On the eve of International Women's Day, the Federal Government is recognising women who have played a significant role in building Australia's economy and encourage more to enter the small business sector.
"Australia is fortunate to have around 617,000 women either employed or running their own small business," the Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson said.
"Despite what people may think, statistics have shown women are more likely to enter the small business sector than men and women will tough it out longer.
"International Women's Day is a time to reflect on the huge progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by everyday women who have played an extraordinary role in their communities.
"Women dominate many industries including the direct selling industry, and more than 81 per cent of salespersons are female, creating revenue of $1.4 billion annually."
The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said we all have a role to play to ensure Australia is economically strong, and our workforce is innovative, productive and above all, full of opportunities.
"This is why the Federal Government is working to implement the Paid Parental Leave scheme so women feel more supported and have a better chance at combining family and career," Senator Cash said.
"The Coalition Government has also demonstrated our commitment to increasing workforce participation through the Productivity Commission's review into childcare which will aim to make child care more flexible, affordable and accessible.
"Increasing the workforce participation of women doesn't just improve gender equity it improves economic, health and early childhood development outcomes.
"Harnessing the economic potential of women should be a top priority and Australian businesses will only benefit from diversity within their organisations."