Women in Victoria should have access to better leadership development through a new set of state government initiatives.
The package of measures aims to boost female participation in education, vocational training, learning opportunities and employment.
Minister for women’s affairs Heidi Victoria revealed the $1.8 million raft of changes would help women facing the disadvantages associated with a lack of leadership opportunities.
“The coalition government believes that by increasing participation of women in the workforce we can strengthen Victoria’s economy, reduce negative impacts on women’s health and wellbeing, and ease financial pressures affecting women and their families,” Ms Victoria explained.
“We want to build the capacity of all women to participate equally and feel able to fully contribute to their community.”
A dedicated leadership program could be top of the agenda, with Ms Victoria saying education and training are critical to overcoming workplace barriers.
The minister said the work being carried out as part of the project will include identifying the biggest hurdles to full and equal female leadership participation across the government, businesses and the community.
Leadership skills funding will be provided, as well as financing for various organisations to promote small business mentoring and other training.
Ms Victoria, launching the agenda at Hanover Welfare Services, said she was excited by the opportunities the scheme would generate and looked forward to seeing women’s participation in the workforce growing.
Her comments followed recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed a disparity between the number of women and men in ASX 200 chief executive officer (CEO) roles.
The data revealed there were just seven female CEOs in Australia’s top 200 companies in 2012, compared with 195 men.
This means women represented just 3.5 per cent of top executives last year, although this was an improvement on the three per cent recorded in 2011.