected for the House of Representatives were women, with only 37 female MPs of the possible 150 (24.7%). This represents a fall of around 4% from the last Parliament, which had 41 female members in the House of Representatives. Of the female members in the new House, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has the majority with 23 women MPs out of their total 72 members (comprising just under 32%). However, the Liberal Party and its coalition partner, the Nationals, are doing poorly in relation to gender, with 14 women comprising less than 20% of their total numbers. There are two key reasons for the fall in the number of women: • Nine of the 20 sitting members who did not seek re-election were women. • The Liberal’s Queensland arm, the Liberal National Party – that won back the most seats from Labor – has just two female members out of 21 (fewer than 10 per cent). It is also noteworthy that none of the 10 seats won by the Nationals and country independents are held by a woman. The numbers in the new Senate (as of 1 July 2011) are more heartening, with 30 of the 76 Senators (39.5%) being female These numbers are helped by the Australian Greens, who have six female Senators (67%) and the ALP at 45%. However, the fall in numbers of women entering (or staying on) in Parliament should ring alarm bells in the major parties who claim to be representative of Australian society and values. In short, if these parties wish to remain relevant they must find ways 20
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to encourage women to stand as candidates and prioritise them within their internal selection processes. Failure to do so will see a further slide in the numbers of women making the commitment to stand for Parliament and potentially impact negatively upon broader policy and decision making in Government. Opposite page: Governor-General Quentin Bryce after swearing in Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, September 2010.
House of Representatives Labor
Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliagillard/
Women in Parliament, a brief her-story
ida Goldstein, an electoral pioneer, ran for the Senate in 1903, 1910 and 1917, and for the House of Representatives in 1913 and 1914. However, she was never successful in her bids. Edith Cowan, a pioneer for women’s and children’s rights at the turn of the last century, became the first woman to enter any Australian parliament when she was elected to the WA Legislative Assembly in 1921. Edith Cowan was a forceful parliamentarian and introduced legislation which enabled women to practice law. Her electoral victory was indeed groundbreaking, but the next hurdle proved even more difficult as it took
nearly 22 years for a woman to enter Federal Parliament. In August 1943, Australia finally elected women to Federal Parliament when Dorothy Tangney became Senator for WA and Enid Lyons was elected to the House of Representatives. Tangney, a 31-year-old school teacher, went on to represent her state for 25 years, until 1968. Enid Lyons was the widow of former PM Joseph Lyons. She had previously stood, along with her mother Eliza Burnell, for the ALP in the 1925 Tasmanian election, when she was defeated by only 60 votes. In the 1943 Federal election, Lyons’ own party – unable to refuse her decision to stand – simultaneously endorsed two men in the seat, but Lyons won narrowly. She brought in welfare payments for mothers and equal training allowances for women and men. Margaret Guilfoyle was the first Australian woman to be appointed to a
Federal Cabinet portfolio when, in 1976, she became Minister for Social Security in the Fraser Government. In 1986, Janine Haines became the first woman to lead an Australian political party when she was elected leader of the Australian Democrats. All of Australia’s women premiers originally came to power in mid-term leadership changes – Carmen Lawrence (WA, 1990), Joan Kirner (Vic, 1990), Anna Bligh (Qld, 2007) and Kristina Keneally (NSW, 2009). In 2009, Anna Bligh became the first woman elected in her own right as Premier. Julia Gillard became Australia’s first woman Deputy Prime Minister in 2007. With a leadership change in June 2010, she became Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, and was elected to this post in her own right (though only just!) in August 2010. Sources: www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au, www.wikipedia.org
vol.18, September 2010
Women in higher education
News from around the globe Sourced from University World News, the free international higher education e-news service, available at www.universityworldnews.com.
ale professors at Canadian universities earn higher salaries on average than their female colleagues – with the discrepancy reaching more than $20,000 at some institutions – according to numbers released by Statistics Canada, reports Allison Cross for Postmedia News. The average salary of a full-time, male teaching staff member at the University of Toronto, excluding medical and dental faculty members, is $20,362 higher than a female teaching staff
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member also working full time, says data from 2008 and 2009. The University of Calgary has the second-largest gap, with male teachers earning $20,147 more than female professors. University officials said gender pay discrepancies were not a sign of bias but the result of former hiring practices that favoured men, the age and rank of professors and the distribution of men and women in different disciplines. Full report on the Montreal Gazette site: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Report+reveals+gender+university+prof essor+salaries/3382088/story.html ‘Gender gap in professor salaries revealed’, Montreal Gazette, via UWN, 15 August 2010
he number of female students in Nigeria has risen almost seven-fold since independence in 1960 and women could soon outnumber their male counterparts in the country’s universities. Recently released statistics show the proportion of female students rose from 7.7% in 1960 to 45% in 2009. Male-to-female ratios are uneven in different parts of Nigeria. In the south-eastern region, the gap between male and female students has closed significantly. Rebecca Samuel, an academic in the sociology department at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, says: ‘Parents from the poor urban and rural zones encourage men to go into petty trading at a very early age to look after their extended families. They send
he African Union (AU) Commission has lived up to its commitment to support the popularisation of science and technology among Africans, and promote efforts to transform scientific research into sustainable development, with the awarding of Regional Scientific Awards to five women. The regional prize-giving, which took place on 9 September (African Union Day) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, saw the women laureates each receiving $20,000, a silver medal and the AU Science Certificate. The AU Scientific Award Program is designed to enhance the participation of African women in science and acknowledge their contribution to the use of science in addressing African challenges. This year’s program saw Kenya’s Murilla Grace Adira, principal investigator with a University of North Carolina-led consortium on developing drugs to treat parasitic diseases such as sleeping sickness, winning in the category Basic Science, Technology and Innovation. Abukutsa Mary Oyiela of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya, won in the category Earth and Life Science,for her research on the production of indigenous veg-
females to university while the boys’ dream is to become big-time businessmen.’ Yoruba areas have the highest number of universities of all ethnic groups in Africa. The liberal and egalitarian tradition of the Yoruba encourages the education of women at all levels. The picture is different in northern Nigeria. Universities in Muslim communities record a very high percentage of male students. Girls tend to be married off early by their parents, so both Koranic and Western-type tertiary institutions have a high number of male students. Michael Adedayo, a lecturer and educational psychologist at the University of Benin says: ‘One of the fundamental changes in Nigeria’s tertiary education is the rapid increase in the female population. If this trend continues we may witness a preponderance of female students.’ ‘Dramatic increase in female undergraduates’ by Tunde Fatunde, UWN, 5 September 2010
etables in poor countries and her work in promoting agricultural biodiversity. Hassina Mouri, an Algerian geology academic working at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, was also a winner in the Earth and Life Science category. ‘The money is less important than the forum the award provides as a role model for other women and girls,’ Mouri told VoaNews. ‘We have been discussing with the other sisters that it is one of the best ways to encourage the other females to follow the same paths, and to work hard,’ Mouri said. The first female mathematics professor at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, information technology and numerical simulation expert Genevieve Barro Kabre, notched up a prize in the Science, Technology and Innovation category. Salimata Wade, a nutrition scientist from Senegal, was the fifth winner, also in the Earth and Life Science category. AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said measures should be taken to promote women as scientists, engineers and technologists in Africa so they can be involved in all facets of the continent’s development. Ping said the under-representation of women in science and technology mirrors their exclusion from the mainstream economy. ‘AU honours leading women scientists’ by Munyaradzi Makoni, UWN, 19 September 2010
vol.18, September 2010
Summer in Cambodia Sue Clements Hawthorn-Melbourne
fter a few months back in the staffroom and in front of my class, summer in Cambodia seems a distant memory. This last holiday I had the good fortune to travel with Teachers Across Borders to Battambang, located in the north west corner of Cambodia, and teach in a very different classroom and have the privilege of being part of an interactive, sharing and professionally supportive staffroom (albeit on the rooftop of our hotel!) Briefly, the program involved 13 workshops with teachers teaching local teachers using topics such as early literacy, developing humanities skills & understandings, middle years language, science, geography, literacy and study skills through world history and English as a Second Language. It was a program that
required a lot of preparation before and during the program. This was the challenge, as I had no idea what level of English the local Khmer teachers would have or what they wished to learn for the benefit of their students. Our teaching day started at 7.30am and finished at 11.30am so the local teachers could return to their schools to teach in the afternoon. A local teacher in Battambang usually has 2 sessions morning and afternoon (3½ to 4 hours). There is no such thing as an ET/CRT so a class worked alone if a teacher was absent. Their classes are large, comprising about 50 to 60 students in the classroom and often 3 students to a desk. My group of teachers wanted activities they could use with a large class so my intention to provide quite a lot of discussion of pedagogical issues did not become fully realized. Instead there was a need for a more hands on focus requiring a quick re-think of objectives and further preparation, with my plans and papers spread out on a very hard bed! I can summarise my time in Battambang with all the general adjectives such as: worthwhile, interesting, challenging, friendly. However, the word that most comes to mind is ‘exciting’. It was exciting to meet the local Khmer teachers to exchange ideas, share activities, visit their schools, listen to their concerns about teaching, education and learning. So if you are wondering what to do in your next holiday – think about teaching in Cambodia with Teachers Across Borders. All teachers pay their own fares and accommodation to participate in this program. For more information, visit www.teachersacrossborders.org Photos courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/teachersacrossborders
vol.18, September 2010
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Published on Sep 28, 2010