Australian Company Offering Double Pay to Women Who Return to Work

Much ink has been spilled on this site over the past few months on equal pay, and with good reason. It’s one of the most obvious and tangible manifestations of sexism in society today.

We’ve published a guest post on why we can’t wait for fair pay, and a roundup of good reads for Equal Pay Day earlier this week. We even got the chance to interview the poster child for equal pay, Lilly Ledbetter herself. But we haven’t had the chance to cover something quite so progressive as this: a company in Australia is offering new moms double pay for their first six weeks back after maternity leave.

Cool right? I think so too. Yahoo! News is reporting that the head of Insurance Australia Group (IAG) acknowledges that the policy is generous, but says it is all about “making sure we get quality people coming back to us.” The article also points out that this is in stark contrast to the policies we experience here in the US, citing the United States as “one of just four countries in the world without a national law requiring paid time off for new parents (the other countries are Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland).”

What do you think Feministing? Is this a sustainable model, and something we could rally around? I think promoting and advocating a policy like this has great potential, especially because if we’ve learned anything from the anti-abortion right over the past year or so, it’s that an extreme starting point determines how “moderate” the final outcome will be.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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