Education, gender, Women and Leadership

Is the future equal?


Australian film director Jane Campion has partnered with ANZ to produce this short film that highlights the need for more systems to support women.

A girl’s brain develops faster than boys but this is not sustained through the course of life. The aim of this campaign is to bring attention to the need for organizations around the world to support women as they learn, develop and grow. Women need access to education, opportunities to create, share their ideas, develop their voice and lead. Here is some of the data:


  • women earn up to 36 per cent less than men1
  • women represent more than 40 per cent of the world’s labour force but only control a quarter of the world’s wealth2
  • worldwide, women make up less than 20 per cent of government3
  • less than 25 per cent of senior management roles are held by women4
  • 31 million girls worldwide are still denied a primary education.5

In Australia:

  • the average weekly shortfall in wages of $295 per week, extended over a typical 40-year career, equates to a gender pay gap of about $700,0006
  • women returning to work after 12 months’ parental leave are subject to an average 7 per cent wage penalty (known as the “motherhood penalty”), increasing to 12 per cent over the subsequent year7
  • about 90 per cent of Australian women will retire with inadequate savings to fund a comfortable lifestyle in retirement8
  • women spend almost twice as much time on unpaid work as men.9

The film is aesthetically beautiful and the young girls and women portrayed are a glimpse of our future. For me, as I reflect on the role of women leaders in education these issues are more important than ever. We need strong women educators who will inspire and support younger women as they learn and work and engage with the world; who will address the issues raised here.  We need women educators who are honest about life as a working woman, balancing career and family, negotiating conditions and pay, taking on board the challenge and reward of leadership. We need women and men who will rally for an #equalfuture.



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