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Chapter 1: Driving a supportive and enabling culture

The Strategy cannot succeed without a supportive and enabling organisational culture.

Supportive cultures recognise that employees perform at their best when they are valued and can make choices about how they do their work.

Enabling cultures facilitate a good balance between employees' personal and working lives, and offer flexible solutions to operational needs.

To build cultures of this kind, agencies need open, unequivocal support for gender equality from their senior leaders.


  1. The Secretaries Board will establish a gender equality sub-committee to progress implementation of the strategy.
  2. Agencies will ensure gender equality is a business objective and that this is communicated to stakeholders. Senior managers will shape all communications to show support, clearly and publicly, for an inclusive workplace.
  3. Agency heads and senior executives must demonstrate commitment to the strategy by supporting the choices of men and women about their work arrangements. Leaders with caring responsibilities should make these visible to employees.
  4. Departments will support their portfolio agencies to advance gender equality initiatives.
  5. Agencies recognise that domestic and family violence is a workplace issue, with both victims and perpetrators present in their workforce; that domestic and family violence can take several forms including verbal, social, economic, psychological, spiritual/cultural, sexual, emotional and physical abuse; and that workers can be significantly affected.
  6. Agencies will develop a consistent, supportive, and respectful approach to the safety of their employees and their workplaces. This includes clear policies relating to domestic and family violence, and training managers to recognise and respond appropriately to staff. Managers will be active in promoting access to support and respond with generous and flexible access to existing leave provisions for victims.

All APS employees: employment status by gender, 31 December 2015

Last reviewed: 
10 July 2019