Pandemic impact a key part of CPSU’s What Women Want survey

Ian Bushnell 1 November 2021
Pandemic survey

The CPSU wants to know what the experience was like for women working from home during the pandemic. File: Photo.

Female public servants are being asked about the key issues in their working lives in the CPSU’s 11th What Women Want Survey.

The national survey covers Australian Public Service, ACT Government and Northern Territory Government staff, and asks, among a range of issues, how women are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CPSU says What Women Want, which started in 2006, is the largest survey of working women in the country, and provides key insights into longitudinal trends across the nation and public services.

The results of this year’s survey will provide unique reading, being the first edition of the survey since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public sector union says.


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The CPSU asks women whether they find their work interesting and rewarding, if they feel supported in their career and if they have missed out on career opportunities because of caring responsibilities.

The survey looks at job security and how they feel about being financially secure in retirement.

It also asks if access to working from home arrangements changed during the pandemic.

CPSU National Secretary, Melissa Donnelly said that the survey would measure the effects of COVID-19 on working women.

“Insecure work has been an increasing issue for all women across the Australian workforce and public services are no exception,” she said.

She said access to working from home arrangements had been critically important for women during the pandemic.

“This edition will measure women’s experience of insecure work and their capacity to work from home during the pandemic,” she said.

The survey will close on 13 November 2021.


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