Boosting Opportunities For Women Impacted By COVID-19

04 February 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is increasing support to ensure women get back into the workforce despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams today announced more than $1.1 million in funding for six organisations that will help women overcome barriers to economic security.

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, with women more likely to lose work, suffer severe financial impacts and shoulder an even greater share of unpaid caring responsibility.

The funding will support more than 800 women at greater risk of economic insecurity, addressing the needs of women at different stages of their employment. It will provide support and mentoring to build confidence and skills to pursue employment, establish a small business or access further education.

The funding will include support for Aboriginal women, women over the age of 45 years, single mothers, women with a disability and women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including migrant and refugee women.

Financial support will be provided to the following organisations:

  • SisterWorks Social Enterprise Employment Expansion Project to increase employment outcomes for women of migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, with a focus on English language.
  • Ngarrimili – Empowering First Nations Women in Business project to provide one-on-one support, along with workshops for First Nations women who have experienced family violence and women who are living with a disability or living in out-of-home care.
  • AfriAus iLEAC – CALD Women in Relational Entrepreneurship program to support culturally and linguistically diverse women to establish small businesses
  • The Fitted for Work – Women’s Work Futures Program to deliver services, training, and upskilling opportunities for women, ready to be placed into employment through Fitted for Work’s recruitment social enterprise, She Works
  • Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE) to upskill bi-cultural workers to provide peer-led financial capability education for migrant and refugee women.
  • Migrant Women in Business, founded during the pandemic, to provide migrant women with one-on-one business advice, coaching, mentorship, a support network, and the ability to connect with business opportunities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams

“The pandemic has further limited women’s participation and employment opportunities, exacerbating existing structural inequalities. That’s why we’re investing in these programs to break down barriers to financial security.”

“As our state recovers from the pandemic, all Victorians need the opportunity to rebuild so that no one gets left behind. That’s exactly what this funding will do.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford

“Women have struggled to find work through no fault of their own over the past two years and this investment builds on the employment programs of Jobs Victoria in finding secure work for those who need it most."

Reviewed 03 February 2022

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