The research team
Queensland University of Technology (QUT):
- Dr Jannine Williams
- Maria Hameed Khan
- Professor Robyn Mayes
- Associate Professor Patricia Obst
- Benjamin Low
Victorian Public Sector Enablers Network:
- Duncan Chew
- Maria-Grace Capito
The Disability Leadership Institute.
What was the research about?
The research looked at experiences of people who identified as women with disability in the Victorian Public Service (VPS). It identified enablers and barriers to progression and promotion. It also recommended inclusive practices.
How was the research conducted?
- analysed the 2021 People matter survey data
- interviewed 49 women with disability who work in the VPS.
What did the research find?
Findings from analysis of the 2021 People matter survey data found that among people who identified as having a disability:
- More women, non-binary people and people of other gender identities had disability than men
- More women used flexible work arrangements
- More women, non-binary people and people of other gender identities requested workplace adjustments. Disability was often the reason for the request
- Women and men had poor perceptions of workplace culture in relation to disability. Non-binary people and people of other gender identities had even lower perceptions.
Interviewees wanted consistent support for women with disability to advance their careers at all VPS levels.
Interviews identified 8 themes that could be enablers and barrier to career progression:
- sharing information on disability
- requesting workplace adjustments
- disability advocacy
- team relations, including the role of managers and team members
- disability visibility and mentorship
- policies and practices that focus on changing systems rather than the actions of individuals.
The VPS must create a culture of disability inclusion built on respect and trust. It should focus on:
- actions VPS managers and supervisors can take
- creating a culture of psychological safety
- developing more inclusive policies and practices in the VPS.
Read the full report
Citing this research
Williams J, Khan MH, Mayes R, Obst P, and Lowe B 'Getting on at work: Progression and Promotion of Women with Disability in the Victorian Public Service report', Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2023