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Equal Workplaces Advisory Council

The Equal Workplaces Advisory Council promotes gender pay equity in Victorian workplaces.

In 2015, Victoria became the first Australian state to develop a Gender Equity Strategy. It's called Safe and Strong. The Equal Workplaces Advisory Council was set up as a part of this strategy.

The council consists of 12 experts from public and private sector organisations. It advises the Minister for Industrial Relations on initiatives that will tackle:

  • the gap in women's pay
  • workforce participation

The Victorian Government has committed to strategies that end the gender pay gap. These strategies reflect principles of gender pay equity developed by the council in its first year.

The council has also:

  • advised government on its pilot gender audit of the Victorian Public Service
  • given feedback on government projects, such as assessing the value of unpaid work and flexible work arrangements, gender equity principles and the social procurement framework
  • hosted the Women @ Work conference and engaged with private and public sector bodies to make the gender equality pledge
  • made a submission to the ASX Governance Council that listed companies should undertake gender pay audits, and report their findings to their board or audit and risk committees
  • made a public consultation submissionExternal Link about the Victorian Gender Equality Bill and its potential to drive gender pay equity in the Victorian public sector

Council chair

Liberty Sanger, National Practice Group Leader at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Liberty is also one of Victoria's most respected workplace lawyers.

Council members

  • Simone Alesich – Senior Policy Adviser, Social and Economic Inclusion, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Karen Batt – Victorian Branch Secretary, Community and Public Sector Union
  • Dr Andrea Carson – Associate Professor, La Trobe University
  • Dr Sara Charlesworth – Distinguished Professor, Centre for People, Organisation and Work, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Catherine Dixon – Executive Director, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
  • Nanette Fitzgerald – Executive Director, Industry Development and Participation, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Emma King – Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Council of Social Services
  • Vasuki Paul – National Manager, Construction Utilities and Mining, Australian Industry Group
  • Louise Perry – Executive Director, Office for Women, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • Katherine Smith – Manager, Industry Policy, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Wilhelmina Stracke – Assistant Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council
  • Lissa Zass – Director, Industrial Relations Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Victorian Government Gender Equality Pledge

Organisations and individuals can register a Pledge to show a commitment to actions that will support gender equality in Victorian workplaces. Almost 30 organisations have signed up to the pledge. This includes all Victorian Public Service departments.

Complete the Pledge


Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to sign on to the Victorian Government Gender Equality Pledge. We will work with you and your business or organisation to help you implement pledges to:

  • commit to gender pay equity and completing a gender pay audit
  • implement a flexible work policy
  • support a safe and respectful workplace
  • support progression and leadership opportunities for women
  • implement a family violence leave policy


Individuals are encouraged to sign on to the Pledge as an ambassador of gender equality in Victoria. We will include you in initiatives to help achieve gender equality in Victoria. Pledge to become an ambassador of gender equality in Victoria by:

  • championing the cause of gender equality in your workplace and community
  • supporting workplace policies of flexible work, safe and respectful workplaces, leadership opportunities for women and family violence leave


Organisations who have already signed pledges to initiate action plans to reduce the gap in their workplaces are:

  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Victoria Police
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Emergency Services and State Superannuation Board
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • Energy Australia
  • Deakin University
  • Westpac
  • Wodonga Council
  • Girl Geek Academy
  • Property Promotions.Com
  • Auspicious Arts Projects
  • Eastern Domestic Violence Service
  • Uniting Vic.Tas
  • Yarra Valley Water
  • Youth Projects
  • La Concierge Pty Ltd
  • QEC
  • Apprenticeships Matter from Greensborough
  • Victorian Council of Social Service
  • CDC Victoria
  • Transdev

Reviewed 11 February 2021

Industrial Relations Victoria

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