Fay Gale Lecture 2015: Holding up half the sky? Women at work in the 21st Century

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About the Speaker

Professor Barbara Pocock FASSA was initially trained as an economist and has been researching work, employment, gender, inequality and industrial relations for over thirty years. She has worked in a range of jobs including universities, the Reserve Bank, farming, trade unions and for various governments. She has also worked advising politicians and as a mother. Barbara established and was Director of the Centre for Work + Life, at the University of South Australia between 2006-2014. She is Deputy Chair of the Board of The Australia Institute, a member of the Economic Development Board of South Australia, and the Board of the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She is widely published. Her books include Time Bomb: Work, Rest and Play in Australia Today (with Pip Williams and Nat Skinner), The Work/Life Collision, The Labour Market Ate my Babies, and Demanding Skill: Women and Vocational Education in Australia.

What are the consequences of the most significant change in the Australian labour market in the past three decades?– the growth in women’s participation. What has this change – alongside the decline in men’s participation – meant for society, the economy, households and gender equality? Why are jobs still made largely in men’s image, while responsibility for the household and care remains largely with women? We have witnessed an incomplete revolution in our lifetimes, where the public world has simultaneously hungered for women’s time, while resisting renovation of the institutions that meet them at work and at home. What needs to be done for future fairness, especially in the context of an ageing population? Having lived through this incomplete revolution herself, and participated in many of the major policy debates of the past three decades, in this lecture Barbara Pocock reflects on where we are at, what working men and women need now, and how we might get there.


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