Gen­der in­equal­ity

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WOMEN are lead­ing lu­cra­tive ca­reers in a range of ex­cit­ing in­dus­tries.

But many still face work­force chal­lenges in­clud­ing a gap be­tween men’s and women’s take-home pay and in­flex­i­ble hours for work­ing mums.

Women on Boards ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Claire Braund says an un­re­al­is­tic per­cep­tion still reigns: ‘‘One of the great­est chal­lenges for women is com­bat­ing per­cep­tions that gen­der is no longer an is­sue and that the play­ing field is level.

‘‘There is just too much hard sta­tis­ti­cal ev­i­dence that it isn’t.’’

‘‘Com­pa­nies are able to breathe a lit­tle now. If a com­pany wants to change any part of its sys­tem, they need some­one to drive that change.’’

She says event man­age­ment was also pop­u­lar and had strength­ened as an area of em­ploy­ment within the past 10 years.

‘‘Event man­agers al­ways seem to be women. I think they think that it’s just or­gan­is­ing par­ties and func­tions but, a year down the track, they re­alise how much hard work it is,’’ Ms Hewett says.

‘‘Those roles were very few and far be­tween but now most com­pa­nies need peo­ple in­volved in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­mo­tion.’’

Ms Mor­gan says the roles avail­able to­day were more di­verse.

‘‘Five years ago there wasn’t the broader op­por­tu­ni­ties out there at the se­nior end. There were very tra­di­tional roles, CEOs, gen­eral man­agers . . . . these days there’s some very in­ter­est­ing ti­tles open­ing up.’’

Some of these po­si­tions lie in the new realm of so­cial me­dia, con­sid­ered a niche field but now hot on em­ploy­ees’ radar.

Uni­ver­sity of South Aus­tralia Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Re­searcher and Se­nior Lec­turer, Dr Col­lette Snow­den, says that de­mand for so­cial me­dia is more prom­i­nent than ever.

‘‘The multi-skilling re­quired ap­peals to women. You have a com­bi­na­tion of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, de­sign, strat­egy and cre­ativ­ity,’’ she says.

‘‘Busi­nesses fi­nally re­alise that it (po­si­tions in so­cial me­dia) pro­vides a whole new way to com­mu­ni­cate with their mar­ket.’’

Dr Snow­den says she was fre­quently con­tacted by or­gan­i­sa­tions for stu­dents to as­sist in so­cial me­dia roles, in­di­cat­ing the ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity from both stu­dents and em­ploy­ers.

With de­grees in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness and tourism busi­ness man­age­ment, Timea Ko­vacs, 29, has just been ap­pointed the on­line con­tent co­or­di­na­tor at Flin­ders Uni­ver­sity. She man­ages on­line con­tent in­clud­ing Face­book, Twit­ter and YouTube to pro­mote the com­pany.

‘‘Busi­nesses are re­al­is­ing how nec­es­sary it is to have a per­son man­ag­ing so­cial me­dia and they are aim­ing to reach a wider au­di­ence, na­tion­ally and in­ten­tion­ally,’’ she says.

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