Women remain underrepresented in economic and finance ministers’ offices, a political sphere that former cabinet staff say continues to be an “old boys’ club” and especially unavailable to women at the senior level.
Long before and after Michele Austin worked as a chief of staff to Conservative minister Rona Ambrose, she noticed women weren’t in finance files.
“Prime ministers, no matter what their party, turn a blind eye to putting women in charge of economic portfolios federally,” she said. “Women’s perspectives on the economy and the bottom line are incredibly important. If you think of who makes purchasing decisions in households, it’s predominantly women, so they need to have a voice at the cabinet table.”
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