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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 University employees, officers and committee members are to implement to achieve the objectives of the Gender Equality Policy, and some guidance material.

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

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) The definitions in the Gender Equality 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. EEO means Equal Employment Opportunity;
  4. Elected Members means members elected through the appropriate electoral processes;
  5. Ex-officio Members means members appointed to a committee because of the position held by the member;
  6. Gender Mainstreaming means assessing the implications for women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people of any planned action.
  7. Gender Neutral means relating to or common to any gender.
  8. High Potential Staff means an individual who consistently and significantly outperforms their peers in a variety of settings and circumstances, exhibits behaviour that reflects the University's culture and values in an exemplary manner; and shows a strong capacity to grow and succeed quickly and effectively.
  9. Intersectionality means the impact on individuals of the effects of discrimination arising from various factors including their race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, health, ability/disability, geography, religion, migration status, and other characteristics.
  10. Local Committees include recruitment and selection committees, and divisional, school and institute committees that have been established for advisory, consultative or discussion purposes;
  11. SAGE means the Science in Australia Gender Equity program.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The Gender Equality Policy applies.

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Section 4 - Procedures and Implementation

(6) All staff are individually required, with the support of their supervisors, to contribute to implementing the Gender Equality Policy and these procedures at their specific level and as adapted to their specific tasks.

Part A - Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan

(7) The University's Gender Equality 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.

(8) Achieving gender equality requires individuals to give explicit and systematic attention to considering and applying relevant gender perspectives in all areas of the workplace.

(9) Some gender perspectives include but are not limited to the following:

  1. gender equality requires the interests, needs and priorities of all genders to be taken into consideration;
  2. a person's rights, responsibilities and opportunities do not depend upon whether they are female, male, intersex, transgender or gender diverse;
  3. gender equality does not mean all individuals will become the same;
  4. existing structures and practices may perpetuate inequalities in the workplace;
  5. 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;
  6. intersectionality may exacerbate impacts on gender equality;
  7. gender stereotyping can result in discriminatory attitudes and responses.

(10) The University considers individuals equally and on merit in relation to the following areas of practice and opportunity, regardless of their gender.

Part B - Governance and Leadership

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

Gender Equality Committee

(12) The Vice-Chancellor and President has established the Gender Equality Committee to promote and improve gender equality at the University by developing, implementing and monitoring the Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan.

(13) 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 application;
  5. guiding and monitoring the implementation of this policy.

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

Committee Membership

(15) All University committees are to include a minimum representation of 40 percent each of male and female membership. In some instances, the elected and ex-officio membership of a committee can result in a low level of representation from one gender.

(16) Annually, relevant senior management, with advice from the Director, Equity and Diversity 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.

(17) Where a committee has less than 40 percent representation from each of the male and female genders, 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 staff members 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;
    4. broadening eligibility to include more junior members of staff;
  6. where elections apply to filling positions, encouraging and supporting nominations from the under-represented gender;
  7. any other appropriate action.

(18) The University will recognise as work hours the time staff provide as members of the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Equality Committee and/or working on the SAGE program.


(19) 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;
  3. consider how information and advice is presented in relation to the viability and appeal of the proposed options and recommendations.

Equity and Diversity Unit

(20) The Equity and Diversity Unit has overall responsibility for ensuring these procedures are implemented, advocating on gender equality issues, championing gender mainstreaming across the University, and promoting gender equality in appointments to senior positions and roles.

Part C - Gender Equality in the Workforce


(21) The University undertakes recruitment in accordance with the Recruitment and Selection Policy and subject to merit selection and the Professional Staff Agreement and Academic Staff Agreement (the staff agreements). The staff agreements provide the University's commitment to providing equal employment opportunity in career opportunities and to properly valuing the skills and experiences of women and other EEO groups.

(22) To support the recruitment process, the Office of Human Resources will:

  1. classify and re-classify positions in accordance with the Professional Staff Agreement, in an objective manner, and having regard to AS 5376 - 2012 - Australian Standard on Gender Inclusive Job Evaluation and Grading, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's Guide to Australian Standard on gender-inclusive job evaluation;
  2. ensure position descriptions and advertisements are expressed in gender neutral terms, unless a minority or disadvantaged group is to be targeted, so individuals' perceptions of the positions will not be affected;
  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 Equality 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.

(23) Responsibilities of selection panel convenors include:

  1. preparing position descriptions, including selection criteria, and interview questions which are objective, non-discriminatory, gender neutral, do not reflect any unconscious bias and which require position holders to be aware of and promote gender equality when conducting University business;
  2. forming selection panels in accordance with the requirements of Part B above;
  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 and objective manner;
  6. being aware not to formulate recommendations about applicants which reflect unconscious bias;
  7. preparing shortlists which include at least 40% each of candidates who are male or female wherever possible;
  8. advising the preferred candidate of the standard range of remuneration for the position and whether the remuneration level may be negotiated;
  9. completing training as required by the Office of Human Resources, including in relation to interviewing techniques.

(24) Responsibilities of selection panels include:

  1. contributing to panel discussions, the consideration of applications and interviews of applicants fairly and objectively; and
  2. scrutinizing the capabilities, commitment and experience of candidates to verify their ability to contribute substantively to the promotion of gender equality in line with the Gender Equality Policy and these procedures.


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

(26) In seeking gender pay equity, the Office of Human Resources:

  1. conducts annual pay equity audits and report the results, which include outcomes by gender, to the Equity and Diversity Unit, the Board of Trustees, the Education Committee and all employees;
  2. identifies and records the factors that determine the remuneration, loadings and allowances set for University positions and makes that information available to the Equity and Diversity Unit;
  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.


(27) 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 and Professional Staff Agreement, 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 staff experiencing personal or work related problems in accordance with the Employee Assistance Program;
  5. the ability for staff to access their personal/carer's leave to attend related appointments or commitments when experiencing family violence, and the ability to be paid additional leave, under the staff agreements;
  6. access to parental and breastfeeding facilities as set out in the Gender Equality Policy;
  7. a requirement to prevent sex-based harassment and discrimination under the Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy;
  8. an online Supporting Parents Toolkit for Staff;
  9. access to childcare centres on many University campuses;
  10. enabling consideration to be given to staff requests to bring their children onto University premises on an occasional and short-term basis under the Children on University Premises Policy;
  11. mentoring programs as follows, and statistics on staff who participate in these programs:
    1. the Professional Staff Mentoring Program and the Academic Staff Mentoring Program;
    2. the Inspire Leadership program for professional and academic staff;
    3. for early-career academic female staff:
      1. Executive Speed Mentoring;
      2. Speed Mentoring with the Professoriate; and
  12. the celebration of annual gender equality events and occasions.

(28) 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 staff retention in the workplace, including through evaluating data collected from employee 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 staff and supervisors; and
  4. encourage staff to attend a post-separation interview when they leave the University's employment and ensure employee separation checklists include questions as to the support they received to manage family and work commitments and other gender issues.

(29) 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.

Carers' Leave

(30) The University approves maternity, adoption, foster and partner leave in accordance with the Professional Staff Agreement and the Academic Staff Agreement, as applicable. The University may grant employees who are eligible for two weeks' paid partner leave under the relevant staff agreement a further six weeks' paid partner leave if they are the primary carer of the child.

Career Development

Performance Management

(31) 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. consider gender implications when considering the performance of individuals; and
  3. assess the progress individuals make towards achieving gender equality, where applicable.

Promotions and Re-Classifications

(32) In relation to career progression, the Office of Human Resources is responsible for:

  1. coordinating the University's process for promoting academic staff in accordance with the Promotion to Professor Policy, Promotion to Associate Professor Policy and Promotion to Level B and Level C Policy;
  2. reclassifying professional staff positions and managing opportunities for staff to perform higher duties in accordance with the Professional Staff Agreement;
  3. advertising University positions and opportunities for promotion and higher duties, including to staff who are on leave.

(33) The Office of Quality and Performance is responsible for analysing academic promotions data and providing the outcomes to the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee. The Office of Quality and Performance will also provide a report to relevant business units and schools about the correlation between gender and successful promotion applications.

(34) The Office of Human Resources is to collect and provide the following data in relation to professional staff annually to the Equity and Diversity Unit:

  1. the number of higher duties opportunities awarded to staff by gender and the period of each arrangement;
  2. the number of staff by gender who have successfully completed the Inspire Leadership Program;
  3. the number of positions classified and re-classified by the gender of the position holders;
  4. the number of managers by function trained in promotion, equal employment opportunity and diversity, transfer and termination policies and procedures.

Talent Identification

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

  1. work towards achieving at least 40% representation each of male and female genders in senior University positions by 2020, and the Equity and Diversity Unit 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 each gender into senior positions;
  3. communicate to staff the value in having a diversity of genders in leadership roles at the University;
  4. support the assessment of high potential staff 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 staff; and
  6. monitor measures and strategies in place for identifying and supporting talented, high potential staff, as well as barriers to identifying such staff, and ensure there is gender diversity in the identified talent pool.

Training and Development

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

(37) The Talent and Leadership Development is responsible for:

  1. providing short courses to staff, and addressing other 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 Equality Policy and available data on training and performance.

(38) Supervisors and other senior staff must undertake training as the Office of Human Resources requires in relation to addressing gender issues in the workplace, including:

  1. online induction on commencing employment with the University, and at least every two years thereafter, on equal opportunity;
  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 their teams;
  4. managing bias and unconscious bias in the workplace;
  5. preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace;
  6. applying flexibility to workplace arrangements.

(39) All staff will normally undertake training as agreed with their supervisor and specified in their annual professional development plans. The training must include online training in relation to dealing with bias and unconscious bias when it becomes available through the My Career Online portal.

(40) Staff who undertake external training in relation to gender equality and diversity are to record the training and cost in My Career Online.

(41) The Office of Human Resources will annually report staff completion of the following training to the Equity and Diversity Unit and the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Equality Committee:

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

Succession Planning

(42) The University will develop a framework to ensure there are qualified and motivated employees who are able to assume responsibility when key officers and employees leave the organisation and to support equitable career development.

(43) 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;
  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.

(44) 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.


(45) Each year, the Office of Human Resources will track all staff resignations and other terminations by gender, and 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 issues, to the Vice-Chancellor'sVice-Chancellor's Gender Equality Committee.

Key Performance Indicators for Managers

(46) 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. identify for staff how the Gender Equality Policy is relevant to their unit/school;
  2. identify how local induction and support of new staff address gender perspectives;
  3. contribute to staff understanding of linkages between gender and the unit's/school's policy, program and project priorities, and promote gender mainstreaming;
  4. ensure strategic and operational planning processes reflect the University's gender equality commitments and reflect the different concerns, capacities, contributions and needs of women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people;
  5. contribute to identifying, designing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on gender equality results;
  6. consider staff for higher duties and secondment opportunities on merit and in a fair and equitable way, and consider promotion applications in a way that does not disadvantage staff who have taken leave during the promotions period or who are currently on leave;
  7. encourage and monitor the take up of flexible working conditions, leave entitlements and other benefits within their unit/school, and explain to staff, before any leave commences:
    1. their rights to maternity/paternity/adoption/foster/carers' leave;
    2. the support the University offers to them during the leave and on returning from leave;
  8. conduct a skills analysis of staff to ensure women, men, intersex, transgender and gender diverse employees are valued equally;
  9. keep in touch with employees who are on parental leave;
  10. provide effective and readily accessible channels for staff to provide feedback or unsolicited suggestions, ideas, concerns or complaints relating to gender equality;
  11. conduct annual performance review discussions with employees which include impacts on gender issues;
  12. encourage staff to undertake and keep up to date training on gender equality;
  13. identify work-related improvements staff exhibit as a result of undertaking training, mentoring, higher duties and secondment opportunities;
  14. allocate workload in a way that does not result in gender bias;
  15. analyse general workplace practices in their area to eliminate expectations placed on a person because of their gender;
  16. consider the impacts of using short-term contracts in relation to staff;
  17. encourage staff to organise meetings and social gatherings with due consideration to staff who have caring responsibilities or who work part-time.

(47) The Office of Human Resources will keep a list of key performance indicators that managers are to adopt as appropriate to their responsibilities. On request, managers will report to the Equity and Diversity Unit against their indicators.

Part D - Gender Equality in the Workplace

Consultation on Gender Equality

(48) The University conducts an anonymous staff survey every three years to obtain feedback on the University's overall performance, and reports to staff on the survey responses. Managers are responsible for preparing an action plan for their area to address the feedback from the staff survey, and submitting the plan to the Equity and Diversity Unit. The action plan is to address any issues in relation to gender equality, gender diversity and gender discrimination.

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

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

Internal and External Communications

(50) The Vice-Chancellor and President provides occasional statements to staff 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.

(51) Staff should share knowledge about best practices in gender mainstreaming and gender equality between units and schools and from external sources.

(52) All staff 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 titles appropriately.

(53) The Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Guidelines provide that unlawful harassment can include verbal and written communications and other actions which stereotype people.

Projects, Programs and Policies

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

  1. analyse the problem or issue and develop policy options, and/or assess the design and implementation of projects and program, from a gender perspective, and so as 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 possible;
    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 Equality Policy; and
    6. formulate solutions that support an equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities;
  2. 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.

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

Agreements with Partners

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

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

Event Organisation

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

  1. achieve gender balance in relation to speakers, other presenters and special guests as far as practicable;
  2. organise the details of the event having regard to possible impacts on the target audience; and
  3. prepare advertising material having regard to gender considerations.

Part E - Reporting

(59) Committee convenors must report to the Equity and Diversity Unit annually on the following:

  1. the gender balance of their committee's membership; and
  2. where one gender comprises less than 40 percent of membership of the committee, the strategies the committee has implemented to better balance the genders represented on the committee.

(60) The Office of Human Resources will collect and annually submit to the Equity and Diversity Unit data about employees and other staff relating to their positions, type of employment, pay levels, performance reviews, promotions, secondments, and higher duties by gender.

(61) The Equity and Diversity Unit will provide the following reports annually or as otherwise required:

  1. to the Vice-Chancellor's Gender Equality 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 Equality Strategy and Action Plan, by June each year;
  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 relevant staff; and
  4. to additional external reporting agencies, the representation of each gender on committees as required.

Part F - Review

(62) The Equity and Diversity Unit will conduct scheduled reviews of the Gender Equality 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

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

  1. the University's Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan;
  2. the University's Gender Equality webpage;
  3. the Vice-Chancellor's Statement on Gender Equality;
  4. the University's Flexible Work for Staff factsheet;
  5. the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which is charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces and provides advice on how to comply with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth);
  6. University Work Plan Policy.

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

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