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Gender, Ageing and Extended Working LifeCross-National Perspectives$
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Áine Ní Léime, Debra Street, Sarah Vickerstaff, Clary Krekula, and Wendy Loretto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.001.0001

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The Australian empirical landscape of extended working lives: a gender perspective

The Australian empirical landscape of extended working lives: a gender perspective

Chapter:
(p.79) Four The Australian empirical landscape of extended working lives: a gender perspective
Source:
Gender, Ageing and Extended Working Life
Author(s):

Elizabeth Brooke

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.003.0004

This chapter analyses the empirical landscape of older women's working lives, which is shaped by connected structural disadvantages constituted by neoliberal institutions. It initially explains the recent Australian political discourse of 'intergenerational equity', which rationalises the government's policy of prolonging working lives until the revised pension age of 70 in 2035. Yet older women are cumulatively disadvantaged within a 'de-accumulation trajectory' over the life course by a trinity of pillars: comparatively lower wages then men, institutional arrangements of pensions and government supported superannuation. The data analysis shows that gender wage gaps cascaded to increased pension dependency and superannuation gender gaps. Globalisation supported gendered industry career trajectories, with the highest gender wage gaps found in male-dominated professional and financial sector industries, while older women were concentrated in low-waged service industries. Finally, women's lower participation within unemployment programs further limited their economic participation, undermining government policy directions of extending working lives.

Keywords:   Cumulative disadvantage, Life course, Gender wage gap, Women and pensions, Women and superannuation, Gendered career trajectories, Older women workers, Older women and unemployment

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