Female CEOs sleepout for homelessness

On Thursday the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout will be taking place at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the heart of Australia’s most unaffordable city in order to raise funds for those experiencing homelessness.

As homelessness continues to rise, older women are beginning to feel it most keenly, as the fastest growing group experiencing homelessness. This is a result of the long term effects of the pay gap as this generation feels the full force of lower pay and lower superannuation, unlike any following generation.

“Many women spent long periods of time without regular employment while raising their children and as a result they have much less superannuation to draw on. Many of those struggling now also experienced relationship breakdown,” explains Jack de Groot, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.

“They are also usually in lower paid jobs and now, as they face failing health, redundancy or retirement, they find they can no longer afford to pay escalating rents in the private rental market. These women struggle to keep a roof over their head.”

Money raised by CEOs during the Sleepout will go directly to Vinnies Support Services which include accommodation options for women fleeing domestic violence and Sydney’s only refuge for older women facing homelessness.

Many of the CEOs registered for this significant fundraising event are themselves women and while they may be more financially secure than most women, they are helping create space for female executives across a range of sectors in often male-dominated fields. In fact the representation of female CEOs at the Sleepout is approximately 25% which is significantly higher than the ‘real world’ representation of just 16%[i].

“Many of these women are sleeping out in support of those other women whose lives turned out so differently and who are faced with fewer options and nowhere to live.”

Some of the high-profile women attending this year’s Sydney Sleepout include Annabelle Spring Commonwealth Bank Australia, Mia Freedman and Kylie Rogers Mamamia, Jane Lu Showpo, Linda Scott City of Sydney Councillor, and the youngest CEO to ever participate- Ali Kitinas Freedom Scrub, just to name a few.

Media contact:  Phyllis Sakinofsky | Phyllis.sakinofsky@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430