Paid Parental Leave (PPL) was ranked the issue of least importance.
The survey was conducted over two weeks by Women on Boards to their database of more than 15,000 professional women with 1095 responses.
The purpose of the survey is to inform the future government, policy makers and the business community of issues impacting on the productivity, leadership potential and economic well being of women in Australia.
WOB Directors, Claire Braund and Ruth Medd, said the survey highlighted the complexity around the inter-related issued of maintaining workforce productivity while enabling employees to contribute to the social economy through parental and other caring responsibilities.
"The issues are complex and it is very clear that single issue policies implemented in isolation will not address the rapidly changing needs of male and female workers, business and society," Braund and Medd said.
"A good example is Tony Abbott's proposed Paid Parental Leave scheme which the majority of survey respondents did not support, despite more than 35 per cent indicating they were voting for the Coalition."
"Australia already has a perfectly adequate PPL scheme in place which ensures all parents can access a workforce entitlement that more than 50 per cent of businesses currently provide. It would be unfortunate to see more than 20 years of PPL and other entitlements provided by companies thrown out because of the wholesale implemention of this policy, which will not create any more significant benefits for the many women on low incomes."
Medd and Braund said that flexibility and availability of child and afterschool care are clearly higher priority issues for many parents seeking to return to work following a suitable period of parental leave.
"While a Productivity Commission Review would be welcomed, action on childcare is urgent and some fresh thinking is clearly needed in government policies impacting the sector."
The survey is supported by an analysis of 13 policy areas that have a particular impact on women and the commitments made by the Greens, Coalition and Australian Labor Party. This work was done by the National Foundation for Australian Women to inform voting intentions for the 2013 election.
29 August 2013