The things that affect tertiary education workers are magnified for women.  Job insecurity impacts not only on career progression and financial security, but those who are insecurely employed are more vulnerable to wage theft, sexual harassment, and exploitation. Enforcing professional rights around academic freedom and research independence is almost impossible. While this is problematic for all workers who do not have job security – noting that only one in three staff working in our universities are securely employed – for women, it is especially problematic. Women have borne the brunt of redundancies and layoffs, and this will have ramifications for women workers not only now, but in the longer term.

Job insecurity has an impact on superannuation savings. On average, women workers retire with around half the superannuation balance of men and those who are insecurely employed have significantly less in super savings.  

In addition, the federal government’s pandemic response of allowing those who lost hours or employment early access to superannuation (noting that this was one of the few supports available to casual higher education workers during the pandemic) was also taken up by far more women than men.  In 2021 UniSuper paid more than 8500 members over $65 million as part of the federal government's early access to superannuation scheme – this is bound to have an impact on the quality of life of women in retirement.