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Entrepreneur and mum of three spearheads change for working mothers in Australia

1 July 2024 — Working mothers already have the answers to address gender inequality at home and work, it’s simply time to start listening to them, according to a new report from The LittleOak Company.
Spearheaded by Sydney mum of three and award-winning entrepreneur, Elke Pascoe, alongside other female business leaders, the Power of Mum initiative is focused on driving real and meaningful change for working mothers in Australia.

The Power of Mum report highlights nine recommendations to champion gender equality both in the workplace and in the home:

1. Implement a universal childcare system
2. Enhance parental leave policies
3. Redistribute the household mental load
4. Mandate annual pay equity analysis
5. Close the superannuation pay gap
6. Mandate flexible working arrangements for all parents
7. Support women experiencing separation and divorce
8. Foster female entrepreneurship
9. Eliminate gender-based discrimination and unconscious bias.

Informed by the Company’s roundtable event with female business leaders, held earlier this year, this initiative aims not only to improve women’s workforce participation but offer greater support to families.
“Our report addresses three crucial levels: policy, corporate and social,” explained Elke Pascoe, LittleOak Founder and CEO. “Not only do we need sweeping changes such as universal childcare and improved parental leave policies, but we also need to hold businesses accountable to achieve equal renumeration and have greater pay transparency,” she said.

“The recent Workplace Gender Equality Report is a great step forward in raising awareness of the pay gap. But interconnected with that, we need to challenge the dated idea of women as default caregivers in the public imagination along with all the gender-based discrimination that informs the way women are treated in the workplace and the social expectations placed on them at home.”

Pascoe, who launched the infant nutrition company after struggling with her breastfeeding journey, is passionate about supporting families, ensuring that parents all over the world can nourish their children with the very best nutrition. Often citing motherhood as the impetus for launching her company, Pascoe argues that for far too many women, motherhood and career progression are mutually exclusive.

“My recent return from maternity leave led to a profound reflection on the substantial challenges faced by working mothers. Balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship or a career is no easy feat, and without adequate support for working mothers, we jeopardise their mental and professional well-being.”

“While LittleOak is an infant nutrition company, we firmly believe our responsibility goes further than the products we make. We aim to play a meaningful role in addressing the critical issues impacting mothers today,” she explained.

Pascoe shares that LittleOak’s report represents tangible milestones that demand the – commitment from policy makers and corporate leaders. “It’s time to listen to working mothers. The Power of Mum, as we call it at LittleOak, has been curtailed for far too long. We need to recognise the contributions of mothers everywhere and foster environments where they can thrive.”

“Women have every right to pursue motherhood while simultaneously advancing their careers, just as men should be able to care for their families without stigma.”

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