2007 Past Events

Academic Roundtable - 20 November 2007

This Roundtable was hosted by the Women + Work Research Group in conjunction with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's (HREOC's) Sex Discrimination Unit at the invitation of Commissioner Broderick, the newly appointed Sex Discrimination Commissioner. The event marked the first Academic Roundtable in Commissioner Broderick's national 'Listening Tour', which is taking place from November 2007 to early 2008. Commissioner Broderick proposes to use the outcomes of this Tour to help formulate the agenda for her five year term.

The Roundtable was attended by academics from the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the University of New England. It provided the opportunity for attendees to present their research relevant to the three themes of the 'Listening Tour', namely:

  • Economic independence for women;
  • Work and family balance over the lifecycle;
  • Freedom from discrimination, harassment and violence.

Commissioner Broderick will report back on the outcomes of her national Listening Tour to a Women + Work Roundtable scheduled for April/May 2008.

Following the Roundtable, the Women + Work Research Group joined with colleagues and guests to celebrate the actvities of 2007 and to thank Professor David Grant, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Economics and Business, for ongoing funding support for 2008-2010.

Seminar - 24 September 2007

Women, Work and Welfare

This seminar was presented by Professor Patricia Apps, Sydney University Law School and Lyn Hatfield-Dodds, President ACOSS. Patricia presented her research on the disincentives to women's work that are embedded in the tax system. This was followed by Lyn's paper outlining women's current experience of work and welfare, in particular the experience of single mothers as they negotiate the recent welfare to work reforms.

Launch - 9 July 2007

Benchmarks for Work and Family Policies in Election 2007

The Australian Work + Family Policy Roundtable was established in 2004. It is made up of Australian researchers with expertise on work and family policy. Its goal is to propose, comment upon, collect and disseminate relevant policy research to inform good, evidence-based public policy around work and family issues in Australia.

Australia is approaching a new federal election. Work and family issues were key areas of policy contest in both the 2001 and 2004 federal elections. We expect that they will be again in 2007 based on recent statements of the leaders of both the major parties, as well as the pressing need for change to accommodate the changing nature of work and family in Australia. In the context of the forthcoming federal election, the Work + Family Policy Roundtable proposes a set of benchmarks against which policies for improving work and family outcomes in Australia from the various parties can be tested.

These benchmarks arise from our research expertise and are in keeping with the Roundtable's goals of contributing to the development of good family policy related to work, producing clear policy guidelines and evaluating policy proposals. The general principles, objectives and membership of the Work + Family Policy Roundtable are set out at www.familypolicyroundtable.com.au .

Forum - 7 June 2007

It's About Time: Women, men, work and family

The Women and Work Research Group at Sydney University and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) are presenting a forum with HREOC's President and Acting Sex Discrimination Commissioner John von Doussa QC and a panel of experts from business, academia and law:

It's About Time: Women, men, work and family

This is one of a series of community forums HREOC is holding around the country to discuss the findings of the women, men, work and family project. Following the Commissioner's presentation and a panel discussion we invite you to share your views about our proposals and the priorities for future work to help men and women better balance their paid work and family responsibilities.

The It's About Time Final Paper was released on 7 March.

Aspire To Be Inspired - Thursday 26 April 2007

The Official 85 Broads Launch in Australia

A panel of high profile speakers from a variety of industries will be discussing issues surrounding careers, life choices and goals.Find out how these women made it to where they are now and how they tackled difficult choices and achieved success!

Angel Place Conference Centre
123 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Thursday 26 April 2007

85 Broads Australian Launch:

Seminar - 11 April 2007

Spaces that Matter: Gender In/visibility, Materiality and the Poetics of Organizational Space

Melissa Tyler

First International Seminar for 2007

The Women and Work Research Group was delighted to host this year's first international visitor seminar on Wednesday 11 April at Women's College. This follows a very successful international symposium hosted in September 2006 where Professor Peter Berg from Michigan State University discussed work and family in the United States and a research workshop in February 2007, which was lead by Professor Tom Kochan of MIT, on work, family, unions and the community.

At this year's international seminar, Dr Melissa Tyler, Senior Lecturer in Organizational Studies from Loughborough University in the UK, presented a fascinating paper, entitled "Spaces that Matter Gender In/visibility, Materiality and the Poetics of Organizational Space". Melissa's paper, which explored the way gender is performed and materialised in and through organizational spaces, resonated with a seminar audience drawn from a diverse range of Disciplines.

We were pleased to welcome to the seminar colleagues from Finance, Marketing, Education and Social Work, Nursing, Indonesian Studies and Work and Organisational Studies, as well as, visitors from the University of Western Sydney, the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. Melissa's paper and presentation slides can be downloaded by following the link.

Roundtable - 23 March 2007

Work Choices and impacts on women: Roundtable and discussion

Time: 9am to 12.30pm
Location: Women's College, Sydney University

Workshop - 16 February 2007

Work, Family, Unions and the Community - The Issues and the Research

Tom's book 'Restoring the American Dream' outlines a blueprint for new social contract in the United States.

The seminar provided an opportunity to discuss these issues and their relevance for Australian working women, families and unions.

2006 Past Events

Seminar - 14 December 2006

Sex work and class mobility in the Riau islands

  • Michele Ford

The islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun on the Indonesian border with Singapore and Malaysia have an extensive sex industry which caters predominantly to foreign visitors. This paper, written with Lenore Lyons, explores the place of 'sex as work' for women involved in the town of Tanjung Balai Karimun and the opportunities for class mobility it affords some women, for whom exposure to foreign clients in the brothels of Tanjung Balai Karimun is a chance to move out of sex work and into the lower middle class.

Dr Michele Ford is Chair of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney. Michele coordinates the Indonesian language program and teaches about social activism and human rights in the Southeast Asian region. Her research is focused on the Indonesian labour movement, transnationalism, and women and work in Southeast Asia.

Symposium - 20 September 2006

Women, Work and Family in the US; Australia: Pathways and Possibilities

Associate Professor Peter Berg, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, Michigan State University, USA

Anna McPhee, Federal Director, Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA)

Sara Charlesworth, Senior Research Fellow, PVC Design & Social Context Global Studies, Social Science & Planning, RMIT University

Marian Baird, Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Work & Organisational Studies (WOS) and Convenor, Women & Work Research Group

Changing demands at work, extended work hours and the rise of dual-earner couples are all contributing factors to work-life tension. American and Australian researchers will report on their latest insights into work and family policies and practices in the corporate world. They will discuss the extent and impact of flexibility policies and question if the practice of these policies indeed enables employees to successfully balance work and family commitments.

Suggestions for the Australian business community in terms of addressing women, work and family issues will be the focus of a panel discussion. Anna McPhee, Director EOWA, has recently returned from the international Catalyst conference in the US. She will discuss work and family pathways that are of relevance to Australian organisations.

Inaugural Research Seminar - 30 August 2006

"Watch out here comes feelings": Women executives and emotion work

  • Anne Ross-Smith - Head of the School of Management, Faculty of Business, UTS

Associate Professor Anne Ross-Smith teaches in the MBA and Bachelor of Business programs at UTS. Anne researches and publishes in the areas of gender and organisation theory, organisational sustainability and change and new forms of leadership. In this presentation Anne will discuss senior women executives' narratives about the emotion work they perform and which they seem to be 'expected' to perform by both themselves and their male colleagues. The findings show that emotion work is inherently gendered in organisations - a reality that is largely overlooked in mainstream organisational discourse on emotions. Although emotion work of women executives appears to have positive consequences for management cultures the consequences for women executives are not always so positive.

In the News

New research group focuses on women and work

Uninews - 8 August 2006

The School of Business at the University of Sydney is developing its reputation as a centre of expertise in the area of women and work with the formation of a new research group. >> more

Burning out from the emotional burden of caring

The Australian Financial Review - 5 September 2006 pg 50

Women are carrying often invisible 'emotional' workload in senior ranks of organisations, but it doesn't particularly help their career prospects according to Anne Ross-Smith who spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Women and Work Research Group, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies. The full article can be accessed through the university library website from Factiva.com

The Australian Financial Review - 26 September 2006 pg 60

'Despite the rhetoric, mums are losing ground.' The 'maternal wall' is a term coined by American author and commentator Joan Williams to describe the effects of the stereotyping applied to mothers in the workforce and how this narrows their options. The article reports on Peter Berg, (associate professor at the School of Labour and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University), who addressed a seminar hosted by the Women and Work Research Group, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, about work and family tension in the US and the system problems for working parents, particularly mothers. The full article can be accessed through the university library website from Factiva.com