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Gender Equity Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) 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 seeks to provide equal opportunity to students and staff of all genders by addressing gender bias in attitudes, practices, and structures affecting access to and participation and progression across all aspects of the University's learning, working and research operations.

(3) The University is committed to improving and promoting gender equity and diversity through:

  1. strengthening staff provisions and recruitment and retention practices to foster a high-quality workforce
  2. embedding programs and supports that facilitate increased access, participation and completion rates for students of all genders and
  3. promoting gender inclusive decision-making and practice across all areas of the University.

(4) This policy enables the University to:

  1. attract, motivate and retain a diverse and high-performance workforce, reduce the incidence and costs of staff turnover; improve productivity, innovation and creativity through diverse views, expertise and experience; build social inclusion, and improve student and staff experience and
  2. provide equal access to education for students of all genders, address gender imbalances across all areas of study, and build a student body which is reflective of the diversity of Greater Western Sydney.

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

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

  1. Academic Staff Agreement 2022 and Professional Staff Agreement 2022
  2. Breastfeeding on University Premises Policy
  3. Children on University Premises Policy
  4. Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy
  5. Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy
  6. Indigenous Australian Education Policy
  7. Indigenous Australian Employment Policy
  8. Privacy Policy
  9. Recruitment and Selection Policy
  10. Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy
  11. Workplace Flexibility Policy.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(7) For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply, in addition to the definitions in the Policy DDS Glossary:

  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 means the social, behavioural and cultural attributes, expectations, and norms associated with being female, male, transgender or gender diverse.
  4. Gender Equity means the process of being fair to people regardless of gender. To ensure fairness on the basis of gender, measures must often be put in place to compensate for historical and/or social disadvantages associated with gender within particular contexts.
  5. 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.
  6. Unconscious Bias means a bias an individual may have towards an individual or a group without being consciously aware they do so.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(8) The University values the diverse skills and perspectives people bring to their learning and working environments based on 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 and caring responsibilities.

(9) Western Sydney University is committed to equity, diversity, respect and inclusiveness and believes strongly in social responsibility and transformation.

(10) The University acknowledges:

  1. the disadvantaged position and/or treatment some individuals have experienced historically in education, the workplace and general community because of their gender
  2. that gender inequity may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience and that these intersectional impacts may create additional barriers in gaining equal opportunities
  3. that achieving gender equity may require different treatment of men, women, transgender and gender diverse people in some circumstances to achieve similar outcomes
  4. that women continue to experience inequity in both the learning and working environments.

(11) The University is committed to:

  1. engaging fairly and equitably with all students, staff and members of the University community, regardless of their gender
  2. promoting a culture throughout the University that values gender equity and aims to integrate gender considerations in all aspects of the learning and working environment
  3. furthering access to and engagement, participation and success in learning and working activities by providing and implementing measures which acknowledge and address:
    1. the additional barriers that continue to be faced by women
    2. the unique barriers faced by trans and gender-diverse people
    3. the barriers faced by men participating in non-traditional fields and roles 
  4. overcoming obstacles to gender equity in learning and working environments, including gender biases and gender-based stereotypes
  5. specifically addressing intersectional considerations within its gender equity initiatives and strategic planning.
  6. ensuring all staff and officers have an understanding of gender issues and the objectives of this policy and
  7. ensuring all students, staff and officers, regardless of their gender, have equal opportunity to access the University, and participate in and contribute in all areas of their learning and working experience at the University, and to receive equal acknowledgement and reward for that participation and contribution.

(12) All members of the University community are responsible for supporting gender equity across the learning and working environments. In addition, staff members are responsible for providing services and conducting operations with a view to eliminating gender inequity 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.