Victoria shows power of mandatory workplace gender equality auditing with first figures released

Victoria shows power of mandatory workplace gender equality auditing with first figures released

The results of Australia’s first mandatory workplace gender equality audit are in, with 300 of Victoria’s public sector organisations participating and contributing to some powerful sector-wide insights.

The audit reveals that even in the public sector — where 66 per cent of the workforce is female, according to this audit — gender pay and leadership gaps continue to disadvantage women.

Men were found to have taken home an average $19,000 more than women over the 2020-21 financial year, thanks to the 15.6 per cent pay gap that was uncovered.

Meanwhile, women were 50 per cent more likely to say they had experienced sexual harassment than men, although making formal complaints is still rare.

However, in comparison to the private sector, it’s clear that the Victorian public sector is doing much better.

Via the Insights Portal, anyone can look at an individual organisation’s results, while the Baseline report highlights how the sector overall is trending.

Dr Niki Vincent, Victoria’s Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner, believes that Victoria can lead by example in addressing the system drivers of gender inequality at work.

“The baseline report shows Victoria’s public sector organisations are performing well in comparison to the private sector in some areas – and while there is still much progress to be made, there is a real appetite for change.”

Other findings from the report included that:

  • 42 per cent of women were working part time, compared with 15 per cent of men
  • Three quarters of those using formal flexible work arrangements were women
  • Almost eight out of ten parental leave takers were women, with their leave lasting an average eight times longers than men’s

Organisations are now using the data to develop Gender Equality Action Plans, and are required to publicly report on progress every two years.


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