Action Area#1—Leadership & Accountability
‘We need our leadership to value gender equality and for all APS employees to understand their role’
APS Submission Respondent
1A Secretaries and Agency Heads will be accountable for implementing the Strategy and will consider the following options to demonstrate their commitment:
- supporting leadership at all levels including through ensuring there are senior level gender champion/s, middle level advocates and employee networks that are valued and equipped to progress the agenda
- encouraging senior executives to routinely lead conversations with employees on issues relating to gender equality and to take an equitable approach to mentoring other colleagues
- providing ongoing opportunities to understand the experiences of employees including using the ‘listen, learn and take action’ approach.
1B Leaders, at all levels, will engage with employees about the Strategy and discuss ways everyone will contribute to ensure there is both individual and collective accountability. A focus on inclusive behaviours is important to promote gender equality and will lead to a positive workplace culture for all genders.
1C Informed by data and the diverse experience of employees, agencies will seek to understand the gender imbalances (across all levels), the drivers that underpin them and will consider whether specific targets are an appropriate method to drive action and provide incentive for change.
Tips for agencies
Accountability for success will be at the senior leadership level. All leaders are encouraged to consider “What we say; how we act; what we prioritise; and how we measure; together, determines what gets done.”26
Success for this action area
Success is where inclusive leadership is demonstrated consistently with leaders at all levels reflecting on their leadership style and its impact on others. Success is all employees working in the APS having a sense of shared responsibility for progressing gender equality. Success is an APS which reflects, understands and connects with the people and community it serves.
Holding ourselves to account
Agencies will establish measures to ensure leaders and employees are held to account.
Agencies will demonstrate progress is being made against a standardised diagnostic tool to provide consistency across the APS. The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) to develop this (in the first year of implementation) as part of a broader diversity and inclusion monitoring and evaluation framework.