The Matildas have sauntered into the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup with a 2-1 win over Norway, but the campaign is set to cost the Australian economy more than $100 million in lost productivity.
An report from analyst firm OziMarket has found that there has been a dramatic spike in the number of women workers burning the midnight oil in the name of sport, with female audiences up 45% on the previous World Cup. But while the Matildas’ 2011 campaign has been praised for attracting women supporters to the ‘beautiful game’, it has coincided with a boom in sports-induced absenteeism. Some 400,000 women called in ‘sick’ after Australia’s opening match against Brazil, according to the study.
The report also found that the PR industry, comprised of an estimated 3:1 female to male employee ratio, is likely to take the biggest hit. Ironically, male bosses are calling for women to “man up” and come into work.
“I don’t know what we’re going to to do today, no one is here,” Boost Marketing CEO Alan Jeffries told ThePublicApology.
“I’ve had about twenty of my employees call in, citing a range of “women’s issues”. Shit, what can you do? I’m just a bloke trying to run a company.”
“I thought the worst of it would be a few birds yawning today, extra coffee runs and a couple of late starters, but I’m really surprised to see that no-one has turned up.”
According to the study, period cramp, suspected pregnancy, relationship issues and “I need a mental day” were the four fraudulent excuses most commonly offered by female football fans looking to jig work.
Small business minister Nick Sherry said that while he was glad Australian women were engaging in sport, it should not be done at the cost of the national economy.
“Women need to understand that pulling an all-nighter to watch a national sporting team do battle overseas requires a strong constitution; you can’t expect to back up the next day at work,” he said.
“With DVD recorders and TiVO systems in place, I’d urge women to simply record the games overnight and watch them after work around 8 or 8:30pm, straight after they’ve caught the latest must-see episode of Masterchef.”
The economy suffered a $6.2 billion hit during the Socceroos 2006 World Cup tilt; men constituted the bulk of the five million World Cup-related recorded absenteeisms.
This year the Australian Government has factored in a predicted loss of some A$10 billion for sports-induced “sickies”. But with the Women’s Soccer World Cup entering the quarter-finals stage and Cadel Evans’ early form in this year’s Tour de France, it could add up to a costly year for small and medium-sized Australian businesses.
By Dave Edwards