The latest Financy Women’s Index (FWX), which measures the economic progress of women on a quarterly basis, has set an aspirational target for economic equality - an Australian first for economic index benchmarking.
"If the current pace of economic progress of Australian women continues, equality could be achieved in about 10 years’ time.”
But defining equality is not simple.
In thinking about full-time versus part-time employment, it’s critical to consider the importance of choice for both men and women. Even then, some might say the choice to work is heavily influenced by an assumed responsibility placed upon women more so than men.
As a tentative estimate, the new FWX Progress Target is based on no existing gender pay gap or superannuation wealth gap, balanced board gender diversity for the ASX200, equal workforce participation rates between men and women, higher full-time female employment and maintained tertiary education enrolments at current relative growth rates.
The Progress Target will undergo fine-tuning as Financy, along with members of the Women’s Index Advisory Committee, attempt to reflect deeper structural and cultural issues as well as predict future workforce and family trends.
It’s a big task but an exciting development.
The FWX will be able to be used to measure not just the progress that has been made in the past but also work yet to be done.
This is valuable for shaping future debate and helping maintain momentum on the range of issues measured by the Index.
As it stands, the latest FWX shows the Progress Target is about 37.5 per cent below being achieved.
If the current pace of economic progress of Australian women continues, equality could be achieved in about 10 years’ time. The annual pace of progress in terms of numbers reflects an average 4.3 point year-on-year gain.
In the September quarter, the FWX improved by 1.4 points to 126 points, from a revised 124.6 points in the three months to June 2018.