Gender equality has become a growing priority for both businesses and the government in the past 10 years, and some progress has been made. With the pay gap at 17.7% for the private sector representing $25,717 in earnings, there is still a significant amount of room to improve and women are still stubbornly underrepresented at senior levels.
There's been a positive increase in awareness in relation to gender diversity and the correlation with both profitability and value creation. A recent study revealed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in their executive teams were 21% more likely to be profitable than companies in the bottom quartile, as well as 27% more like to outperform on longer term value creation.
There's no question, that men are increasingly taking a share of the household chores, but the escalating pressures from intensive parenting and the increasing demands from careers have offset this gain.
The hours spent at this 'second shift', which is made up of childcare and household chores, contribute to high rates of part-time work for women at 38% and to a chronic lack of time affecting personal well-being for both parents. In Australia, there are roughly 1.6m women in Australia that want to work more hours.
Half of companies in Australia now offer flexible working arrangements, which is positive to see. The normalisation of flexible work is important for all employees, but at myWhānau we believe that it is not enough. As both parents face high levels of work/life stress, action needs to be taken in the form of household chore elimination.
To reduce the weight of the juggle, outsourcing seems like a logical solution. In a study conducted by myWhānau, it was found that parents aren't outsourcing or can't - it costs to much, it's too hard to manage, they don't know where to start, the quality is hit and miss, they don't have the time or what is available doesn't work for their family.
As a result, it is not surprising to then learn that the outsourcing levels have remained relatively stagnant over the last 30 years and less than 10% of households outsource cleaning, and less than 3.5% outsource washing, ironing and preparing meals.
With 2.4 million households home to dual working parents, this challenge isn't uncommon. We believe these barriers to outsourcing exist in part because there isn't a service that is 100% centred on busy parents and the outsourcing of all of their unpaid chores. myWhānau has been designed to fill this gap in the market. Our goal is to eliminate 5 hours a week for each household.
There is more to employee engagement than flexible workplaces. According to Edelman's Trust barometer, 74% of employees expect personal empowerment from their employers. myWhānau is driving meaningful change and believe there is an opportunity and a critical need beyond flexible work arrangements.
We are seeking a company willing to combine forces with myWhānau and to answer the question:
If we eliminate 5 hours a week that your employees spend on household chores, what impact would we see both for your employees and for your company as a whole?