Women are ambitious. However, they face challenges that make it harder for them to advance in the workplace and in the community. They are more likely to experience microaggressions, cultural biases, and gender biases from their community and even other women that prevent them from achieving their true potential.

The CBCC believes in supporting women directly. To give them the tools, knowledge, and experience to succeed. Through our activities, we aim to enact societal change and give Western Sydney women the space, understanding, and empathy they need to stand on their own and become the leaders they are destined to be.

women's challenges

The CBCC understands that to truly provide Western Sydney women with the opportunity to succeed, we need to fundamentally change our community’s ideals. We will encourage discussion, advocacy, and education in our community to support women in our community.

We will work with our Women’s Committee to speak to our community and identify the major challenges facing Western Sydney women. We have launched BRAVE, a movement dedicated to giving women back their bravery to be who they want to be and do what they want to do, including a Return To Work program designed to help women from CALD backgrounds return to work through workshops, events, mentoring, and online resources. We are working in partnership with Western Sydney University and local businesses to provide education and training to better prepare women to overcome identified challenges, including:

  • public speaking skills
  • advocating for better pay
  • how to navigate the challenges of balancing work and childcare
  • how to tell your Mother-In-Law that you’re going back to work instead of staying at home to look after your family

Read on to find out more about the major challenges facing Western Sydney women today.

Supportive Team

Women's Challenges

Here are the main challenges identified by our Women’s Committee

Return to work

Return To Work Challenges

Taking a career break should not be noteworthy.

There are many reasons for a career break: maternity leave, travel, or studying and retraining.

More than 18% of working women in Canterbury-Bankstown were employed but away from work in the 2021 Census. However, many women feel that a career break will give them a disadvantage in their careers.

The CBCC inspires women to feel capable of returning to work after a career break. We aim to grow empathy and understanding through public discussion and open conversations to support women returning to work within more workplaces in Western Sydney.

We want all women to feel empowered to pause and restart their careers with confidence and poise.

Transitional Life Stages

There are several important rites of passage facing women throughout their lives: adolescence, independence, career choices, marriage or partnership, deciding whether to become a parent, motherhood, empty nest syndrome, and menopause. For many women, they will also face illness, fertility struggles, divorce, mental disorders, and loneliness.

We understand that there needs to be greater conversations within business communities on how to help their workers navigate and cushion the risks of major life transitions. There is shockingly little literature or discussion on these topics.

The CBCC aims to ignite these conversations within Western Sydney through our Women’s Committee and dedicated members.

Transitional Life Stages
Societal Expectations

Challenging The Societal Roles Of Working Women

Statistically, women account for almost half (47.7%) of the global workforce. Almost all women in Canterbury-Bankstown (92.8%) are working women. However, working women face unique challenges that affect their work and careers.

Work-life balance causes conflict for a surprising 72% of women, who are often expected to carry the brunt of housework, childcare duties, or carer duties for older generations. In fact, 61% of women think parenthood disrupts their progress opportunities, as opposed to just 20% of men.

The CBCC understands that a business community that embodies true equity is bold, dynamic, and innovative. By working with our community and listening to our members, we highlight the issues that face women in the workplace and develop programs to support their goals.

We challenge and inspire our members to support women in their chosen career paths and goals without judgement or bias for a strong community inside and outside of business.

Combatting Cultural Bias Towards Women

A person’s value system is usually shaped by their upbringing, culture, and/or religion. These values influence their thoughts and feelings and may create unconscious biases.

In particular, people from diverse backgrounds can find it difficult to combine their cultural values with the Australian values of equality and freedom.

Women of Western Sydney are often faced with greater criticism from people projecting their biases onto them, especially when they challenge traditional gender roles and/or aim high with their personal goals.

At the CBCC, we aim to challenge these biases and support women in their decisions. We encourage our members and community to open their minds and listen to the women around them. Women who desire more independence will find a pathway here with the CBCC.

gender equa

Gender Equality In The Workplace

42% of women have felt discriminated against at work because of their gender. In Australia, the current gender pay gap is 13.3%: on average, for every $1 a man makes, a woman makes 87 cents. Overall, there are more women in casual or part-time roles than men.

Across all industries, women are also less likely to be offered full-time roles, large projects, promotions, or bonuses. If the woman has a culturally diverse background, the chances of them being offered these projects and promotions decrease again.

These barriers can increase chances of women treating other women as rivals, instead of allies, putting yet another barrier in front of working women.

By offering workshops, mentorship programs, digital and financial literacy resources, and micro-credentials through Western Sydney, the CBCC aims to bridge the gap in Western Sydney. We want women to feel equal to their colleagues in their workplaces and industry.

Women’s Health

The recommended amounts of physical activity for adults aged 18-64 are 2.5-5 hours of moderate or 1.25-2.5 hours of vigorous physical activity a week, and to do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

Meeting these levels of exercise can lower the risk of getting many chronic conditions and help manage and/or treat chronic conditions.

However, as we age, the number of adults participating in adequate physical activity drops off. The majority of Australian women (86%) do not meet the recommended guidelines.

The CBCC advocates for a strong business community in all areas of life. From sports days to events to endorsements, we want our business community to feel inspired to take physical activity seriously.

A healthy community is a thriving community, and we will ensure Western Sydney women are not left behind physically.

women's health
women's mental health

Women’s Mental health

Physical health plays a large role in keeping our bodies in shape and functioning properly. However, maintaining our mental health is just as important in achieving a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

The CBCC advocates for open discussion, honesty, and the sharing of knowledge and experiences. We aim to create an empathetic community of women in business who will build each other up and support each other.

We want to help our women in business learn to manage their stress and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. Through connection, networking, and honest conversations at events, forums, and workshops, we will invite our members to inspire each other to share their stories.

Support Our Initiative

By standing together, we join our voices in advocating for the most important and pressing issues to large stages like the various levels of government that we otherwise would not be able to achieve alone.

Our mission to support women’s rights in Canterbury Bankstown can always use your support, whether by sponsoring our annual Women in Leadership event, joining the CBCC, participating in our Taskforce, or putting your name down as a potential speaker and advocate.

We are always open to hearing from you!

CBCC Women in Leadership 2021