A new proposal by the WA government would encourage women to seek wage rises in industries especially dominated by women. Women’s Interests Minister, Simone McGurk, observed that WA had a particularly segregated workforce, with the gender pay gap standing at 23%, in contrast to the national 15%. The plan would potentially include the insertion of an “equal remuneration provision” into the Industrial Relations Act, which would empower parties to have their “work value” reassessed. Deidre Willmott, the chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, was unpersuaded by the proposal, saying that gender equity should be achieved through a “cultural change in the workforce” and not through regulation. She further argued that “true gender equity” would only be achieved through a shift in stereotypes.
A study by Women in Film and Television (WIFT) NSW has revealed the extent of workplace harassment in the industry. According to WIFT, 72% of women in the screen sector have experienced either workplace harassment or discrimination, with 58% of people having experienced sexual harassment at work. WIFT president, Megan Riakos, said that the results were only the “tip of the iceberg… we’re dealing with a tapestry of serious concerns”. While the report is yet to be released, Ms Riakos noted that, “WIFT are in discussions… to develop a sector-wide approach to address this issue”. Among her proposals, Ms Riakos suggested developing a Sexual Harassment Industry Forum, which would be streamed nationally.