Balancing the future: The Australian Public Service gender equality strategy 2016-19
Balancing the Future: Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19 sets out actions for driving high performance and boosting productivity in the Australian Public Service (APS). It is a strategy for harnessing the best talent, changing cultures, and challenging assumptions that hold us back.
The APS must embrace diversity, drawing on the skills and potential of all employees. The APS benefits from people from all backgrounds.
This is a strategy to address gender imbalance across the APS—at all levels and in all agencies. To achieve this, all men and women need to step up together as leaders to foster equitable and highperforming workplaces.
The APS must change to secure the best talent and the best results.
This strategy focuses on changing culture through leadership, flexibility, and innovation. To do things differently an honest stocktake is required. The APS workforce must reflect contemporary reality— one in which men, as well as women, have both caring and work responsibilities, and where everyone is given the same opportunities to develop and to lead.
The APS must set the pace for a contemporary Australian workforce. APS leaders at all levels must be accountable for driving progress in their agencies, their divisions, their branches and their teams.
The APS will not achieve gender equality until both women and men are seen as capable and credible leaders; until both women and men can work flexibly without risking their career progression; and until outdated assumptions of 'women's work' and 'men's work' are identified and eradicated.
The principle of merit remains central to APS employment. The strategy aims to create an environment in which merit is applied properly and fairly. This will be achieved through reportable targets, the removal of barriers like hidden bias, and adopting work arrangements that balance choice with operational requirements.
This strategy is an opportunity to drive lasting change. It is time for the APS to be a leader once again in gender equality.