18 OCTOBER 2017
Today marks the world's largest girls takeover event—an event which I'm proud and delighted to be part of.
Working with me in my office today is Yasmin Hassen—a woman who is studying her PhD at ANU's Crawford School and has been working with me in parliament. Women and girls are taking over parliaments throughout the world, from Canada to Peru to Australia. It recognises that we all need to do more to champion successful women in Australia. The share of women on Australian boards is only 19 per cent, up from eight per cent in 2010 but still lower than it should be. The share of women in parliament is still less than a third: 44 per cent on the Labor side and some 20 per cent on the coalition side. We have a gender pay gap in Australia of 15 per cent—too wide.
We need to do more to build gender equity in Australia, but we also need to champion great Australian women, to recognise the successes of women such as Liane Moriarty, Elysse Perry, Marianna Tolo and Lisa Di Vanna, as well as innovators such as Ellie Watson, Angela Vithoulkas, Kristy Chong, Katy Barfield and Felicity Zadro. Australian women are changing the world, and the Girls Take Over Parliament event is an important insight for me and my office. I thank Yasmin and her colleagues for all they are doing today.