Equal pay for equal work was gained for women in education in 1970, after a long and difficult battle. Forty years on and there is still a disparity between the pay of male and female education workers.
Women are under-represented in leadership positions in most workplaces, despite making up the majority of the workforce; this is also the case in the public education system. Women in education are predominantly employed in the lower paid and casualised positions and are therefore extremely vulnerable.
Women educators are particularly vulnerable to harassment, bullying and other discriminatory behaviour in the workplace and rely heavily on their colleagues and their union for support in these situations. The AEU works to promote equity, eliminate discrimination and to support women in achieving work/life balance through workload protections and improved conditions.
While we have come a long way towards equality in education, there is still much to be done to get this balance right and to ensure that we do not allow our hard won and justified working conditions to slip away.