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Workplace gender auditing 2021

How to do a workplace gender audit and measure progress towards gender equality.

2023 progress auditing

Do not use this page to prepare your progress audit.

Please note: This page is not the process to use for your progress audit as part of your progress reporting obligations in 2023.

The process for conducting a progress audit in 2023 will be a slightly different process to that used in the 2021 workplace gender audits.

Guidance for progress audits were published in May 2023 alongside the progress reporting guidance.

2023 progress auditing guidance is now available

About workplace gender audits

The Gender Equality Act 2020External Link requires certain organisations (defined entities) to undertake a workplace gender audit and regularly collect and report data on gender equality in the workplace.

Why you need to do an audit

Collecting data as part of your workplace gender audit shows where gender inequality persists. By publicly reporting data, you will be transparent and accountable to employees and the community.

This data is measured against the Act’s workplace gender equality indicators, which will help you see what’s working and what isn’t and decide what actions to take.

You will use the results of your workplace gender audit to create your Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP).

What you need to do

If you are a defined entity, you must undertake a workplace gender audit every four years.

There are two stages in your workplace gender audit. The first stage is preparing to collect your data and the second stage is collecting and analysing your data. There are 9 steps in total you’ll need to undertake, which are outlined in the 'Steps to complete your audit' section on this page.

What to include in your workplace gender audit

A workplace gender audit needs to include gender-disaggregated data. This means data should be broken down separately for women, men and gender diverse people.

Your workplace gender audit will also need to reflect intersectionality. This means considering how gender inequality may be compounded by the impacts of disadvantage or discrimination that someone might experience on the basis of other factors such as Aboriginality, age, disability, or ethnicity.

Resources on applying an intersectional approach are available on the Leading practice resources page.

When you need to submit it

Usually, you would undertake your workplace gender audit in the same year that you develop a Gender Equality Action Plan. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, deadlines have been extended and the obligation has been split into two stages.

This means that your workplace gender audit was due for submission via the reporting platform on 1 December 2021, however your first Gender Equality Action Plan is due for submission on 31 March 2022.

Where to collect your data from

There are two types of data you will use in your audit:

  • Workforce data – this is gathered from your internal data collection systems.
  • Employee experience data – this is based upon survey feedback from your organisation’s employees or the People Matter Survey 2021. It complements your workforce data to help you better understand gender inequality in your organisation.

Employee experience data

If your organisation participated in the People Matter Survey 2021, you can access your results via the Victorian Public Sector Commission. If you are a local council, we will send you your People Matter Survey 2021 results.

You don’t need to submit your survey results to us because the Victorian Public Sector Commission will provide the deidentified data directly to us.

If your organisation did not complete the People Matter Survey 2021, you will need to complete the Employee experience reporting template and use the survey questions and practice note found below.

What you will need

The Workplace gender audit 2021 – Guidance for defined entities (Version 3.0) will help you to prepare for and develop your workplace gender audit. You can download the guidance in both PDF and Word formats:

The Workplace gender audit 2021 - Workforce reporting template (Version 3.2) lets you submit your workforce data to us in the right format through our reporting platform. This replaces the previously published indicative reporting template.

If you need help using the reporting templates, please see the workplace gender audit section of the Frequently asked questions page on our website.

The Analysing your workplace gender audit results - Guidance note takes you through how to analyse your workplace gender audit results to inform the development of your Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP). Note your GEAP is due on 31 March 2022, but can be submitted earlier if you wish.

If you did not participate in the People Matter Survey 2021 you will also need the following

Employee experience reporting template

You need to submit the employee experience survey component of your workplace gender audit results via the our reporting platform.

Note: we issued an updated version of this template (v1.1) in October 2021.

Employee experience survey questions

You will need to use the questions in this document to undertake a survey with your employees. We strongly recommend organisations who did not participate in the People Matter Survey 2021 to engage a third party to administer their survey.

The following practice note sets out key protocols to protect the safety and anonymity of staff as well as advice on survey timing. You will need this whether you engage a third party to undertake the survey or not.

How to conduct your gender audit

Your workplace gender audit consists of 9 steps, which are outlined in the Workplace gender audit 2021 – Guidance for defined entities (Version 3.0). You needed to complete steps 1 - 7 by 1 December 2021.

Steps 8 and 9 need to be completed by 31 March 2022 and submitted with your Gender Equality Action Plan.

Steps to complete your audit

  1. Nominate who will gather your data and where you will securely store it.
  2. Discuss the workplace gender audit process with your workforce.
  3. Map your data against each data measure found in the Workplace gender audit 2021 – Guidance for defined entities (Version 3.0).
  4. Decide how and when you will gather your data, where you will source it from and who in your organisation can help.
  5. Identify any risks or challenges and how you will address them.
  6. After 30 June 2021, gather data for your workplace gender audit.
  7. Perform data quality assurance to make sure your data is accurate.
Please note, all activity including step 7 needed to be submitted by 1 December 2021.

The following steps should be undertaken when developing your GEAP:

  1. Analyse your data using the Analysing your workplace gender audit results - Guidance note in preparation for development of your GEAP.
  2. Finalise your results, which can then be used to guide the development of your Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP). Your GEAP is due on 31 March 2022.

Find more detailed information about each step outlined above, view the Workplace gender audit 2021 – Guidance for defined entities (Version 3.0).

What data will be published by the Commission?

Based on the submission of workplace gender audit data templates, we will publish high-level data to a public data insights portal. Data will appear for each defined entity as well as for different industries (e.g. Victorian Public Service, local government etc.)

This list was first published in November 2021. An update was made in June 2022 to include an additional measure in the sexual harassment indicator.


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

The Commission will publish Accessible (WCAG AA compliant) versions of relevant documents on the Commission’s website as soon as possible.

Contact if you have any queries.

Reviewed 11 April 2023

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