My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Women in the other place, who is also the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, and it is in relation to empowering women across Victoria. Gender inequality affects women in all areas of their lives. In terms of the Victorian workforce, the participation rate for women is 58.8 percent, compared to 71.4 percent for men, with women in full-time work earning around $15 000 less than men each year. The national gender pay gap is 18.2 per cent, and it has remained stuck between 15 per cent and 18 per cent for the past two decades. This leads to women retiring with just over half the superannuation savings of men. This fact stands even though more women than men graduate from higher education, yet women get a lower average graduate salary.
Further, one in two women report experiencing discrimination as a result of pregnancy, parental leave or return to work. In terms of leadership positions in the workplace women hold just 21 per cent of directorships on ASX 200 boards and 19.4 per cent on ASX 300 boards. This is the case even though an analysis of ASX 500 companies found that those with female representation on their boards outperformed others by 8.7 percent over five years.
Fifty of Victoria’s 128 parliamentarians are women, and although women represent 67 percent of the Victorian public sector workforce, only 37 percent are in executive roles. This government is doing a significant amount of work on these issues. We have a policy of no less than 50 percent of all future appointments to paid government boards and Victorian courts being women. We established Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence. We have allocated $572 million statewide to look at housing and crisis refuges, more counselling and prevention programs and more support for children who are victims of family violence.
I look forward to the minister visiting my electorate in August, when further discussions on improving outcomes for women in western Victoria will take place. However, the action I seek from the minister today is for her to meet with representatives of important groups such as the Women in Community Life Advisory Committee and the Women in Local Democracy group in the Geelong region to discuss increasing opportunities for women in leadership positions and leadership generally in western Victoria.