Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy 2021-26
Equality ensures everyone has an opportunity to make the most of their experiences, careers and talent. Equality is about recognising differences and providing tools and support so everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
The Australian Public Service (APS) Gender Equality Strategy 2021-26 seeks to drive practical and impactful action for lasting change.
An independent evaluation of the outgoing strategy found it had a positive impact on progressing gender equality across the APS. However, there is more to be done and evaluation indicated that we cannot become complacent on gender equality.
The refreshed strategy sought broad consultation, including APS-wide staff engagement, ensuring a diversity of views were represented.
As part of the Strategy and a recommendation of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Respect@Work Report, agencies must develop gender equality strategies or action plans that address sexual harassment and safe and respectful workplaces.
Guidance and an implementation plan are being developed to support agencies. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the Strategy.
Joint Statement – APS Commissioner and Secretary PM&C
Today we are pleased to launch Realising the Benefits for all: APS Gender Equality Strategy 2021-26 (Strategy).
This Strategy is the culmination of a partnership between the Australian Public Service Commission and the Office for Women, in conjunction with extensive consultation across the APS, academia and the private sector.
It builds on the significant progress made under the previous Balancing the Future: Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19.
There have been steady and lasting improvements in gender equality in the APS since the lifting of the Marriage Bar in 1966 and we can be proud of the progress made. Women now represent 50 per cent of the Senior Executive Service for the first time and our gender pay gap has continued to trend down to the current 6.6 per cent.
Nevertheless, we must not become complacent. There is more that we can do and our challenge is to maintain momentum and sustain progress. Gender equality, and our broader diversity and inclusion objectives, must continue to be prioritised.
The benefits of gender equality are clear: respectful and safe work environments, improved employee engagement and wellbeing, and increased innovation and productivity.
This Strategy provides a flexible framework to enable agency-level conversations and targeted actions on shared areas of focus, outlining how the APS can remain a leader in gender equality, and integrate the principles of gender equality into all aspects of work.
We must continue to break down stereotypes and shift gender norms to provide a respectful, safe and inclusive culture in the workplace. The Strategy highlights the responsibility of leaders at all levels to hold themselves and others to account for demonstrating gender equitable and inclusive behaviour.
Equality ensures everyone has an opportunity to make the most of their experiences, skills and talent. Equality is about recognising and valuing differences and providing tools and support to ensure everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
The APS is committed to building a workforce reflective of the diversity of the Australian community it serves. The Strategy will enable us to create better policies, programs and services that benefit all Australians.
We thank all those who provided their insights and experiences to shape this important dialogue and encourage all agencies and employees to continue to promote gender equality across the APS.
- Peter Woolcott AO
Australian Public Service Commissioner
- Philip Gaetjens
Secretary, Prime Minister and Cabinet
07 December 2021
It's important to the APS as an employer of choice for all Australians to ensure we are attracting and retaining and developing the best talent.
That's why today the government is launching the realising the benefit for all the Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy.
This strategy sets out a pathway to achieve a workplace that is diverse and reflective of the Australian community that we serve. It focuses on ensuring equality of opportunity and workforce participation for everyone.
The APS is already a leader in gender equality in so many regards. Women now comprise 50% of the total cohort.
The APS gender pay gap has continued to trend down to the current 6.6%, less than half of that of the national figure of 13.4% For the same period. We've made significant progress, but we want to maintain momentum and sustain the gains that we've achieved.
The new strategy provides an opportunity to further demonstrate leadership and broaden and strengthen our approach to gender equality.
The strategy aligns with the twenty one twenty two women's budget statement and delivering for tomorrow APS Workforce Strategy 2025.
Having a public service that draws on a wider talent pool and abilities from the breadth of the Australian community drives better policy programmes, better services and, most importantly, better outcomes for the Australians we serve.
I encourage you all to read the strategy and commit to being an exemplar in your workplace and community.
Thank you to all those members of the APS that worked so hard to pull this strategy together.
Hi, I'm Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins from the Australian Human Rights Commission.
I know Australians expect that all workplaces are safe, respectful and equal for everyone, regardless of their sex or gender.
So I'm very pleased to support the launch of the Australian Public Service Commission's new gender equality strategy.
The APS Gender Equality Strategy 2021 to 26 has been developed in line with the recommendations of the Commission's Respect at Work report, which recommended sector wide approaches to improving gender equality.
As an employer of almost 150,000 people, Australia wide and internationally, the APS is well-placed to be a leader for diverse, inclusive and flexible workplaces.
The benefits of gender equality are clear, respectful work environments mean all workers feel safe at work and are engaged and productive.
Australia's public service has a responsibility to create a workforce that represents and best serves Australian community.
Workforces that reflect the diversity of the Australian community, create better policies, programmes and services for all Australians.
This new gender equality strategy celebrates the huge progress that has been made for women in the Australian Public Service, a long way from the era of the marriage bar, which excluded married women from the public service until 1966. What is exciting about this new strategy is that it now elevates the goals to true equality for all genders, seeking to realise the benefits of gender equality for all.
The strategy offers a united approach in six actionable areas, which can be tailored by each agency to their own context and workforce. It is visionary, evidence based and practical, the perfect recipe for success.
As you would expect, this strategy sets out methods of accountability so that the APS can track its progress and maintain its reputation as a world class public service now and into the future.
At a time when Australians have relied on the skill of our federal public service like never before, I'm confident that the new APS Gender Equality Strategy builds on the success of the past and the commitment of the current APS workforce to ensure an even stronger future. I urge you to read it.