Queensland Government backs women in economic security package

Empowering and supporting women to live successful and prosperous lives will be at the forefront of the Queensland Government’s 2023 State Budget.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a $16.3 million package ahead of the upcoming budget to support women and ensure Queensland women benefit from the states booming economy.

This investment will back the skills of Queensland women as the government commits to real and enduring action to address economic inequality.

The $16.3 million investment will support:

  • $4.6 million over two years for the Women in Trade Apprenticeships Mentoring program, to support women undertaking apprenticeships and improve completion rates.
  • $3.2 million over two years to support a Future Women – Jobs Academy program to train, support and connect up to 500 unemployed and underemployed Queensland women with paid employment and training programs.
  • $2.8 million over four years for the Women in Network grant program to support women and girls’ participation and leadership in male-dominated industries
  • $533,000 in 2023–24 for the Fresh Start For Me program to establish online resources to support women impacted by domestic and family violence to return to, or enter, the workforce.
  • An additional $5 million over three years to expand delivery of the Backing Female Founders program, launching a raft of initiatives for women entrepreneurs in innovation-driven enterprises.

The 2022 Annual Queensland Women’s Statement shows the Palaszczuk Government’s equality strategy is delivering results, notably in reducing the gender pay gap and increasing women’s participation in the workforce.

Despite this positive step, women are less likely to be a business owner or manager when compared to men.

The announcement builds on the momentum generated by the 2022 Queensland Budget, which saw $163.4 million invested in housing, support and specialist homelessness services for vulnerable people, including older women and those experiencing domestic and family violence.

Recent figures highlighted in the Women’s Economic Statement show women still face many challenges in terms of economic equality and security:

  • participation rate of women in labour force is 62.4% compared to 70% for men.
  • gender pay gap is 14.6%
  • superannuation balance of women, on average, is $35,000 less than men
  • underemployment ratio of women is 7.7% compared with 4.9% for men
  • just 38.7% of business owners/managers are women
  • The Gender Equality Report Cards can be found here.

The Annual Women’s Statement can be found here.