Gender Equality Forum Recommendation and Strategies

ACT Gender Equality Forum

12 February 2018
Summary of Recommendations and Strategies

Summary of Recommendations and Strategies [PDF 173KB]

1. Introduction and Background

The ACT Gender Equality Forum: Sharing Stories of Success was co-designed and co-facilitated by the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women (MACW) and the ACT Office for Women (OfW).

The forum’s aim was to share inspirational stories and practical solutions that have resulted in positive outcomes towards gender equality, and to consider ways in which the learning from these can be applied in other community, business and government practices.

This approach sought to support the implementation of the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-2026 and the First Action Plan 2017-2019.

Attendance included over 60 participants from across community organisations, business, and government. The forum was opened by ACT Minister for Women, the Hon Yvette Berry MLA followed by a key note speech by Dr Gail Crimmins. The University of the Sunshine Coast researcher encouraged participants to share stories to provoke awareness and change towards gender equality.

Participants were clustered into six themed discussions facilitated by MACW on topics including:

2. Themed Discussions

2. 1 Leadership

Suggested strategies from workshop participants include:

  • Shared leadership (collaboration) is considered a more functional strategy for women, that is people coming together to be guided by a person with the most expertise or relevant experience.
  • Women are encouraged to take opportunities or risks which can lead to leadership roles.
  • Owning one’s identity, being assertive in one’s visibility as an individual.
  • Taking an inclusive view and being open to all diversity.
2. 2 Respectful Relationships

2.3 Housing and Homelessness

Suggested strategies from workshop participants include:

  • Housing options need to be diverse, available and affordable.
  • Housing services need to cater to the demand from women at different life stages.
  • Positive developments include: ACT Government Affordable Housing Strategy; ACTCOSS Housing Choices Discussion Paper; Domain Economical Housing articles; YWCA Ageing in Place Group Housing; Onelink homelessness support service.
2. 4 Women Supporting Women in Business

2. 5 Changing Gendered Occupations

Suggested strategies from workshop participants include:

  • Encourage research into workplace specific issues, collect data and explain within legislative and ethical frameworks to build solid arguments and mechanisms for change.
  • Change will involve workplace and gender-focused cultures simultaneously.
  • Invite all parties to contribute and avoid tokenism.
  • Consider the establishment of quotas e.g. Emergency Services.
  • Challenge stereotypes and encourage mentoring from people in male dominated professions.
  • Flexibility in working schedules is required to address gendered issues.
  • Awareness raising in the community is crucial e.g. 50/50 Initiative.
  • Avoid casualisation of work in industry, which is targeting women in the community.
  • Availability of parent’s rooms.
  • Review of recruitment processes.
  • Parental leave extended to fathers.
  • Increase representation of women (and diversity) in politics and government.
  • Active focus on tradeswomen.
  • Gender neutral school uniform policies in schools.

2. 6 Changing the System Not the Woman

Suggested strategies from workshop participants include:

  • Change should be directed to people’s attitudes, cultural norms and legislation.
  • Recruitment processes are important in targeting diversity in workplace.
  • Consider job descriptions e.g. home based work availability, question gendered bias in skills and capabilities of job descriptions.
  • Develop safe person and safe space targets in workplaces.
  • Consider changes to inflexibilities in workplaces to become more flexible e.g. job share.
  • Consider gender balanced selection panels and gender bias in interviewing questions.

3. Executive Recommendations and strategies