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Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These procedures and guidelines provide the requirements which University employees, officers and committee members are required to implement to achieve the objectives of the Gender Equity Policy, and includes some guidance material.

(2) The procedures and guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the Gender Equity Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) The definitions in the Gender Equity Policy also apply to these procedures.

(4) For the purposes of these procedures, the following additional definitions apply:

  1. Carer has the same definition as in the Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (NSW);
  2. Decision-Making Committees include but are not limited to University-wide committees such as the Board of Trustees and Board of Trustees' committees, Academic Senate and Academic Senate standing committees, and divisional, school and institute committees such as academic promotions committees;
  3. Local Committees include recruitment and selection committees, and divisional, school and institute committees that have been established for advisory, consultative or discussion purposes;
  4. EEO means Equal Employment Opportunity;
  5. Elected Members means members elected through the appropriate electoral processes;
  6. Ex-officio Members means members appointed to a committee because of the position held by the member;
  7. Manager/Supervisor refers to all employees with supervisory responsibilities including but not limited to Deans, Institute Directors, and Divisional Heads and Senior Managers;
  8. Long-term casual employee refers to casual professional or Academic employees that have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least a 12 month period;
  9. Gender Mainstreaming means assessing the implications for women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people of any planned action;
  10. Gender Neutral means relating to or common to any gender;
  11. Intersex refers to individuals who are born with genetic, hormonal or physical sex characteristics that are not typically ‘male’ or ‘female’. They may identify as male or female or neither;
  12. High Potential Employee means an individual who consistently and significantly outperforms their peers in a variety of settings and circumstances, exhibits behaviour reflective of University culture and values in an exemplary manner; and shows a strong capacity to grow and succeed quickly and effectively;
  13. Intersectionality means the impact on individuals of the effects of discrimination arising from multiple factors including their race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, health, ability/disability, geography, religion, migration status, and other characteristics;
  14. Equity and Diversity Working Parties (EDWP) refer to working parties to be installed across all Schools, Divisions, Institutes and administered by Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing. The EDWPs role is to provide a forum for targeted discussion and review of equity and diversity considerations, challenges and opportunities with a focus on employee and work related practice, and ensure local implementation of equity and diversity policy and strategy across the University;
  15. SAGE means the Science in Australia Gender Equity.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The Gender Equity Policy applies.

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Section 4 - Procedures and Implementation

(6) All employees are individually required, with the support of their supervisors, to contribute to implementing the Gender Equity Policy and these procedures at their area or level and as relate to their specific role.

(7) All strategy, planning, practices and actions must include explicit and systematic consideration of the interests, perspectives needs and priorities of all genders at all levels in all areas of the workplace. Equity and Diversity Working Parties will support local considerations in this area.

(8) The University acknowledges that:

  1. a person’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities does not depend on their gender;
  2. gender equality does not mean all individuals will require the same provision;
  3. structures and practices may inadvertently perpetuate inequalities in the workplace;
  4. initiatives should not be assumed to affect all people in the same manner, as women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people may have different priorities, needs and interests;
  5. intersectionality may exacerbate gender inequality;
  6. gender stereotyping can result in discriminatory attitudes, treatment and response.

(9) The University considers individuals equally and on merit relative to opportunity regardless of gender.

(10) Local Equity and Diversity Working Parties will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on local implementation of this and other equity and diversity based policy and strategy frameworks.  Quarterly reports from these parties will be provided to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing, with a summary report provided regularly to the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee.

Part A - Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan

(11) The University's Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan provides the framework for the University to develop and implement effective strategies around workplace culture, leadership and employment practices to improve gender equality across the organisation.

(12) The University's SAGE Athena Swan Action Plan 2019-2023 provides an additional framework, complementary to the Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan with a focus on improving gender equality in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).

Part B - Governance and Leadership

(13) The Vice-Chancellor and President and the Executive Committee are responsible for ensuring the University achieves the objectives of the Gender Equity Policy.

Gender Equality Committee

(14) The Vice-Chancellor and President established the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee to promote and improve gender equality at the University by developing, implementing and monitoring the Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan.

(15) The committee is also responsible for:

  1. commissioning works and reports and gathering data on gender equality;
  2. recommending targets to achieve gender equality in management and leadership positions;
  3. undertaking policy reviews and special projects;
  4. reviewing and making recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President on the annual Employer of Choice for Gender Equality application;
  5. guiding and monitoring the implementation of this policy.

(16) The Committee provides advice to the Vice-Chancellor and President and regularly reports to the Executive Committee.

Committee Membership

(17) All University committees are to include membership of no more than 60 percent of a single gender. In some instances, the elected and ex-officio membership of a committee can result in a low level of representation from one gender.

(18) Annually, relevant senior management, with advice from the Director, Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing or nominee, will review the membership of University decision-making committees and local committees and identify those where male or female members comprise less than 40 percent of the membership.

(19) Where a committee has more than 60 percent representation from a single gender, the convenor or chair is to implement one or more of the following strategies:

  1. co-opting additional members of the under-represented gender;
  2. seeking members of the under-represented gender who have relevant expertise from elsewhere within the University and/or from relevant professional groups outside the University;
  3. appointing a deputy chairperson from the under-represented gender;
  4. inviting employees from the under-represented gender to attend and contribute to meetings;
  5. examining the terms of reference with a view to recommending changes in the composition of the committee which may include:
    1. implementing limited term membership;
    2. limiting ex-officio member numbers;
    3. providing ex-officio nominees from the under-represented gender; and
    4. broadening eligibility to include more junior employees;
  6. where elections apply to filling positions, encouraging and supporting nominations form the under-represented gender;
  7. any other appropriate action.

(20) The University will recognise as work hours the time employees provide as members of the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee, Equity and Diversity Working Parties, and/or working on the SAGE program.


(21) When making decisions that will affect University employees, senior staff, committee chairs, supervisors and other managers are to:

  1. identify whether any specific strategies are required to ensure people of all genders can participate in and influence strategic, operational, policy and program formulation, implementation and evaluation;
  2. assess the implications for all genders of any planned action in all areas and at all levels; and
  3. consider how information and advice is presented in relation to the viability and appeal of the proposed options and recommendations.

Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing

(22) Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing has overall responsibility for monitoring and reporting on implementation of these procedures, advocating on gender equality issues, championing gender mainstreaming, and promoting gender equality across the University.

Part C - Gender Equality in the Workforce


(23) The University undertakes recruitment in accordance with the Recruitment and Selection Policy and subject to merit selection and the Professional Staff Agreement 2022 and Academic Staff Agreement 2022 (the Staff Agreements). The Staff Agreements provide the University's commitment to providing equal employment opportunity in staff appointments and career development, and to properly valuing the skills and experience of women and other EEO groups.

(24) To support the recruitment process, the Office of People will:

  1. classify and re-classify positions in accordance with the Staff Agreement in an objective manner using the HAY evaluation method, and with consideration of gender inclusive practice;
  2. ensure position descriptions, selection criteria and advertisements are expressed in gender neutral terms, unless a minority or disadvantaged group is to be targeted;
  3. ensure recruitment agencies and search companies the University engages are aware of the requirements of this policy;
  4. on request, provide advice to managers and selection panel convenors about the requirements of the Gender Equity Policy and these procedures;
  5. provide training for panel convenors which includes EEO principles and identifying and managing unconscious bias; and
  6. regularly review the University's recruitment process to eliminate any biases.

(25) Responsibilities of selection panel convenors include:

  1. preparing interview questions which are objective, non-discriminatory, gender neutral, avoidant of unconscious bias and which require position holders to be aware of and promote gender equity when conducting University business;
  2. forming selection panels in accordance with the requirements of Part B of this document;
  3. monitoring telephone inquiries about advertised positions and recording details of the inquiries for evaluation;
  4. scheduling sufficient time for interviews and evaluations of candidates;
  5. conducting interviews in a fair, inclusive and objective manner;
  6. being aware not to formulate recommendations about applicants which reflect unconscious bias;
  7. preparing shortlists which include no more than 60% of a single gender wherever possible;
  8. advising the preferred candidate of the standard range of remuneration and incremental systems in place as per the relevant Staff Agreements; and
  9. completing training as required by the Office of People, including in relation to interviewing techniques.

(26) Responsibilities of selection panels include:

  1. actively contributing to panel discussions, and being aware of the impacts of unconscious bias and gender-based discrimination in the review process; and
  2. undertaking consideration of applications and interviews of applicants in a fair, inclusive and objective manner and in line with the Gender Equity Policy and these procedures.


(27) The remuneration, loadings and allowances for University employees are regulated under the Academic Staff Agreement 2022, Professional Staff Agreement 2022 and Executive Level Acting Arrangements Policy, and, for additional work professional staff undertake the Additional Work Policy.

(28) In seeking gender pay equity, the Office of People:

  1. conduct annual pay equity audits in collaboration with the Office of Business Intelligence and Performance, and report the results, which include outcomes by gender, to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee;
  2. identify and records the factors that determine the remuneration, loadings and allowances set for University positions and makes that information available to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing;
  3. reviews the University's remuneration policies having regard to any relevant report on gender pay gaps; and
  4. provides guidance to managers and panel convenors on avoiding bias, including gender bias, in making recommendations on remuneration; and
  5. set targets to reduce any identified pay gaps greater than 5% at a level-by-level analysis, and report progress to the Executive Committee.


(29) The University provides the following benefits for employees to address gender considerations and retain a gender diverse workforce:

  1. flexible working conditions, as specified in the Academic Staff Agreement 2022 and Professional Staff Agreement 2022, and referenced in the Workplace Flexibility Policy, which include flexible hours of work, flex-leave, personal leave, time in lieu of overtime, part-time employment and salary packaging;
  2. parental leave, adoption leave, foster parent leave and paid and unpaid domestic violence leave, as set out in the staff agreements;
  3. the ability to purchase additional leave periods under the Purchase Additional Leave Scheme Policy;
  4. support for employees experiencing personal or work related problems in accordance with the Employee Assistance Program;
  5. paid leave for permanent and fixed-term employees to attend proceedings, consulting and/or appointments, relocation or other activities when experiencing domestic or family violence, and the ability to be paid and unpaid additional leave as outlined under the staff agreements and outlined in the Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy;
  6. access to parental and breastfeeding facilities and paid lactation breaks for employees as set our in the Breastfeeding on University Premises Policy;
  7. a requirement to actively work to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination under the Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy;
  8. provision of an online Supporting Parents Toolkit for Staff;
  9. access to childcare centres on many University campuses;
  10. enabling consideration to be given to employees requests to bring their children onto University premises on an occasional and short-term basis under the Children on University Premises Policy; and
  11. mentoring programs accessible to all permanent, fixed-term and casual employees including:
    1. the Professional Staff Mentoring Program and the Academic Staff Mentoring Program;
    2. for early-career academic female staff: Executive Speed Mentoring and Speed Mentoring with the Professoriate.

(30) The University will also:

  1. provide training to supervisors on how to administer the University's flexible working conditions and entitlements in a way which addresses gender considerations;
  2. investigate further strategies which will improve employees retention in the workplace, including through evaluating data collected from employee via anonymous survey or terminations and exit interviews;
  3. promote benefits that support all individuals in the workplace, including a balance between work and family commitments, regardless of gender and other intersectional factors, by regular communications to employees and supervisors;
  4. recognise, support and promote the celebration of annual gender equality events and occasions; and
  5. encourage employees to attend a post-separation interview when they leave the University's employment and ensure employees separation checklists include questions as to the support they received to manage family and work commitments and other gender issues.

(31) In recognising the gender equity considerations as may be relevant to an imbalance of gender representation across casual employment in the Higher Education sector, full employment and engagement conditions for casual employees are outlined in the relevant Staff Agreement and include the following considerations:

  1. a transparent recruitment process, consistent with University Policy;
  2. opportunity to seek conversion to fixed-term or permanent employment, if the casual employee meets the criteria as outlined in the relevant Staff Agreements;
  3. opportunity to apply for internally advertised Academic and Professional staff roles;
  4. access to unpaid parental leave in accordance with the provision outlined in the relevant Staff Agreement.  A casual employee will not be disadvantaged with regard to future employment opportunities if they are unavailable to work because they have carer’s responsibilities; and
  5. in the case of long-term casual employees who have a reasonable expectation of ongoing employment on a regular and systematic basis:
    1. the opportunity to request a flexible working arrangement;
    2. opportunity to apply for the Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Development Scholarship; to support career progression.

(32) The University also engages in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program to realise gender equity and gender diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Parental Leave

(33) Western Sydney University provides access for eligible staff to a range of parental leave options. The University will:

  1. provide paid and unpaid Parental Leave for ongoing or fixed-term employees who are a parent and primary carer of a child after birth, including up to 20 weeks of paid leave. Parental Leave:
    1. is available to either parent and includes same sex parent families;
    2. is available to be taken within 12 months of the birth of a baby, in the event of a stillborn baby or in the first 12 months of adopting a child, surrogacy, or at the commencement of long-term fostering;
    3. can be taken part-time for a portion of the paid leave period; and
    4. is accessible via application to the Office of People and subject to meeting all eligibility requirements and provision of relevant documentary evidence confirming the staff member’s parental and primary carer status for the child.
  2. provide paid Partner Leave for ongoing or fixed-term employees who are the spouse (or de-facto partner) of a primary carer, in connection with the birth of a child, including up to three weeks paid leave. Partner Leave:
    1. is available to either parent and includes same sex parent families;
    2. is available to be taken within 12 months of the birth of a baby, in the event of a stillborn baby or in the first 12 months of adopting a child, surrogacy, or at the commencement of long-term fostering;
    3. can be taken flexibly, including for example as part-time for a portion of the paid leave period; and
    4. is accessible via application to the Office of People and subject to meeting all eligibility requirement and provision of relevant documentary evidence confirming  the staff member’s parental and primary carer status for the child.
  3. provide staff access of up to eight weeks of paid Parental Leave or three weeks of paid Partner Leave from commencement of employment. The remaining paid Parental Leave (up to a total of 20 weeks for primary carer) is available as of the end of a staff member’s probation period.

(34) Unpaid Parental Leave options are also available for primary carers with responsibility for the care, development and upbringing of a child within 24 months after birth, or who experience a stillbirth or death of an infant during the first 24 months of life, as per provisions within the Fair Work Act 2009.

Carer’s Leave

(35) The University is committed to supporting staff with carer responsibilities. Carer’s Leave is available to all staff who need to provide care of support to a member of their immediate family or household in circumstances of personal illness or injury or an unexpected emergency.

(36) Paid or unpaid leave options and flexible work provisions are available for those with caring responsibilities in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009.

(37) Information on further parent and carer provisions and specific eligibility criteria for the above provisions as defined by the Office of People is available on the Managing Family Responsibilities web page, and within the Supporting Parents Toolkit for Staff and Flexibility Matters Toolkit.

Career Development

Performance Management

(38) Supervisors are to use the University's performance planning and review process to:

  1. discuss work objectives, career planning, progression and training options with individuals with the aim of integrating gender considerations;
  2. take into account gender implications when considering the performance of individuals; and
  3. identify gender equity considerations which may be relevant to individuals i.e. identifying promotional opportunities, discussing flexible work needs and other considerations.

Promotions and Re-Classifications

(39) In relation to career progression, the Office of People is responsible for:

  1. coordinating the University's process for promoting academic staff in accordance with the Academic Promotions Policy;
  2. reclassifying professional staff positions and managing opportunities for employees to perform higher duties in accordance with the relevant Staff Agreement; and
  3. advertising University positions and opportunities for promotion and higher duties, including to employees who are on leave.

(40) The Office of People is responsible for analysing academic promotions data and providing the outcomes to the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee and Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing.

(41) The Office of People is to collect and provide the following data in relation to professional staff annually to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing:

  1. the number of higher duties opportunities awarded to employees by gender and the period of each arrangement;
  2. the number of positions classified and re-classified by the gender of the position holders; and
  3. the number of managers by function trained in promotion, equal employment opportunity and diversity, transfer and termination policies and procedures.

Talent Identification

(42) To identify and encourage talented employees who have high potential to succeed at a senior level, the University will:

  1. aim to achieve no more than 60% representation of a single gender in senior University positions, and Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing and the Office of People will provide progress reports to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees in relation to this goal;
  2. research successful strategies and search processes to attract, recruit and retain an equal portion of each gender into senior positions;
  3. communicate to employees the value in having a diversity of genders in leadership roles at the University;
  4. support the assessment of high potential employees who are part of University mentoring programs for further progression;
  5. identify how promotion opportunities and succession planning contribute to retaining high potential and high performing employees; and
  6. monitor measures and strategies in place for identifying and supporting talented, high potential employees, as well as barriers to identifying such employees, and ensure there is gender diversity in the identified talent pool.

Training and Development

(43) The University provides training and development opportunities to employees in accordance with the Professional Development Policy and Academic Development Program (ADP) Policy.

(44) Talent and Leadership Development is responsible for:

  1. providing short courses to employees relevant to addressing the drivers of gender inequality, and addressing other relevant training needs, which are advertised through the My Career Online portal; and
  2. reviewing the University's professional development policies having regard to the gender equality objectives in the Gender Equity Policy and available data on training and performance.

(45) Supervisors and other senior staff must undertake training via the Office of People or Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing as available and/or as required in relation to addressing gender issues in the workplace, including:

  1. Equal Opportunity Online at induction and at least every two years thereafter;
  2. training in gender equality objectives and identifying invisible barriers to achieving gender equality;
  3. recruitment training, which includes interviewing techniques and achieving diversity in work teams;
  4. managing bias and unconscious bias in the workplace;
  5. preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace; and
  6. training in the application of flexible work arrangements in alignment with the Workplace Flexibility Policy, as available via the Flexible Work at WSU online module accessed through MyCareer.

(46) All employees will normally undertake training as agreed with their supervisor and specified in their annual professional development plans, and should be encouraged to undertake training in relation to dealing with bias and unconscious bias.

(47) The Office of People will annually report employee completion of the following training to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing and the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee:

  1. gender equality training; and
  2. leadership, management and career development education and training courses, units or modules by gender.

Succession Planning

(48) The University will develop a framework to ensure there are qualified and willing employees who are able to assume responsibility when key officers and staff leave the organisation and to support equitable career development, in alignment with the Sustaining Success Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

(49) The framework will include:

  1. an assessment of the University's current and future needs based on its strategic plan, goals and objectives, and priority programs and projects;
  2. an analysis of the skills, knowledge, qualities, experience and motivation of the current workforce; and
  3. a plan to manage gaps that will arise when individuals with key areas of responsibility leave or are promoted, and which provides avenues for individuals to progress within the University subject to/with the inclusion of an appropriate fair process.

(50) In developing the framework, the University will analyse gender and diversity issues so as to ensure the implementation of the framework will provide equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of gender and other intersectional factors.


(51) Each year, the Office of People will track all employee resignations and other terminations by gender, including reasons for those resignations and terminations, to identify any trends in relation to gender issues, and will report those trends and recommendations to manage any equity issues to the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee.

Organisational Change

(52) Any Organisational Change proposals will be undertaken in accordance with conditions outlined in the Staff Agreements. The University will include consideration of equity implications in any organisational change proposal process.

(53) Any relocation processes undertaken as part of an organisational change process will include consideration of any unreasonable impact on an employee’s family or carer responsibilities, including considering a combination of flexible work practices as outlined in the Staff Agreements.

Manager/Supervisor Responsibilities and Key Performance Indicators

(54) Supervisors and managers are responsible for their area's progress towards achieving gender equality in accordance with these procedures. In particular supervisors and managers are to:

  1. ensure the principles and required practices as outlined in the Gender Equity Policy and related Procedures are implemented into local practice;
  2. ensure local induction and support for new employees addresses gender considerations,
  3. ensure employees keep up to date with current training on gender equality, including the bi-annual completion of the Equal Opportunity online module;
  4. in alignment with the ideals of continuous improvement, analyse general workplace practices in their area to identify and eliminate any expectations placed on an individual because of their gender, or as relates to unconscious or gender bias;
  5. include discussions around gender equality and flexible work as part of all employee performance review processes;
  6. include long-term casual sessional staff in curriculum or School planning discussions, where relevant;
  7. promote and support men and same sex partners in accessing available parental leave entitlements;
  8. as relevant, prepare an action plan for their area to address feedback from the anonymous employee survey completed every 2 years as relates to any issues identified around gender equality, gender diversity and gender discrimination. A copy of this action plan is to be provided to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing;
  9. encourage employees to organise meetings and social gatherings with consideration of employees with caring responsibilities or working part-time or casually i.e. avoiding early or late meetings where possible;
  10. contribute to annual reporting on gender equality, as coordinated by Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing; and
  11. encourage and support employees in engaging in best practice and information sharing around gender mainstreaming strategies and initiatives.

(55) Key Performance Indicators for Managers/Supervisors are:

  1. Promote gender mainstreaming across all strategic and operational planning processes within their related area, in alignment with the Gender Equality Policy and the University's gender equality commitments, to ensure the different priorities, capacities, contributions and needs of women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people are reflected;
  2. Ensure a consistent, fair and equitable approach to:
    1. the allocation of workload across all areas in a way that does not result in gender bias, i.e. even distribution across local allocation of teaching/research/administrative roles, as relevant to gender balance within their area; and
    2. the allocation of employee professional development opportunities, such as higher duties, secondment, application for promotion or committee membership, including ensuring employees who are working flexibly, or have taken leave, including carers leave are provided access to opportunities;
  3. Ensure consistent messaging in alignment with the Workplace Flexibility Policy and the University's position on flexible work provisions, including encouraging and monitoring the uptake of flexible working conditions, leave entitlements and other benefits within their area, and ensure employees under their supervision are fully aware of their entitlements, including:
    1. their rights to maternity/partner/adoption/foster/primary carer’s leave;
    2. options to keep in touch for employees who are on parental leave;
    3. support the University offers for an employee during leave, including keep-in-touch days, and in transitioning back to work after leave; and
    4. flexible work provisions available to all employees as outlined in the Workplace Flexibility Policy;
  4. Undertake regular communication with employees regarding how the Gender Equity Policy as relevant to their unit/school and encourage and support employees in providing feedback or unsolicited suggestions, ideas, concerns, or complaints relating to gender equity through the appropriate communication channels open to employees for this purpose, such as the Equity and Diversity Working Parties.

(56) On request, managers will report to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing against these indicators.

Part D - Gender Equality in the Workplace

Consultation on Gender Equality

(57) The University conducts an anonymous employee survey every two years to obtain feedback on the University's overall performance, and reports to employees on the survey responses. Responses within this survey are to be analysed to assess any areas of concern in relation to gender equality, gender diversity and gender discrimination. Where an issue is identified, Managers are responsible for preparing an action plan for their local area to address the feedback from employee survey and Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing is responsible for preparing an action plan for addressing any systemic whole-of-organisation gaps or issues of concern.

(58) Each year, the Vice-Chancellor and President invites employees to comment on the following documents the University lodges with the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency:

  1. the University's Workforce Profile and Compliance Report; and
  2. the University's application for Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

Internal and External Communications

(59) The Vice-Chancellor and President provides occasional statements to employees to express the University's commitment to gender equality and to advance understanding of gender equality issues in the workplace, and has provided a public statement on the University's position in relation to gender equality.

(60) Employees should share knowledge about best practices in gender mainstreaming and gender equality between business and academic units and schools and from external sources.

(61) All employees are to use language carefully in the workplace so as to avoid bias in favour of one gender and discrimination against another. This requirement includes using generic language which can apply equally to all genders, avoiding offensive and patronising terms, avoiding assumptions about people based on stereotyping or gender roles, avoiding offensive jokes about women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people, and using pronouns and titles appropriately.

(62) Employees participating at conferences, seminars or workshops should have consideration of gender balance in presenter or panel member numbers before agreeing to present. The Panel Pledge should be referenced to guide decision making in this area.

(63) Employees should be guided by considerations within the Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Guidelines which prescribes that unlawful harassment can include verbal and written communications and other actions which stereotype people in drafting and engaging with external and internal communications.

Projects, Programs and Policies

(64) Employees responsible for initiating and carrying out University projects and programs, and developing, implementing and reviewing policies, are to:

  1. Consider all gender perspectives when developing policy options, and/or assess the design and implementation of projects and program, to:
    1. enable the equitable participation of people of all genders;
    2. incorporate lessons learned on gender equality issues into the project, program and policy planning and financing;
    3. involve gender equality specialists from the start of the planning process, where relevant;
    4. identify any institutional weaknesses or cultural biases that could constrain achieving gender equality outcomes in the project, program or policy design, and develop strategies to address them;
    5. articulate in project and program documents how the outputs and activities will contribute to greater gender equality and achieving the objectives of the Gender Equity Policy; and
    6. formulate solutions that support an equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities;
  2. where possible choose partners and implementers on the basis of their commitment and capacity to promote gender equality; and
  3. evaluate the project, program or policy for its contribution to gender equality and/or gender equality.

(65) The Office of People will review policies and practices in the areas of recruitment, selection, transfer, promotion and reclassification, employee training, professional learning and work conditions to eliminate any barriers to achieving gender equality.

Agreements with Partners

(66) Before entering partnerships and alliances with regional and international institutions, relevant employees are to analyse the initiatives on the basis of the external organisation's commitment to gender equality and alignment with the University's Gender Equity Policy.

(67) The University will address any gender equality perspectives in any agreements it enters into with external partners.

Event Organisation

(68) Employees who are responsible for organising University functions, meetings, conferences, workshops or other events are to:

  1. organise the details of the event having regard to possible impacts on the target audience, including incorporating gender considerations into planning processes so as to:
    1. achieve gender balance in relation to speakers, panel members, other presenters and special guests of no more than 60% of either gender, as far as practicable;
    2. schedule timing of events so as not to exclude any participants with caring responsibilities, i.e. between the hours of 10am and 4pm where possible; and
    3. prepare advertising material having regard to gender considerations.

Part E - Reporting

(69) Committee convenors must report to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing annually on the following:

  1. the gender balance of their committee's membership; and
  2. where one gender comprises more than 60 percent of membership of a Committee, the strategies the committee has implemented to better balance the genders represented on the committee.

(70) The Office of People will collect and annually submit to Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing data about employees and other officers relating to their positions, type of employment, pay levels, performance reviews, promotions, secondments, and higher duties by gender, and other reporting as defined throughout these procedures.

(71) Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing will provide the following reports annually or as otherwise required:

  1. to the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Quality Committee, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee, an analysis of the University's gender equality data, including against pay equity targets, and progress in implementing the University's Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan;
  2. to the Executive Committee, gender representation on committees and actions taken by committees where there is under-representation;
  3. to the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the University's Workforce Profile and Compliance Report in consultation with the Office of People and other relevant staff; and
  4. to additional external reporting agencies, as the need arises.

Part F - Review

(72) Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing will conduct scheduled reviews of the Gender Equity Policy and these procedures and guidelines in a way that continues to support the aims of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth).

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(73) For further advice on gender equality, visit:

  1. Internal

    1. the University's Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan;
    2. the University's Gender Equality web page;
    3. the Vice-Chancellor's Statement on Gender Equality;
    4. the University's Workplace Flexibility Policy;
    5. University Staff Agreements;
    6. University Work Plan Policy.
  2. External

    1. the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces;
    2. The Science in Australia Gender Equity Program is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering to improve gender equity in STEM in the Australian higher education and research sector;
    3. Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth);
    4. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth);
    5. Fair Work Act 2009;
    6. Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1987.

(74) For some information about gender-based stereotyping, see Dealing with Gender Issues in the Workplace.

(75) This policy has been developed having regard to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's Developing a Workplace Gender Equality Policy Factsheet, September 2014.