This Sunday (the 17th of January) has been declared ‘Suffragette Sunday’ by our Australian cinemas, in celebration of the movie Suffragettes being released late last year.  Selected cinemas across Australia have joined forces with the UN Women National Committee Australia, and have agreed to donate $1 to the UN Women National Committee Australia for every ticket purchased to the first session of the day at the participating cinemas.

The funds raised will contribute to UN Women’s projects in the Pacific that keep women and girls safe from violence, provide education and training to women and girls, combat illiteracy, ensure a fair go for all, offer decent jobs with opportunities to develop as small -business owners and entrepreneurs and promote women in leadership.

While society have made monumental gains in regards to women’s rights since the Suffragette era, there are still areas in which the balance between men and women is not equal, particularly within the workforce.

At the end of November last year, Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency  (WGEA) released it’s key findings from the 2014-2015 period and while statistics have shown an improvement since previous years, there is still a lack of representation of women within positions of management.

According to WGEA, 51.2% of Australian employees are male and 48.8% of employees are female. Despite this the top levels of management remain heavily male-dominated, with just 15.4% of CEO positions and 27.4% of key management personnel (KMP) positions held by women.

Meanwhile a quarter (25.1%) of organisations have no female KMPs and one in five (19.4%) organisations have no ‘other executives/general managers’ who are women.

In contrast 4.2% of organisations have no male KMPs and 3.9% of organisations have no male ‘other executives/general managers’.

What is also interesting is that while women work part-time at three times the rate of men, women who work full time only comprise of 1 in 5 employees (20.3%). Furthermore the total number of employees in management positions that work part time is only 6.3%. These figures indicate a correlation between the lack of women in higher levels of management and the number of women working part time.

While Australia has seen some vast improvements in these statistics over the last year (across all management levels, the proportion of women managers has grown from 35.9% to 36.5%) VM Learning are optimistic that these statistics can be increased even more. A key way we hope to promote women in leadership is through providing them with the tools and confidence to tackle the corporate challenges they face; whether that be re entering the workforce after a significant break, applying for a new job position or feeling comfortable in a position they have recently acquired.

We look at the methods and processes that you can apply to each of these scenarios through our ‘Women As Leaders’ program which has been developed by our team of seasoned professionals for the last 26 years. The Women As Leaders program will be running again in 2016 and the first program is scheduled to start on the 26th of April. To find out more about this program and how you or a member of your organisation can get involved, visit our website or call 07 3215 888

In the meantime, visit the UN Website to find out which cinema near you will be running the Suffragette event and be inspired by some very brave and inspiring women who made their mark on society!