CPSU investigates what women want

Australian working women are under more pressure than ever due to financial uncertainty, caring responsibilities and overtime work, a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) survey has found.

The survey of 9500 working women, What Women Want, found that many women did not had enough superannuation to self-fund their retirement.

Of those surveyed, 25.8 per cent did not know how much super they had accumulated; 22.8 per cent had between $10,000 to $50,000 in superannuation – well below the recommended amount for comfortable retirement; and 64.6 per cent had never seen a financial planner about their superannuation.

CPSU deputy secretary Nadine Flood said many women were uncertain about the superannuation scheme they were in and how much money they had accumulated.

“The simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of respondents approaching retirement age do not have enough money in their superannuation account to comfortably fund their retirement,” Ms Flood said.

Flexible working arrangements were identified in the survey as being important to more than 78 per cent of women with dependents.

However more than 23 per cent of women reported that taking time away from work to care for children, parents and partners was ‘frowned upon’.

Of the women working full time, more than 83 per cent reported working additional hours and one in 10 of these said they received no additional compensation for overtime work.

Workplace bullying and harassment were identified as key concerns, with 31.6 per cent of respondents reporting incidents of bullying within the last 12 months and only two in five reported the incident. Of those who reported the incident, only 12.5 per cent were satisfied with the response of management.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research and the results were released to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Read the full report: What Women Want – 2009/10 Survey Report [PDF] 

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