This International Women’s Day we want to highlight one of our programs that provides support and employment to women experiencing tough times, and like this year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity, takes into account diversity of needs and experiences.
More than 46,000 Australian women experience homelessness every night without safe or secure housing. And we know the largest causes of homelessness in Australia are domestic violence and family violence, which overwhelmingly affects women and children.
For some women, becoming a vendor and selling The Big Issue magazine is not a viable or safe option, especially for those looking after children or escaping domestic violence. As a response to this, The Big Issue created the Women’s Workforce.
The Women’s Workforce was established in 2010 and began by providing safe, female-friendly employment opportunities to women experiencing marginalisation and disadvantage, through packing and sending subscription copies of The Big Issue magazine. As the skills of our women and size of our workforce increased, we started fulfilling procurement jobs for government and corporate organisations, providing business to business services with a social impact.
Since inception, the Women’s Workforce has employed more than 190 women to complete contracted project work, which in turn provides financial empowerment, improved mental health and hope for a brighter future. The women are also given access to mentioning and training.
Adelaide Women’s Workforce employee Lyn shares her experience.
“I got a call to work for The Big Issue’s Women’s Workforce, not long after my interview, which was super exciting. My first shift was at a Coles distribution centre to pack goods boxes for Indigenous communities in NSW. Because of COVID, they were unable to get enough food and essential goods.
“When I started, I discovered that some of the boxes were to go to my mob, being Wiradjuri myself. It near brought me to tears that people were looking out for my people. I was lucky enough to do two shifts at Coles DC and I put all my love and light into every box I touched. My mob would feel that at their end.
“The experience was so special to me, and both shifts were so much fun working with brilliant people. I was so proud to be part of it and was telling everyone I knew about it. I even called one of my Uncles to tell him about what I had done. He later called and said that the boxes were like getting Christmas pressies and that everyone he knew was so impressed about what they got. I know they appreciated all the help, and they could feel the boxes had been packed with love.”
When you enlist the Women’s Workforce, you will be using your buying power to employ and empower our team of women who are working hard to improve their circumstances. To learn more and get involved click here.
#ProudlyWorking #IWD #IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity