Gender Equality Action Plans 2021

About Gender Equality Action Plans

To achieve gender equality in the workplace, organisations need to:

  • understand the importance of gender equality
  • identify where change is needed in your organisation
  • plan and implement actions that will achieve progress.

Certain organisations (defined entities) must develop a Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to meet their obligations under the Gender Equality Act 2020 and achieve gender equality in the workplace.

Why you need to do a GEAP

If your organisation is a defined entity, a GEAP will help you plan, implement and measure change in order to achieve workplace gender equality.

An effective GEAP will focus on the people who are part of your workforce and will result in reduced gender inequality over time – measured through workplace gender audit results.

Other obligations under the Act include:

What you need to do

You must prepare, submit and publish a GEAP every 4 years.

Your GEAP needs to include: 

  • the results of a workplace gender audit, to assess the current state of gender equality in the workplace
  • strategies and measures to improve gender equality in the workplace, based on the results of the audit.

What type of audit data should I include in my GEAP?

We recommend a minimum level of audit data detail is included in GEAPs. If you can include more detailed data we encourage you to do so.

Recommended minimum standard for GEAPs
Word 755.18 KB
(opens in a new window)

When you must submit your GEAP

Submit your Gender Equality Action Plan by 31 March 2022.

This deadline was extended from the legislated deadline of 31 October due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Your workplace gender audit was due for submission via the reporting platform on 1 December 2021.

How to develop your GEAP

Use the Gender Equality Action Plan guide 2021-2025 to help you develop your GEAP. This guidance is issued under section 47 of the Act, which means defined entities must have regard to it when complying with their obligations.

There are 6 sections in the GEAP guidance and each section has steps to guide you along the way. There are required and recommended items within each section:

  • Required components must be included in your GEAP.
  • Recommended components are optional, however, the Commission recommends you consider including these where possible.

For more detailed information, refer to the full guide:

Gender Equality Action Plan guide 2021-2025

What if my organisation already has a gender equality strategy or plan?

To meet your obligation under the Act, your existing plan or strategy must meet all the requirements in the Act. The Commission has developed a tool to help you determine whether your existing plan or strategy meets the requirements of the Act.

Before applying to find out if your plan or strategy meets the requirements under the Act, complete the check list on the Use an existing gender equality strategy as a Gender Equality Action Plan page. The checklist will help you identify any areas that may need more work to meet the requirements.

If you’ve completed the checklist and decided that your plan or strategy meets all your legislated GEAP obligations, email the Commission at with your request that the Commissioner makes a formal assessment. You should attach your gender equality plan or strategy to this email along with any other supporting material for the Commissioner's consideration.

The Commissioner will respond to your request within 14 business days.

If your existing plan or strategy doesn't meet the requirements, you will need to make necessary updates to ensure that it does, or develop a new plan according to the Commission's guidance document. 

Gender Equality Principles

  • All Victorians should live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities and be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
  • Gender equality benefits all Victorians regardless of gender.
  • Gender equality is a human right and precondition to social justice.
  • Gender equality brings significant economic, social and health benefits for Victoria.
  • Gender equality is a precondition for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women and girls.
  • Advancing gender equality is a shared responsibility across the Victorian community.
  • All human beings, regardless of gender, should be free to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives without being limited by gender stereotypes, gender roles or prejudices.
  • Gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and other attributes.
  • Women have historically experienced discrimination and disadvantage on the basis of sex and gender.
  • Special measures may be necessary to achieve gender equality.


In 2021, the Commission funded the Panel of Providers to deliver a number of sector-wide workshops and training sessions. You can access GEAP workshop resources and recordings below:

Case studies

The Commission is compiling a range of case studies to support defined entities with developing Gender Equality Action Plans.