Programs, policy and strategy
geniE is supported by the Department's executive and has received personal messages of support from Secretary Renée Leon. Secretary Leon also actively advocates and promotes flexible working arrangements for staff by sharing her own story of working part-time with a small child, and encouraging work-life balance for all staff.
geniE has a presence on the Department's intranet page and is promoted in a number of ways:
- On the geniE site
- Through a monthly blog available on the intranet
- Promotions through staff communications and calendars
- Secretary's updates
- Word of mouth of the membership
- Presentations to new intakes of staff (such as Graduate intakes)
- Working together with People Branch and the Department's social club
Initiatives and networks
The Gender Equality Network in Employment (geniE) was formally established on 8 March 2016. geniE's mission is to promote gender equality in the workplace and foster an environment where everyone can flourish in a workplace that recognises and supports all employees regardless of their gender.
geniE will do this by undertaking a number of activities designed to improve gender equality in the Department such as establishing job sharing and mentoring networks, helping parents on parental leave stay connected with the workplace (such as through working playgroups), exploring the needs of minority groups such as CALD women and LGBTI people, and exploring opportunities to connect with other networks across the APS.
geniE is a member of the Cross Agency Women's Networks (CAWN) forum and utilises connections across the APS to build a strong Network for the Department of Employment. As geniE is in its early days, the Network is still establishing its core business based on the needs to the Department, which were identified in a staff survey conducted in late 2015. geniE intends is a staff led network, that responds to the wishes of staff and proactively identifies areas for improvement.
geniE membership is open to all staff of the Department of Employment and its portfolio agencies, regardless of gender.
geniE plans for 2016
Based on staff survey results, geniE plans to do the following in 2016:
- Establish a job sharing network – we hope to harness innovative technology for job sharing that will help potential job share participants connect without the need to personally know each other. The geniE is interested in exploring opportunities for job shares to apply for positions as a unit, embed formal job sharing arrangements, as well as informal arrangements that provide opportunities for development (e.g. if an SES Band 1 works part-time, provide an opportunity for an EL2 to backfill on SES1's non-working days).
- Establish a mentoring network that recognises the special considerations of women, parents/ carers etc. – the aim of the mentoring network will be to recognise and promote talent that comes in many forms and help those that may be disadvantaged (for instance, by unconscious bias) to overcome those barriers with the experience of a leadership mentor.
- Promoting gender equality through guest speakers and panels – at geniE's launch event (in partnership with the Department of Education and Training and AEC's Women's Networks), a panel of experts spoke on the gender pay gap. geniE plans to bring in guest speakers a few times a year to raise awareness. Through connections with the CAWN, geniE members also have the opportunity to participate in events organised by other networks.
- Helping parents on long periods of leave stay connected – through advocating for a change in the 'exit' process (allowing staff to stay connected through technology), as well as establishing a Working Playgroup as evidenced by success in other Departments.
- Examining inclusion strategies for LGBTI and CALD staff.