Through our gender equality action plan, we aim to foster an inclusive culture where all are valued equally.
Gender equality action plan
Our vision statement
People of all genders play a key role in the success of our commission. We aim to foster an inclusive culture where all are valued equally.
Why gender equality is important
Women have historically experienced discrimination and disadvantage based on their sex and gender and we aim to work towards rectifying this in our workplace using the strategies and measures outlined in this plan.
In addition to gender inequality, intersectional attributes such as Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation can heighten discrimination. We see this as an important issue for the commission in both our approach to regulation and the way we work. Our Gender Equality Action Plan complements the commitments we have made to consider, include and support these groups in our 'Getting to fair' strategy.
We support and consider the gender equality principles set in developing and implementing our actions within this plan.
Gender Equality Action Plan 2021–25
- We have 78 (50.6 per cent) women and 76 (49.4 per cent) men.
- At executive level, we have four men and one woman.
- Governing body gender split is equal between men and women.
- Remuneration for women is higher than men at our most senior levels.
- Mean remuneration begins to reverse at the VPS5 level and below.
- No reported incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- 89 per cent of People Matter survey respondents believe that gender is not a barrier to success.
- There was no significant gender imbalance in recruitment, higher duties or internal promotions.
- Eight women and seven men took parental leave in 2020–21.
- Having family and caring responsibilities is not seen as a barrier to success, with over 90 per cent responding favourably to those questions in the People Matter survey.
Chief Executive Officer’s message
I am pleased to present the Essential Services Commission’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2021–2025.
We have been working towards gender equality and enhancing the experience of our diverse workforce for some time now. Our journey towards gender equality was accelerated in 2017 with the introduction of our flexible work toolkit and formation of our Empowered Women’s Network.
The network is driven by staff with an executive sponsor and full support of senior leadership. The Empowered Women’s Network supports, promotes, empowers and recognises all women who are part of the commission by:
- supporting and assisting women with their own development
- creating an awareness of women’s gender issues in the workplace
- providing a forum to promote all causes for the betterment of women and all staff.
Our flexible work toolkit promotes ways to work flexibly and the benefits flexible working can have on work-life balance. This toolkit led to more employees working flexibly at the commission. Prior to 2020, we had nearly 40 per cent of staff undertaking a flexible work agreement.
In addition to the internal work we have done on gender equality, we have also released our ‘Getting to fair’ strategy. This strategy aims to break down the barriers vulnerable consumers can face when accessing and engaging with essential services.
I am happy to see that the results of our workplace gender audit indicate that we are performing well in the gender equality space with an even representation of men and women at all levels of our organisation, including a good gender balance in our governing body.
While these results are very positive, there is still more we can do for gender equality. This plan has been created to support our endeavour to do more. It was created by considering the gender equality principles in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, analysing data from the workplace gender audit and two rounds of consultation with our Board, executive team, special interest groups, staff and the union. The information gained contributed towards the strategies and measures outlined in this plan.
The Gender Equality Action Plan 2021–2025 has been reviewed and endorsed by our board, who have demonstrated strong interest and support throughout this process.
We are committed to this essential work as all should feel safe and equal in the workplace.
Chief Executive Officer