New tool to help gender diversity

by Cameron Edmond10 Jul 2013

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) this week unveiled a new toolkit to enable employers to better develop gender diversity strategies in the workplace.

“The WGEA has consistently called on employers to set voluntary organisation-specific gender representation targets and is now providing a practical resource to facilitate this being done,” a statement said.

Under the new Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, non-public sector organisations with 100+ staff will be required to report to the WGEA on gender equality indicators, such as the gender composition of their workforce.

Additionally, the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Diversity Recommendations will require companies to report annually on the establishment of diversity policies, annual assessments of gender diversity objectives and the proportion of senior executive women in their organisation.

The toolkit attempts to make these changes easier for employers to comply with, providing a target-setting calculator to input their own data, including turnover and recruitment rates, in order to determine what realistic gender representation targets are over a period of time.

The tool will function to combat the box-ticking approach that has manifested in many organisations as a response to the growing demand for women’s progress into leadership and management positions.

While the current approach does not address the cultural and structural changes needed to ensure sustainable improvement, setting targets relevant to the organisation does.

“Similar to setting financial or other operational targets, establishing gender targets will help to ensure organisations develop the strategies and commit the resources to meet the targets,” Helen Conway, director of WGEA, said.


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