The Andrews Labor Government is establishing an independent Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women to address long-standing systemic inequality and find solutions for problems such as unequal pay and workplace barriers to women’s success.
The Inquiry will consider the extent, nature and magnitude of workplace and economic inequity for women in Victoria, and ways to address it.
It will also look at ways to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for women.
Women continue to be at the heart of Victoria’s economic recovery, as the Labor Government delivers targeted support that will make a real difference – ensuring workplace fairness and removing pay equity barriers.
The Inquiry will be led by business woman and community leader Ms Carol Schwartz AO, who will be accompanied by Ms Liberty Sanger and Mr James Fazzino on the Panel. The Panel members were chosen for their relevant skills and experience in gender equity, law and economics.
The Panel will deliver their final report to the Treasurer and the Minister for Women in January 2022 with the findings and recommendations to be considered for the Victorian Budget 2022/23.
The Inquiry follows the Government’s Victorian Budget 2021/22 announcement to establish a Gender Responsive Budgeting Unit within the Department of Treasury and Finance to ensure outcomes for women are measured as part of future budget decision making processes.
The Budget also announced measures to remove barriers to women’s workforce participation, with universal three and four-year-old kindergarten and outside of school hours support, as well as support for jobs predominantly held by women, including teachers, creative sector workers and healthcare workers.
As stated by Treasurer Tim Pallas
“We cannot have a strong economy without fully supporting women in the workforce, this is vital for our recovery and continued economic growth.”
“We know the pandemic has worsened some of the inequity issues already faced by women and this Inquiry will identify ways we can make a real and meaningful difference.”
As stated by Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams
“Women have enormous contributions to make to our economy – this Inquiry will identify practical steps to undo the systemic inequality which has denied women equal opportunities for too long.”
“As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make permanent changes to the way we live, care and work – to rebuild a fairer, stronger and more equal economy, for everyone.”