Reporting Framework for Gender Equality
14 March 2013 at 10:02 am
A new reporting framework to help employers improve gender equality outcomes has been tabled in Federal Parliament.
The Workplace Gender Equality framework establishes the specific reporting matters that will apply under the gender equality indicators in the Act.
Director of Workplace Gender Equality Helen Conway said that the new reporting framework is intended to provide employers with the tools and information they need to analyse the gender characteristics of their workplaces and improve gender equality outcomes.
“The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) will aggregate the data provided by reporting organisations to create benchmarks for employers,” she said.
“These benchmarks will allow organisations to compare themselves to their peers, helping management and boards evolve people management strategies in the pursuit of higher staff engagement, morale and job satisfaction, reduced turnover and absenteeism, an enhanced ability to attract and retain talent, and ultimately greater workplace productivity.
“The new reporting framework will also help WGEA to provide targeted assistance to businesses and industries that may need additional help to create environments that support gender equality.”
Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act the framework will:
- provide an unprecedented picture of the state of gender equality in Australian workplaces
- establish a long term data set providing employers with evidence-based insights into gender equality in their workplace and industry
- help employers to attract and retain top talent.
From 2014 employers will no longer have to provide lengthy written reports on their workplace issues and related improvement strategies.
Instead, employers will now complete an online questionnaire with much of the data collected requiring a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not reasonably practicable’ response.
“The Agency will provide workshops and educational material to help employers understand the new reporting requirements and our advisory team is always available to provide targeted assistance to organisations,” Conway said.
WGEA said that the 2012-2013 reporting period is a transitional year and organisations simply have to submit a workplace profile to the Agency, as they have done in previous years under the old Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory authority which aims to improve gender equality in Australian workplaces.
Conway said that despite the good intentions of many organisations, progress on gender equality to date has been too slow and a new approach is needed.
“We know less than one in 10 executives of directors at ASX 500 level are women and Australia’s female workforce participation rate lags comparable countries such as Canada,” she said.
“Lifting Australia’s female workforce participation is critical to boosting national productivity while also ensuring Australia is maximising its investment in training and education.
“Achieving progress on workplace gender equality requires organisational leadership and a cultural shift at the workplace and individual level.”