In a win for women carers looking to combine work and care, Carers Australia has been announced as a grant recipient of the Federal Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program.

The Women’s Leadership and Development Program is part of the Women@Work measure which aims to improve outcomes for Australian women across five key areas: job creation, economic security, workplace participation, leadership and safety.

“Approximately 60 per cent of Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers identify as a woman, and our research tells us that these carers experience increased stress and financial hardship, and are more likely to be unemployed compared to their male counterparts,” said Carers Australia CEO, Liz Callaghan.

Under the Women’s Leadership and Development Program grant, Carers Australia will receive funding to deliver a program targeted at improving employment opportunities for women carers.

The Women Who Care Toolkit project will focus on supporting women carers to reconnect with new or emerging workforce opportunities whilst being able to maintain their caring role.

“We want women carers to be aware of, and be able to access, services, supports, training and meaningful employment opportunities to improve their economic security and workforce participation,” said Ms Callaghan.

The Toolkit will also develop resources to encourage workplaces to provide greater flexibility in working arrangements to accommodate caring responsibilities and employment preferences.

“This is a valuable opportunity to not only support the objectives of the Women’s Leadership and Development Program, but also to improve outcomes for Australian women. It will facilitate Carers Australia to continue our work to improve the health, wellbeing, resilience and financial security of carers, and ensure that caring is a responsibility that is shared by family, community and government,” said Ms Callaghan.

It is hoped that the foundations of this Toolkit can be extended in the future to include male carers who also experience reduced opportunities for employment as a result of their caring role.

Carers Australia stands ready to continue working with the Federal Government on this program and will be working with the National Carer Network to develop the Toolkit.