What are the workplace gender equality indicators?
The Gender Equality Act sets out seven workplace gender equality indicators. They represent the key areas where workplace gender inequality persists – and where progress towards gender equality must be demonstrated.
Defined entities must collect and report data against these indicators in their workplace gender audit. Defined entities are required to make reasonable and material progress in relation to the workplace gender equality indicators.
The workplace gender equality indicators are:
- gender pay equity
- gender composition at all levels of the workforce
- gender composition of governing bodies
- workplace sexual harassment
- recruitment and promotion
- gendered work segregation
- leave and flexibility
The gender pay gap is persistent in Victoria and as at November 2019 stands at 9.6%. In the Victorian public sector it is 10%.
The gender pay gap is driven by several factors, including the unequal distribution of unpaid care work, higher rates of pay in male-dominated industries, and gender discrimination.
By collecting and reporting pay data, organisations can see where pay gaps are largest and identify the underlying causes.
Women are often underrepresented in leadership roles, and overrepresented in lower level roles. This contributes to the gender pay gap and means that organisations may be missing out on the expertise and skills of women at senior levels.
By collecting and reporting data on gender composition at all levels, organisations can see where they could benefit from greater gender diversity and take action to support women into senior roles.
Boards, councils, committees of management and other governing bodies make important decisions about finances and strategy. It’s important that governing bodies have diverse voices at the table.
The Victorian Government has made a commitment that at least 50% of all new appointments to courts and paid government boards will be women.
Consistently collecting and reporting this data will help ensure more gender-balanced boardrooms.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is common in Australia, including Victoria. It causes financial, psychological, and physical harm to victim survivors. It also has a significant economic cost to organisations and the community.
Often, victim survivors don’t make a formal report of their experience of sexual harassment. Barriers to reporting include fear of reprisals or other negative consequences, lack of confidence in the reporting system, and a limited understanding of what sexual harassment is.
By consistently collecting and reporting data on workplace sexual harassment, organisations will be more transparent and accountable to employees and the community. This will build confidence to report experiences of sexual harassment.
Gender bias and gender stereotypes can influence recruitment, promotion and career progression practices. This means that women may not have access to the same career opportunities as men. Other forms of disadvantage and discrimination can also have an impact, limiting career opportunities for women from different backgrounds, such as women with disability or older women.
Data on recruitment and promotion outcomes can show where women’s careers are stalling and help identify strategies to create more equal opportunities.
Women make up a higher proportion of certain occupations and industries, while men are more represented in others. This gendered segregation is driven by gendered norms and stereotypes about what work is appropriate for men and women, as well as structural factors including access to flexible working arrangements. Gendered workforce segregation reinforces gender inequality and widens the pay gap, as the average pay is lower in industries and occupations dominated by women.
Organisations can use data on their workforce composition to see which roles and areas have more women or more men, and consider how to achieve better gender diversity.
Flexible working arrangements and leave entitlements including parental leave help Victorians of all genders balance paid work with other responsibilities. But structural and cultural factors mean women are far more likely than men to work flexibly, especially by working part time, and taking longer parental leave. On average women do nearly twice as much unpaid work as men.
It’s important that defined entities collect clear data on who is accessing flexible work so they can see what extra support might be needed. By encouraging more men to work flexibly and take leave to care for children or others, organisations can contribute to a more equal gender balance in unpaid work.
Family violence leave
Family violence causes significant trauma to a victim survivor, which can affect their ability to work. Victim survivors may worry about consequences if they try to remove themselves from the violent situation. This may include the perpetrator attending the workplace, or missing work to attend to housing and legal matters.
Family violence leave supports victim survivors to manage the impacts of their experience. It also promotes an organisational culture that does not accept family violence.
Reviewed 22 August 2022