Leadership, wellbeing, and housing affordability: Decision making and behaviour of Australian women

Decision making and behaviour of Australian women

Project dates: 2019 - Ongoing

This research project aims to explore women’s lived experiences of leadership, civic engagement, housing and economic security and health, to inform postgraduate research, policy and advocacy, and programs and services for women.  

Why is this important?

We know that leadership isn’t just about CEO positions or being on a board or in politics. It’s also about values, behaviours, communities and the leadership lived. Economic security isn’t just about having a job. It’s also about underemployment, income support and whether the money earned allows individuals to keep up with rising costs of living. We know that housing security isn’t just about having a roof over your head. It’s also about whether your home is safe, secure, affordable and appropriate for your needs.

YWCA Australia and the BEST Centre (QUT) are partnering together to undertake the first ‘We Speak’ survey. This survey will provide a gendered lens on leadership, civic engagement, and housing and economic security. Women and non-binary people over 18 are invited to participate: www.ywca.org.au/wespeak2020

Susan Rudland, YWCA’s Research and Evaluation Specialist says “There are a lot of assumptions made about women’s experiences and perspectives that shape policy, advocacy and national decision-making. As a not-for-profit advocacy, community and housing organisation, we seek positive outcomes and opportunities for women in all their diversity.”

So we want to test those assumptions and build the evidence for policy and decision-makers, which is why we are looking for women and non-binary people over the age of 18 to participate in this survey before the end of August.”

What we aim to do

BEST has been collaborating with YWCA for about 12 months developing a national pilot survey. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to Australian women’s wellbeing.

We use questions from social psychology and behavioural economics, and also use questions from the HILDA on economic, health and housing to investigate women’s experiences in Australia. The organisation (YWCA) aims to use the research findings to inform its strategic, policy, and advocacy programs.

Data collection is running from August 3 – September 5, with early findings scheduled to be out in September/October 2020.


For more information, contact: megan.godwin@qut.edu.au

Funding / Grants

  • Partially funded by YWCA Australia

Chief Investigators


Other Partners

  • YWCA Australia

Rich Media

  • We Speak: a gendered lens on leadership, housing and wellbeing – Project Website
  • National We Speak Survey launched by YWCA and QUT – Media release (03/08/2020)
  • Link to survey
  • BEST Conference 2021 Presentation | “Coping with COVID: Australian women’s coping responses during the COVID-19 pandemic”