The Gender Equality Action Plan (the plan) is the Department of Education’s(the department) strategic plan to promote workplace genderequality 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, and to addressing gendered structural and cultural inequality across all that we do. It also has a focus on intersectional gender inequality, particularly the way in which identity characteristics such as age, sexuality and disability can exacerbate gender inequality.
This implementation plan accompanies the plan and provides specific actions and measures for the second year of the plan to deliver priorities in each of the 3 focus areas for the department’s workforce in the Victorian Public Service (VPS) and Government Teaching Service (GTS).
This implementation plan covers the period 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024 and intends to build on the progress already made and continue to develop practice and skills to address gender inequality. The review, analysis and reporting of the progress of this implementation plan will influence the development of the following years’ annual implementation plans.
Year 1, 2022 - Foundation
- Strengthen governance and accountability
- Improve data sources and systems
- Build awareness and engagement
- Review key policies.
Year 2, 2023 - Developing practice and skills
- Track and measure progress
- Up-skilling and support our workforces
- Empower all staff and leaders to understand, share knowledge and drive gender equality in the workplace.
Year 3, 2024 - Embedding
- Embed gender equality in systems, policies, business planning and practices
- Address systemic and cultural barriers and resistance
- Establish gender equality as everyone’s responsibility.
Year 4, 2025 - Monitoring and continuous improvement
- Monitor implementation and impacts to target interventions
- Share knowledge and success to drive best practice and innovation
- Drive continuous improved data and evidence.
Year One Implementation Plan
The Year One Implementation Plan incorporated key actions to strengthen the systems that enable us to capture data, maintain accountability and review key policies. Key achievements included:
- establishment of systems and processes to increase data available relating to flexible work, recruitment, career progression and development opportunities
- establishment of a gender equality module in the School Staff Survey to inform biennial workplace gender audits in line with reporting requirements
- gender equality and diversity actions embedded into strategic and business plans, processes, and templates
- completion of a self-identification research project into staff behaviour, which includes recommendations to increase the rates of staff self-identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and gender diverse or a person with a disability
- flexible and hybrid working arrangements embedded for VPS staff
- the continued roll out of the Respectful Relationships initiative in schools to support a culture of gender equality.
The department recognises and embraces all gender identities and expressions. The action plan focuses on gender equality broadly, including the experiences of trans and gender diverse staff. However, due to the very low numbers of staff who identify their gender as self-described in eduPay (0.2% of VPS staff and 0.1% of GTS staff), the workforce data analysis that contributed to the formation of the action plan focuses on comparisons of women and men.
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 refers to this concept as intersectional gender inequality.