At Work

Jamila Rizvi on Giving Women Their “Work Confidence” Back

By: Ally Barnes

Women face many challenges re-entering the workforce after extended periods of time off.

A lot of women lose confidence in their career prospects when they become mothers. But gender equality activist Jamila Rizvi said “confidence isn’t a reflection of ability”.

“A lot of us lose confidence around motherhood, despite gaining this incredible new set of skills that come with being a parent. There are always things you can do to reclaim that confidence and find a new place in the working world that suits you as a mother. It may not be the same as before. But it doesn’t have to be worse,” she said.

Jamila shared, “if you compare the experiences and opportunities that women have today, compared to women living in Australia one hundred years ago, yes, the gender equality movement has achieved an incredible amount”.

“But if we look just at the last 10 or 20 years, we haven’t made much progress,” she said.

“Childcare is increasingly inaccessible and unaffordable for many parents. Paid parental leave is available, but it’s one of the most limited schemes in the developed world. In the top 200 companies on the ASX, there were no women CEOs appointed last year. And there are currently more CEOs of Australia’s top 200 companies called “Andrew”, than there are women.”

“There are currently more CEOs of Australia’s top 200 companies called “Andrew”, than there are women,” – gender equality activist Jamila Rizvi

“Women still dominate part-time, casual positions, particularly entry-level jobs and we are few and far between in top-level jobs where decisions are made, those top-level jobs where culture is made.”

If you’re struggling to find the right role or lacking confidence after having children, or if your job has been impacted by the pandemic, you can apply for Jobs Academy; a free, 12-month program to help women re-enter the workforce.

“The goal is to train and upskill women, connect them with mentors, and help them find flexible job opportunities. And to give these women their confidence back”,” Jamila said.

You can register an expression of interest for Jobs Academy here.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

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