Premier's Council for Women

Message from co-chairs

Women in South Australia – Thinking about a Better Future

Looking back over the past 50 years there have been many positive changes in the lives of Australian women in areas like education, skills development, employment, income, politics and business. 

Our daughters are inheriting a better world than our mothers' generation.

We have much to celebrate but there is also a lot still to be achieved.

Did you know that:

  • Women's employment in South Australia increased 20% between 1990 and 20051 and was 56.3% in September 20082, but despite legislation, women still have lower average incomes at all age groups, and the gender pay gap is sitting at 17.1% (February 2014) and has consistently hovered around 15-18% for the last two decades3.
  • In the period January - May 2014, 18.2% of board members on the ASX 200 companies were filled by women and 20.5% of ASX 200 companies do not have a woman on their board.4  Compared with New Zealand, UK, Canada and South Africa, Australia has the lowest percentage of women on boards;
  • With a life expectancy of 84 years, Australian women have one of the best life expectancy rates in the world5. But women's retirement savings are currently half those of men's.

The Premier's Council for Women (PCW) is a panel of women appointed by the Premier and the Minister for the Status of Women and offers independent advice. We are dedicated to making change where it counts. Our current priority areas are women's economic status and employment, women's leadership and women's health, safety and wellbeing.

The PCW is made up of a group of influential women from a diverse range of sectors from mining and education through to business, industrial relations, law, health, sport and the arts. As extraordinary as these women are in their chosen fields, like most women they still struggle with the everyday. Raising and caring for families (young and old), finding a work-life balance as well as giving back to the community are familiar challenges for many women and no different for the PCW members.

The PCW is committed to improving the opportunities, well-being and services for South Australian women. We work with government, the private sector and the community to effect change and seek regular feedback from the community to ensure that we're on the right path.       

Amanda Blair                                    Christine Zeitz
Co-Chair                                           Co-Chair
Premier's Council for Women            Premier's Council for Women


  1. Australian Institute for Social Research, Women's Employment in South Australia: An Examination of Trends and the Implications of Policy. Adelaide, 2005. 
  2. University of South Australia, Centre for Work + Life, Working Women in South Australia: Progress, Prospects and Challenges (PDF 977KB) (A report to the Premier's Council for Women) February 2009 
  3. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Pay Gap Statistics (PDF 64KB), based on ABS Average Weekly earnings (Cat No 6302.0) November 2013 (viewed 25 February 2014)
  4. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Workplace Statistics at a glance July 2014. (accessed 6 August 2014).
  5. United Nations Statistics Division, Social Indicators. New York, 2009. (accessed 30 October 2012).