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Thread: Graphs on age, gender and hours worked by Australian planners

  1. #1
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    Graphs on age, gender and hours worked by Australian planners

    Hello cyburbians, I just wanted to share some handy facts about planners in Australia which the government publishes here on the australian job search/ job outlook site:

    http://jobsearch.gov.au/joboutlook/d...de=2523#gender
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2523AG.jpg   2523GE.jpg  

    2523GG.jpg   2523HO.jpg  


  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Curious about that last chart, and why female planners work fewer hours in a week than male planners.

    Many planners in the US attend meetings at night; planning commission, board of adjustment (zoning variances), city council meetings, plan committee meetings, community meetings, charettes, and so on. Is attendance at night meetings common for planners in Australia?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Dan in respect of your two questions;

    1. Women's hours - I have two theories with no imperical evidence.

    Theory 1 - it may be because men tend to dominate the more senior planner positions in most organisations and it is the more senior roles that tend to be drawn into out of hours work. For more senior roles this would typically be considered part of the deal, while more junior roles would obtain time off in lieu for these sorts of hours. While all Australian states have mandated equal employment opportunity requirements, women still tend to fall behind in career advancement if they take periods away from work to have children. There is a national debate on paid maternity/paternity leave at present BTW. At my place of work we have paid maternity leave already (funded by accrued sick leave entitlements).

    Theory 2 - women may be more likely to have flexible working arrangements (below the national 'standard' of 35 hours per week) to accommodate family commitments. In the local government award in NSW, employers are required to accommodate family friendly working arrangements where the work permits it. That means we have lots of permanent part time, job-share, and flexi-time arrangements in place. Because we are a country full of blokey blokes, women still tend to dominate the child rearing roles, taking advantage of flexible working arangements.

    2. Out of Hours - see Theory 1 above. I have a council meeting every Monday night and on average at least one other night per week. Some weeks (not common) I've had something every night. I work in local government at a senior level. Most staff below manager level would have infrequent requirements for night work - though if we are involved in project that requires a lot of community consultation, that may ramp up for short periods. We certainly don't have the range of panels and committees so forth that require out of hours meetngs like you guys seem to.

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    Cyburbian urbanrenewal's avatar
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    For what it's worth, I'always found more women working in planning in Victoria than in NSW. When I forst moved to NSW (yes I move around a bit) I went form a municipality with almost all women seniors to one with majority male, which was distinctly odd.

    Consider also the number of women in the post-grad courses lately - it's more than half in all the classes and courses I've been in over the past 2 years. I think it's a tribute to the determined women planners that they don't get hung up on work to the detriment of real life. I'm certainly not interested in spending every night devoted to work, that's just not a motivator.

    My old boss is working for herself in consulting now and she's got a great life. Working as a sub-contractor to councils, developers, and still taking time to herself. There's where I want to end up!

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Are female planners in Australia concentrated in, or notably absent from any particular specialty? I found that in the US, there's a smaller proportion of women in transportation planning than in other specialties.

    Are there any ethnic divides in the planning profession in Australia? Any efforts towards getting underrepresented minorities (Indigenous Australians, etc) more involved in the profession? The most glaring in the US is that African-Americans often self-segregate into community development-related positions. (Don't want to hijack this thread towards the States. Just wondering how things compare in Australia. )

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Dan we are such a small profession in Australia I am not sure we could generate statistically significant figures on this.

    I've had a look at PIA's site and don't see any numbers (they did a study into the profession a couple of years ago seeking to understand undersupply - thought that might have had some answers for you - nup).

    Australia prides itself as an egalitarian, colour blind society. A land of the "fair go" where you are judged on personal qualities, work ethic and so forth rather than cultural, racial, sexual, age, gender, etc. characteristics. There are many stories contradicting this self-view, even horror stories generated by home grown mysoginistic loonies. I do think we lean on the positive side of the self-image however and Siskiyou's comments, as an outsider (another white middle-aged male I admit) in the Working in Western Australia thread bear this out to a degree.

    That aside, I can't readily think of any indigenous planners in my circle of colleagues. I've worked with aboriginal colleagues in non-planning roles - some of whom don't openly present their aboriginality, so maybe I've worked with a few indigenous planners and not known it. I know universities seek to recruit students representative of community make-up, but I can't tell you whether that is working or not working in respect of indigenous students and particularly in planning courses.

    I think you would find a representative mix of planners amongst student ranks, but most of our older planners came through a vocational training system and are dominated by the stereotype of the sixties and seventies still (male & white). I am sure, without being able to prove it, that more ethnic minorities and women are working their way up through the profession and it is a relatively few years away that a random sample of planners will more closely reflect a random general population sample. One thing that has slowed that down is that we have a lot of overseas students in our universities, particularly from Asia, the sub-continent and Africa - not all stay in Australia upon graduation. So while we we have a lot of immigrants and identifiable first generation offspring from immigrants from those regions as well, the student profile doesn't always flow 100% into the workforce.

    Specialties without women? Maybe transport planning, but that is seen as an engineering specialty more than a planning specialty in Australia (men would still have the edge in numbers amongst civil engineers I think). I can't think of any others - more women ecological specialists in my experience, but that is a very narrow specialty. Maybe also more women in heritage planning, once again small numbers. More men involved in planning law, but lawyers generally would be closer to an even split.

    Some of the other Australian Planners should shoot themselves in the foot here generalising about their colleagues. Come on Natski.

    I should say there are lots of minority planners in Australia, so don''t let my description of "imbalance" be exaggerated in your mind.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian urbanrenewal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Are female planners in Australia concentrated in, or notably absent from any particular specialty? I found that in the US, there's a smaller proportion of women in transportation planning than in other specialties.

    Are there any ethnic divides in the planning profession in Australia? Any efforts towards getting underrepresented minorities (Indigenous Australians, etc) more involved in the profession? The most glaring in the US is that African-Americans often self-segregate into community development-related positions. (Don't want to hijack this thread towards the States. Just wondering how things compare in Australia. )
    Something I'm noticing a lot lately is how Americans have a much stronger emphasis on race than Australians do. There is always a story about how so-and-so is of this background and such. Here it's not really that relevant. Actually, we don't really bother too much about it in a professional sense at all - it's illegal to discriminate in any form, so there's no point in gathering any statistics about it. Similarly, preferential treatment for recruiting is discrimination too, so that's not something which happens here. While there may be programmes to encourage/provide scholarships for rural or indigenous students, that's to put them on an equal footing so they can be selected as the best candidate against everyone else only.

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