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New strategy to help tackle gender equality in the workplace

By Jack Campbell | |4 minute read

A recent survey was conducted by the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) to gauge employees’ views on gender equality in the workplace.

This data was then collected by DCA and used to provide consultation to the Australian government for the National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality.

“Many DCA members are already doing a lot to address gender inequality in their workplaces. But the causes and impacts of gender inequality are complex and has impacts beyond workplaces,” said DCA chief executive Lisa Annese.


“We are excited by the prospect of a national strategy as it will give Australia a comprehensive framework for policy and program development that is grounded in evidence.”

While the strategy is a solid first step towards implementing change, Ms Annese said it won’t be enough unless the government assist in funding and support.

Some of the recommendations provided by DCA in the strategy are:

  • Universal early childhood education
  • Quality and affordable care systems
  • Improved parental leave
  • Strategies to address the gender pay gap
  • Strategies to address gendered violence and harassment
  • Calls for the government to take an intersectional perspective when designing policy

While the ball is in the government’s court now, there are also ways that employers can support this initiative.

“The level of support that we have seen for the national strategy through the overwhelming response to our member consultation demonstrates that addressing gender equality is important to many businesses, and many workers,” said Ms Annese.

“We would encourage businesses to continue with the work they are already doing to support gender inequality, such as many of the programs that we heard about from our members through this consultation.”

The survey was conducted among employees from 1,200 DCA member organisations, encouraging them to share their views on how the National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality could promote gender equality in the workplace.

The survey was conducted over one week and gathered responses from 807 workers.

“We received an unprecedented response to our member consultation survey, with over 800 member employees responding … Achieving workplace gender equality is evidently an important issue for our members, many of whom have been working towards equity for a long time,” Ms Annese said.

“We believe a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality could be a powerful tool supporting and progressing gender equality in the workplace, and we commend the government for taking action to develop it.”

She concluded: “As our submission outlines, there are many systemic and cultural barriers preventing Australian workplaces from progressing gender equality. To address these issues, the strategy must take an intersectional approach that centres the voices of marginalised groups.”

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.