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Gender Equality Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University promotes an organisational culture which highly values equity and inclusiveness and believes strongly in social responsibility and transformation. The University strives to provide a vibrant and inclusive intellectual community, including a safe and supportive working and learning environment for people of all genders. To realise these objectives, the University implements a range of measures to prevent gender-based discrimination and adopts flexible and inclusive provisions for students and staff.

(2) The University is committed to improving and promoting gender equality and diversity in the workplace through strengthening recruitment and retention practices to foster a high-quality workforce reflective of the gender diversity of the Greater Western Sydney region, and promoting gender inclusive and participatory decision-making.

(3) It is envisaged achieving gender equality will enable the University to attract, motivate and retain a diverse and high performance workforce, reduce the incidence and costs of staff turnover, improve productivity, innovation and creativity, and build social inclusion.

(4) The University seeks to provide equal opportunity to permanent, fixed-term and casual staff members and officers by addressing issues, attitudes, practices, and structures which negatively impact on gender-based workforce participation and progression.

(5) In particular, the University acknowledges that some women from Indigenous backgrounds may face disadvantage in gaining equal employment opportunities. In seeking to redress this historical and persistent inequity, the University will actively work with and specifically include Indigenous women in its gender equity initiatives and strategic planning.

(6) This policy applies to all employees, officers, and members of University committees.

(7) This policy should be read in conjunction with relevant University policies and related documents, including: 

  1. Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy
  2. Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy
  3. Workplace Flexibility Policy
  4. Recruitment and Selection Policy
  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Employment Policy
  6. Academic Staff Agreement and Professional Staff Agreement
  7. Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy
  8. Children on University Premises Policy
  9. Breastfeeding on University Premises Policy.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(8) For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Committees include University committees, sub-committees, advisory groups, task forces, working groups and reference groups;
  2. Employee means any person who is a current employee of the University, and includes permanent, fixed-term, fulltime, part-time, casual and contracted staff;
  3. Gender* refers to the social, behavioural and cultural attributes, expectations, and norms associated with being female, male, intersex, transgender or gender diverse;
  4. Gender Equality in the workplace* means ensuring all employees are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender.
  5. Gender Equity* means fair treatment for all according to their respective needs. It may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities;
  6. Officer means a person, other than an employee, who holds office as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University or of any committee, advisory council or working party of the Board of Trustees.
  7. Unconscious Bias means a bias an individual may have towards an individual or a group without being consciously aware they do so.
* Definitions adapted from the World Bank Group, Gender Strategy 2016-2023: Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth; the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Strategy Toolkit.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(9) The University values the diverse skills and perspectives people bring to the workplace because of their gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, working style, educational level, professional skills, work and life experiences, job function, socio-economic background, geographical location, marital status and family responsibilities.

(10) The University acknowledges:

  1. the disadvantaged position some individuals have had historically in the workplace and general community because of their gender; and
  2. that achieving gender equality may require different treatment of men, women, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people in some circumstances to achieve similar outcomes.

(11) The University aims to:

  1. engage fairly and equitably with all staff and members of our University community, regardless of their gender, in a positive, respectful and constructive manner;
  2. promote a gender-aware and gender-responsive culture throughout the organisation that values gender equality and integrates gender considerations in each aspect of the workplace;
  3. overcome barriers to gender equality in the workplace, including gender biases and gender-based stereotypes;
  4. ensure all employees and officers have an understanding of gender issues and the objectives of this policy; and
  5. ensure all employees and officers have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute at all levels of the University and to receive appropriate acknowledgement and equitable reward for that participation and contribution.

(12) All members of the University community are responsible for supporting gender equality in the workplace, and providing services and conducting their operations with a view to eliminating gender inequality and unconscious bias.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(13) The Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines apply.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(14) The Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines apply. This policy replaces the University's Gender Balance on Committees Policy.