Annual Report 2023 – Message from our Chair

In 2023 conversations around gender norms were part of the zeitgeist.

The Federal Government’s 2023 Women’s Budget Statement released in May declared that “women’s equality is at the heart of what we do” and noted that gender equality is essential for strengthening the Australian economy, society, and nation.

In Australia we saw this realised with an audacious tilt from the Matilda’s women’s soccer team, whose FIFA Women’s World Cup performance attracted a fanatical new fan base. With more than 11.15 million viewers tuning in to watch them play the ‘beautiful game’ their semi-final match became the most watched television show on record in Australia.

In the creative industries, Australian actress and executive producer Margot Robbie showed us just how successful a commercial film critiquing the patriarchy could be; ‘Barbie’ was ‘more than kenough’ and made box-office history, smashing global records.

However, despite these extraordinary advancements, recent analysis by Deloitte Access Economics, outlined in the Breaking the Norm report, supported by Australians Investing In Women (AIIW) found that rigid gender norms cost the Australian economy $128 billion by reducing the size, skill, diversity, and productivity of the workforce.

This important report and many others supported the deliberations of Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, which I was honoured to Chair. In October 2023, the Taskforce produced its final report, Women’s Economic Equality: A 10-year plan to unleash the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy. This report included seven primary recommendations, focusing on the key themes of care, work, education and skills, the tax and transfer system and Government processes.

While there is still a lot of work to do, to ensure equality for all Australians, the year ahead promises progress. We welcome the Government’s renewed focus on eliminating violence against women, and their imminent national strategy to achieve gender equality, which will be released in 2024.

Throughout 2023, AIIW has been a leading voice in the call for greater investment in women. We will continue to work with private, institutional, and corporate philanthropy to help Australia progress gender equity and create a fairer future for women and girls and I invite the $13 billion Australian philanthropy sector to work with government, business, and community leaders to drive greater success and impact for the benefit of all Australians.

For all of us on the Board it is a privilege to be part of the governance of AIIW, and I thank my colleagues for their continued commitment and engagement.

At the end of 2023 we welcomed new Board member Karen Kandur and farewelled our Treasurer Steven Rothfield. I want to acknowledge Steven’s decade of extraordinary service, outstanding contribution, and dedication to the organisation. I know that he will remain a close friend of AIIW.

My sincere thanks and congratulations to our powerhouse CEO, Julie Reilly OAM and her dedicated team, for their exceptional work throughout the year.

Sam Mostyn AO

Please click to read the AIIW Annual Report 2023 in full.

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