The Maritime Union of Australia has today pledged support for International Women’s Day.
Today is about acknowledging the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist.
With just five per cent of the MUA's members currently being women, MUA Women's Liaison Officer Mich-Elle Myers said today is a timely reminder of the benefits of working in a regulated industry with unionised rates of pay.
"We need more women in the industry and we need to find new ways to encourage more women to work in what has traditionally been a male-dominated environment," Myers said.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “Whilst many employers do their best to accommodate workers caring needs, many outmoded ideas by industry dinosaurs continue to hurt,”
“Many employers still believe family and work are mutually exclusive which is, frankly, ridiculous,” she said.
“It’s time we said enough is enough to those who discriminate against women because they are pregnant, have small children, disabled children or unwell parents.
"It’s in the employer’s interest to evolve,
“Employers are missing out on a lot of talented workers when they don't attempt to accommodate those employees who have to carry, sometimes alone, the responsibilities of caring,” she said.
“I’m talking about, for example, a woman with young kids who needs to leave work early or a man who wants to take time off to care for an elderly parent and an employer "letting them go" because they consider their lives too ‘complicated’.
“These ideas are barriers that discriminate against workers, forcing those with caring responsibilities, mostly women, into insecure jobs with less protections and career opportunities.”
Unions call on employers to open their minds to different working hours and conditions that allow women time to care, whilst keeping secure, productive jobs and careers.