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The Department of Premier and Cabinet (the department/DPC) values the diversity of our workforce and is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, and equality, so that all our employees, including women and gender diverse staff, have equal access to employment opportunities and outcomes. We are committed to taking positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality and have developed the Gender Equality Action Plan 2021–2025 in partnership with our people to acknowledge and reflect on the challenges and opportunities to achieve gender equality.

Our vision for DPC is a safe, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all staff, irrespective of gender, have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

While DPC has made considerable progress in creating a gender balanced, flexible and inclusive workplace, our current workforce data indicates that despite the gender composition of our workforce being 61% women, workplace gender inequality persists. A gender pay gap exists, in part due to the concentration of men within the more senior executive bands compared to women, and due to a degree of occupational segregation, where a higher proportion of women are employed at the VPS 1-5 level.

Our 2021 People Matter Survey measures also highlight opportunities for improvement to support women to reach their full potential at DPC. Women responded less favourably to questions about flexible working, family/caring responsibilities, and opportunities for promotion. Women also reported experiencing inappropriate workplace behaviours such as bullying, and violence or aggression at a higher rate than men.

We also acknowledge that we live in a society in which, despite considerable progress, women continue to experience inequality and discrimination in the workplace which limits the opportunities available to them. DPC supports the Victorian Government vision for gender equality under Safe and Strong, Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy – that all Victorians live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities and are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. We understand that gender inequality may also be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of their Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other attributes. The experience of compounding or overlapping forms of disadvantage or discrimination is referred to as intersectionality. [1]

In developing the plan, DPC demonstrates our strong commitment to gender equality, in particular to providing equal pay for work of equal or comparable value, removing barriers to the equal representation and participation of women in the workplace, offering access to career development opportunities and promotion, including into leadership and non-traditional roles, and providing a flexible, safe, and inclusive workplace.

Legislative Framework: Gender Equality Act 2020

The Gender Equality Act 2020 (the Act) commenced on 31 March 2021, requiring defined entities to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality and to promote gender equality in their policies, programs, and services. Under the Act, DPC is required to:

The Act also enshrines a number of gender equality principles:

  • All Victorians should live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities and be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness.
  • Gender equality benefits all Victorians regardless of gender.
  • Gender equality is a human right and precondition to social justice.
  • Gender equality brings significant economic, social and health benefits for Victoria.
  • Gender equality is a precondition for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women and girls.
  • Advancing gender equality is a shared responsibility across the Victorian community.
  • All human beings, regardless of gender, should be free to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives without being limited by gender stereotypes, gender roles or prejudices.
  • Gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other attributes.
  • Women have historically experienced discrimination and disadvantage on the basis of sex and gender.
  • Special measures may be necessary to achieve gender equality.

Gender Equality Action Plan 2021 – 2025

As part of our commitment to gender equality and under the guidance of the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, DPC has now developed our Gender Equality Action Plan, which is guided by the results of a comprehensive workplace gender auditExternal Link and consultation with a variety of stakeholders to develop evidence-based strategies for achieving workplace gender equality over the next four years.

Footnotes:

  1. Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector.

Reviewed 04 October 2022

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