Australia is “the lucky country”. We have a strong economy, a positive and caring culture, an abundance of food, and a community spirit that encourages mateship and compassion.
It is truly the lucky country.
Or is it?
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I have two daughters and one son. And I learnt something this week that was so confronting, I had to minimise all 1700 tabs that were open on my computer so I could properly concentrate on the facts.
Because this is the shocking fact I faced up to:
“A girl born in Australia today, unless things change radically, will earn a lot less money in her lifetime than her brother.
She will retire with less income and less wealth than her brother.
She will be more likely to suffer violence then her brother.
This is the Australia we have built – and all the statistics just keep telling us this is true. The question is: Will we do something about it?”
The words came from Dr. Richard Denniss, Chief Economist at The Australia Institute – and he was sharing some cold, hard facts about what is really holding women back when it comes to money.
I don’t know about you, but this stopped me in my tracks. Whilst I’m fully aware of pay and gender inequality in the workplace, I didn’t fully comprehend its impact until it was put in this context.
The full video is 23 minutes (it’s worthwhile watching if you have the time), but the main takeaway message is: are we okay with the fact that our sons will be more successful, simply because they are men?
I will encourage all of my kids to work hard, to dream even harder, and to follow their talents and passions.
But it hurts to know that my son may soar to greater heights professionally, simply because he’s a boy.
It hurts even more to know that my daughters will be vulnerable to violence their entire lives, potentially at the hands of those they love best.
It’s got me thinking that perhaps Australia is the lucky country, alright – provided you’re male.