4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2016   
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23 February 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Gender equality -- are we there yet?

When it comes to gender equality, statistics continue to diverge over gender lines, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Lisa Conolly, Director of Family and Community Statistics at the ABS, said the Australian Public Service (APS) was showing a gradual upward trend for women in leadership positions.

"Women held 41 per cent of senior executive roles and just under 48 per cent of executive level roles in the APS in 2015," said Ms Conolly.

"In January 2016, 30.5 per cent of federal parliamentarians were women. There is a higher proportion of women in the Senate (38 per cent) than in the House of Representatives (27 per cent)."

In the educational sphere, young Australian men and women are choosing different educational pathways after school.

"In 2015, more young women (18-24 years) were studying for a Bachelor Degree or higher qualification (34 per cent compared with 28 per cent of young men), while young men were more likely than young women to study for a Certificate III or IV (9.5 per cent compared to 6 per cent)," said Ms Conolly.

Young women were less likely to be fully engaged in education or work, however, with just under a quarter of young men (23.4 per cent) and 29.5 per cent of young women aged 20-24 either not studying or working at all, or studying or working part-time.

On the health front, data shows that Australian men 18 years and over in 2014-15 were more than twice as likely as women to consume alcohol in quantities which present a lifetime risk (24 per cent compared with 9 per cent).

While men were more likely to be overweight or obese (71 per cent compared with 56 per cent of women), women were less likely to be active, with 69 per cent of women and 61 per cent of men 15 years and over being sedentary or engaging in low levels of exercise.

More women report high levels of psychological distress than men.

Where working conditions are concerned, men are slightly more likely to have paid leave entitlements (which may indicate a slightly higher level of job security). Looking at employed couples with dependent children, in November 2014 over one in ten men and one in five women did not have paid leave entitlements. This figure is even higher for employed women who were lone parents, at 26.4 per cent.

Women, on the other hand, were a little more likely to own their own home without a mortgage (28.1 per cent compared with 25 per cent of men in 2013-14).

More information can be found in Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no 4125.0).

Media notes
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.