Labor Welcomes Belated Appointment Of Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Labor welcomes the much-delayed appointment of Kate Jenkins as the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner, who will take the role vacated by Elizabeth Broderick five months ago.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC, MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CARERS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES

SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

 

LABOR WELCOMES BELATED APPOINTMENT OF SEX DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER

Labor welcomes the much-delayed appointment of Kate Jenkins as the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner, who will take the role vacated by Elizabeth Broderick five months ago.

Ms Jenkins has served as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner for three years, creating the Victorian branch of the Male Champions of Change movement. She has done important work on behaviour change in the Victorian Police and the world of sport during that time. Ms Jenkins’ 20 years of experience as a lawyer will also be of benefit in her new role.

As the new Commissioner Ms Jenkins has a lot of work ahead of her. Far more needs to be done to close the gender pay gap in Australia.

Research conducted by the ANZ has found, over their lifetime, Australian women earn an average of $700,000 less than men. The research also reported that ‘almost half of all mothers report some form of workplace discrimination either during pregnancy, while on parental leave or on their return to work. Of these, a third resign and look for another job or drop out of the workforce altogether’.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data demonstrates women are still not filling positions of leadership in Australian workplaces, with only 24 per cent of Board Directors and 17 per cent of CEOs are women, showing there is still a long way to go to lift participation of women in decision-making.

We hope Ms Jenkins’ appointment brings to an end the Liberal infighting over this role, which shamefully saw Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs excluded from the selection panel for the appointment. George Brandis’s blocking of Professor Triggs from the process altogether is shameful.

After five months without a dedicated advocate, Australian women will be glad a quality candidate has finally been found.

THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2016