Retail Voice CEO Message: 28 February 2024

As we approach International Women’s Day, the conversation around gender equality in the corporate world has never been more pertinent or charged with potential.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) report released yesterday, women make up 56% of the retail work force – and over index in frontline roles, particularly casual roles.

Despite this, women occupy 31% of board positions with Australian retailers and just 19% of our sector is led by female CEOs.  Whilst progress is far too slow, we also have some inspiring examples of the positive change we want to see.

Within our own membership and ARA leadership, as was so amply demonstrated on stage last week at our ARA Leaders Forum, we have many shining examples of women at the helm of many of our largest retailers and employer groups.

Our sector has a 13.7% pay gap between men and women in similar roles, and whilst not as bad as some other industries, this disconnect not only undermines our values of equality and diversity but also represents a missed opportunity to harness the full potential of our talent pool. More in this post.

At the ARA International Women’s Day Lunch in Melbourne on 8 March, gender equality in retail will be squarely on the agenda.

Our stellar line-up of speakers is headlined by esteemed Australian author, Nicole Haddow who will lead an inspiring conversation on accelerating gender equality through financial literacy.

The event will also feature an expert panel, including Virginia Leaf, General Manager – Finance, Wesfarmers OneDigital, and winner of the Women Leaders in Retail CEW Scholarship, Jeremy Meltzer, Founder and CEO, i=Change and Katrina Konstas, Executive Vice President, Country Manager & Head of Sales APAC, Afterpay.

Don’t miss out on this inspirational networking opportunity – secure your spot here.

To coincide with International Women’s Day, the ARA has today announced a new partnership with social impact tech platform i=Change.

As part of the partnership, the ARA is supporting i=Change’s Shop for Change campaign, a 3-day impact focused online shopping event from March 8 to 10, 2024.

The collaboration aims to empower women and girls by supporting life-changing projects in Australia and globally.

To do this, participating retailers give back a portion per sale to carefully vetted NGO projects focused on education, health, and economic independence for women. You can read more about it here.

As always, our membership team is here to help if you need any assistance, so don’t hesitate to reach out via email or on 1300 368 041.


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