Public Sector Gender quotas addressed by the Citizens’ jury

Sep 18
Author:Ash Natesh
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The jury of 83 randomly selected people assembled recently to hear from experts and discuss various gender quotas that are fair and implementation tactics.

This forms part of the Victorian Government’s consultation on its upcoming gender equality bill. The bill proposes new processes to plan and report on gender equality for all state government departments, public sector entities with over 100 employees and local governments as well. The gap in Victorian wages between women and men is still 12%. The key influence for the gender pay gap is a lack of women in senior leadership position.

Targets for the bill are scheduled to be introduced into the parliament in early 2019. One of the targets could include, ensuring a good 50% of VPS executives and public sector board appointments are women.

The Jury endorsed that there would be a 40% quota for women, 40% quota for men and 20% for either.

Women in Australia now comprise 48% of executives in the Victorian public service, it has gone up a substantial 10% from a decade ago. The numbers rose four points in the last seven months.

South Australia is also following in Victoria’s footsteps with last years figures showing 47% of public sector executives are women. Women today are also well represented in the most senior leadership roles in the public sector.  Four of SA’s eleven department heads are women; Ingrid Haythorpe at Attorney-General’s, Cathy Taylor at Child Protection, Sandy Pitcher at Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and Vickie Kaminski at Health and Ageing.

In Victoria, two of the seven departmental secretaries are women; Gill Callister at the Department of Education and Training, and Kym Peake at Health and Human Services. Christine Wyatt is currently acting secretary at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Benchmarking for the future

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC was the first woman to serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-2013. She has definitely set a benchmark for women leaders of the future.

“I feel that in Australia and increasingly around the world, that we’re in an era of change for women’s equality and, like all eras of change, it’s not a linear progression of a step forward followed by a step forward followed by a step forward,” – Julia said at an interview with Sydney Morning Herald

Since leaving politics, the former Prime Minister has been actively campaigning for women and gender equality across all industries. Women are still underrepresented in leadership roles with significant barriers halting the rate of progress. According to the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, an institution in which our first female prime minister is now the inaugural chair, just 23% of national parliamentarians are female globally, while women make up only 26% of news media leaders, 27% of judges, 25% of senior managers, 15% of corporate board members and 9% of senior IT leaders.

“The face of corporate Australia is still overwhelmingly a male one. That does not necessarily mean the face is unfriendly. Some of our most senior male corporate leaders are personally committed to seeing change and making sure that in the years to come their boardroom events are filled with as many women as men. But some just did not know how to treat me.” – Hon Julia Gillard, AIM

At the 7th Public Sector Women in Leadership Conference, the Hon Julia Gillard AC will highlight what Australia NEEDS in order to create a world in which women are not just seen as a barrier but as a LEADER in their field.

Join us on the 20th & 21st of November to hear her hopes and solutions for the future, and take away key strategies that you can use drive change in your organisation.


Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

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