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Section 1 - Purpose and Context
(1) The University is committed to improving and promoting gender equality in the workplace. Achieving gender equality will enable the University to attract, motivate and retain a diverse and high performance workforce, reduce the incidence and costs of employee turnover, improve productivity, innovation and creativity, secure research funding, and build social inclusion.
(2) The University seeks to empower all officers and employees by addressing the issues, attitudes, practices, structures and differential power relations that have negatively impacted on their participation and progression in the workforce because of their gender.
(3) Through its strategic plan, focus areas for the University include recruiting, retaining and developing a high-quality workforce that reflects the diversity of the Greater Western Sydney region, and promoting inclusive and participatory decision-making.
(4) This policy applies to all employees, officers, and members of University committees.
(5) The policy should be read in conjunction with relevant University policies and related documents, including:
- Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy
- Respect and Inclusion in Learning and Working Policy
- Family Responsibilities in the Workplace Policy
- Recruitment and Selection Policy
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Policy
- Academic Staff Agreement and Professional Staff Agreement
- Discrimination, Harassment, Vilification and Victimisation Prevention Policy.
Section 2 - Definitions
(6) For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- Committees include University committees, sub-committees, advisory groups, task forces, working groups and reference groups;
- Employee means any person who is a current employee of the University, and includes fulltime, part-time, casual and contracted staff;
- Gender* refers to the social, behavioural and cultural attributes, expectations, and norms associated with being female, male, intersex, transgender or gender diverse;
- Gender Equality in the workplace* means ensuring all employees are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender.
- Gender Equity* means fair treatment for all according to their respective needs. It may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities;
- Officer means a person, other than an employee, who holds office as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University or of any committee, advisory council or working party of the Board of Trustees.
- Unconscious Bias means a bias an individual may have towards an individual or a group without being consciously aware they do so.
* Definitions adapted from the World Bank Group, Gender Strategy 2016-2023: Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth; the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Strategy Toolkit.
Section 3 - Policy Statement
(7) The University is committed to meeting its obligations under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth), Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth), Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace 1999 (Cth) and Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).
(8) The University values the diverse skills and perspectives people bring to the workplace because of their gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, working style, educational level, professional skills, work and life experiences, job function, socio-economic background, geographical location, marital status and family responsibilities.
(9) The University acknowledges:
- the disadvantaged position some people have historically had in the workplace because of their gender; and
- achieving gender equality may require different treatment of men, women, intersex, transgender and gender diverse people in some circumstances to achieve similar outcomes.
(10) The University aims to:
- engage fairly and equitably with all staff and other stakeholders, regardless of their gender, in a positive, respectful and constructive manner;
- promote a gender-aware and gender-responsive culture throughout the organisation that values gender equality and integrates gender considerations in each aspect of the workplace;
- overcome barriers to gender equality in the workplace, including gender biases and gender-based stereotypes;
- ensure all employees and officers have an understanding of gender issues and the objectives of this policy; and
- ensure all employees and officers have the same opportunity to participate in and contribute at all levels of the University and to receive appropriate acknowledgement and equitable reward for that participation and contribution.
(11) All members of the University community are responsible for supporting gender equality in the workplace, and providing services and conducting their operations with a view to eliminating gender inequality and unconscious bias.
Section 4 - Procedures
(12) The Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines apply.
Section 5 - Guidelines
(13) The Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines apply. This policy replaces the University's Gender Balance on Committees Policy.