This report, based on the findings of the Ernst & Young Productivity Pulse™ (the Pulse), Wave 3 — November 2012 determines the extent of Australia’s female productivity potential. It also quantifies how much low female workforce participation is costing Australia and explores opportunities to increase representation of women across all industries and at all levels.

The broad business benefits of greater female workforce participation are well documented. Women are a much needed addition to Australia’s labour force, not just making up numbers, but bringing valuable skills and diversity of thought. Now, new research from the Pulse suggests an additional factor: women in flexible roles (part-time, contract or casual) appear to be the most productive members of our workforce.

Women in flexible roles waste only 11.1%, compared to an average of 14.5% for the rest of the working population. Given 43.2% of women in the workforce work part-time, compared to 13.5% of men, this translates into an important productivity bonus that few employers recognise.

Thanks to these more productive flexible workers, the Pulse found that collectively Australian and New Zealand workers could save at least $1.4 billion on wasted wages by employing more productive female employees in flexible roles.

In an average year, these women effectively deliver an extra week and a half of productive work, simply by using their time more wisely. In other words, for every 71 women employed in flexible roles, an organisation gains a productivity bonus of one additional full-time employee.

(Excerpt from the EY Report, ‘Untapped opportunity: The role of women in unlocking Australia’s productivity potential’)

To read the full report, click here.

Categories: Australia