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As outlined elsewhere in this report, additional measures were introduced over the past 12 months to improve the capacity of the APS to attract and retain Indigenous employees and those with disability.27 Nonetheless, the representation rate of these groups remains below target. It will be important to manage the expected APS downsizing in ways that do not set back the achievement of the desired levels of representation.

The majority of the APS workforce is female. However, this representation decreases as classification level increases. As at June 2013, women comprised 39.5% of the Senior Executive Service, which is in stark and positive contrast to the 16.4% of women on Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) 200 boards (as at September 2013). There is, however, considerable variation across agencies, with some only achieving representation in senior ranks of one-quarter or so. Among agencies with relatively low representation rates of women, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Defence have active strategies in place to improve the situation. It is hoped that other agencies in a similar situation will also become more proactive, consistent with the merit principle.


27Chapter 5 discusses these measures in more detail.