The action plan is the department’s strategic plan to promote workplace gender equality as required by the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) (the Act). It sets out the department’s commitment to ensuring a gender equitable, safe, inclusive and respectful workplace for all staff employed by the department, in our schools and our corporate workplaces, and to addressing gendered structural and government cultural inequality across all that we do.

It also has a focus on intersectional gender inequality[1], particularly the way in which identity characteristics such as age, sexuality and disability can exacerbate gender inequality.

The department’s services

Early Childhood (Birth to 8 year olds)

  • More than 400,000 children and families
  • Early learning and development including early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.

School Education (5 to 18 year olds)

  • More than 1,000,000 students
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Special education
  • Language.

Training and skills (15 to 65+ year olds)

  • More than 290,000 government-subsidised enrolments in Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
  • Dual-Sector universities
  • Private registered training providers
  • Learn Locals.

The department’s two direct workforces, the Victorian Public Service (VPS) and the Government Teaching Service (GTS), are unique and may experience both differences and similarities in workplace gender equality.

The department is committed to supporting our workforce in our work locations across corporate and schools workplaces. Our work also impacts on other workforces that we do not directly employ but who deliver education services which have significant influence on learners across all our education settings.

The successful implementation of the action plan relies on the collective effort and accountability of all staff across the VPS and GTS workforce.

Our direct workforce includes:

VPS Staff

  • Women:
    • 3302 (Headcount)
    • 2986.7 (full time equivalent)
  • Men:
    • 1248 (Headcount)
    • 1212.4 (full time equivalent)
  • Self-described:
    • 9 (Headcount)
    • 8.7 (full time equivalent).

GTS Staff

  • Women:
    • 62,143 (Headcount)
    • 51,798.6 (full time equivalent)
  • Men:
    • 18,608 (Headcount)
    • 17,187.6 (full time equivalent)
  • Self-described:
    • 58 (Headcount)
    • 8.7 (full time equivalent).

The action plan incorporates data and experiences collected from VPS and GTS staff through the workforce gender equality audit and a range of workforce consultations.

Promoting equality has benefits for all staff and our organisation including:

  • addressing gendered stereotypes and disrespectful and discriminatory behaviour.
  • contributes to staff retention, motivation and commitment and ensure that every employee has an equitable and safe workplace, free from gendered stereotypes and disrespectful and discriminatory behaviour.
  • improved outcomes for all learners, their families and community members.
  • benefits for all genders, including women, men, and gender diverse groups.

The department recognises and embraces all gender identities and expressions. The plan focuses on gender equality broadly, including the experiences of trans and gender diverse staff.

Due to the very low numbers of staff who identified their gender as self-described in our HR system, the workforce data analysis that contributed to the formation of the plan focuses on comparisons of women and men.

The plan will drive economic, social, and wellbeing benefits for staff and the community, and address the structural discrimination and disadvantage that women and trans and gender diverse people may experience as a result of gendered stereotypes, gendered expectations, systemic and societal factors.


[1] Section 6(8) of the Act outlines that gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience based on Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other attributes.

The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (the commission) refers to this concept as intersectional gender inequality.