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The Australian National University

WGEA releases Australia's gender equality scorecard report

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has released the inaugural findings from comprehensive gender data provided by Australian employers. This world-leading dataset paints the most comprehensive picture of gender equality in Australian workplaces. The data is a game-changer. It provides the evidence base for employers, policy makers and other stakeholders to pinpoint efforts to improve workplace gender equality.

Download the full report below.

Key findings reveal:

  • There are broadly even numbers of female (48.5%) and male (51.5%) employees in the Agency’s dataset, but women are under-represented amongst full-time employees (35.8%). 
  • Women comprise only 26.1% of key management personnel (KMP) positions, and 17.3% of chief executive officers / Australian head of business (CEO) positions. 
  • One-third (33.5%) of employers have no KMPs who are women, and 31.3% of organisations have no other executives / general managers who are women. 
  • Less than one in 10 (8.8%) organisations have set a target to lift the number of women around the boardroom table despite only 23.7% of directorships being held by women, and just 12.0% of chairs being women. 
  • Only 13.6% of employers have a strategy for flexible working and only 13.2% of employers have a strategy to support employees with family or caring responsibilities. 
  • Less than one in four employers has done a gender remuneration gap analysis to check for potential pay equity issues. 
  • 53.6% of employers report having a gender equality policy in place. For 31.6%, this was contained in another policy and only 22.0% had a standalone gender equality policy. 
  • Few employers are taking a strategic whole-of-enterprise approach to gender equality. Less than one in five employers has an overall gender equality strategy, 11.2% have an overall gender equality strategy contained within another strategy, and only 7.1% of employers have a standalone overall gender equality strategy. 
  • While the majority of employers (96.1%) have a policy or strategy on prevention of sex-based harassment or discrimination, only 7.0% have a strategy in place to tackle this widespread issue.
  • Less than one in five employers (18.5%) have a policy about supporting employees experiencing domestic violence, and only 15.3% have a strategy in this area.

Helen Conway, WGEA Director said this ground-breaking data confirms Australian organisations are failing to maximise the potential of the country's highly educated female talent pool.

"There is now extensive evidence that shows women face clearly defined structural and cultural barriers in the workplace that make it harder for them to rise up the management ranks or participate in the job market," said Ms Conway.  

"This is a lost opportunity given it is accepted that diverse teams underpin an organisation's ability to innovate, meet the needs of customers and effectively manage risk, and that Australian women are among the most educated in the world."

"Employers need to recognise their improvement in gender equality performance depends on the issue being dealt with in a strategic way."

The report, Australia's gender equality scorecard, is available via the Agency's website.

PDF icon 2013-14_summary_report_website.pdf316.09 KB