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Diversity in the AWU

The AWU is an organisation that draws on the incredible diversity of our country. The AWU is an equal opportunity employer and expects this of all of our member employer organisations.

The AWU has had strong and incredible women in its ranks from its earliest days.

Our most famous female member is Dame Mary Gilmore, a poet and writer, who contributed to The Australian Worker (the forerunner to the AWU newspaper ‘The Worker’). Dame Mary campaigned for maternity allowances, child health centres, the rights of the aged and infirm, and many other social issues in 1908 – and is now considered to be one of Australia’s legendary unionists.

Today, you can find Dame Mary Gilmore on Australia’s ten-dollar note.

We honour Dame Mary Gilmore’s legacy via our ongoing commitment to equity and the right for all Australians to work without discrimination on any basis.

The gender pay gap – currently measured at 14.1 per cent in 2019 – remains a source of frustration for all Australian women and for the AWU.

Our union has long supported campaigns for gender equity in the workplace. The AWU is proud to support the Women of Steel film project – honouring the 14-year campaign for women to work in blue-collar jobs – and the current push for mandatory 10 days paid domestic violence and family leave. We include domestic violence and family leave in all union negotiations.

Breaking down stereotypes is close to the heart of our principles. Family-friendly conditions are consistently pursued in all its Enterprise Agreements.

The AWU values diversity in its ranks, from our advocacy and strong yes campaign in the same-sex marriage plebiscite to our representation of non-English speaking workers.

At a community level, we continue to be active on important issues that are relevant to a better society.



Bullying is never OK in the workplace – here is some info on your rights, and steps you can take to end workplace bullying.

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Gendered Violence

What gendered violence looks like in the workplace, who is at risk, and what you can do to protect yourself at work.

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The definitions of sexual discrimination and harassment, your rights, and how the AWU can help you stay safe in the workplace.

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Gender Pay Gap

A brief overview of the Gender Pay Gap, including what it really mean, the history of women’s wages, and steps employers can take towards equal pay.

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Family and Domestic Violence Leave

A model Family and Domestic Violence Leave clause you can adopt in your workplace.

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Negotiating FDV Leave clauses

Learn how to get this vital leave included in your Enterprise Agreement.

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All workers are entitled to super, but women will retire with 30% less than men. Find out how you can boost your super fund here.

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