City of Whittlesea
Analysis and stakeholder consultation informs more equitable employment opportunities for women in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
The City of Whittlesea is located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia. Research shows that women in Melbourne’s northern growth areas are more likely to experience underemployment compared with men living in growth areas and compared with women in inner-city and middle suburb areas.
Poor local employment opportunities, the separation of residential areas from work - and the tight ‘spatial leash’ that sees women less willing to travel long distances to work due to caring responsibilities - all contribute to the perpetuation of traditional gender roles. These outcomes constrain and disadvantage both women and men, and can contribute to entrenching gender inequality and other social issues.
Recognising the challenges women face accessing suitable employment when living in greenfield areas, Whittlesea City Council is working to create more meaningful and relevant jobs closer to home. We worked with the Council to perform data analysis and stakeholder consultation to establish the extent and nature of gender inequality in employment. Our research covered the municipality of Whittlesea and compared the findings with other metropolitan local government areas and growth area councils.
This research has helped the Whittlesea Council identify levers and opportunities for structural change, enhance employment opportunities locally, and inform advocacy to other levels of government and industry. It will indirectly impact flexible working arrangements, transport accessibility, and locations of employment and housing in the City of Whittlesea.