Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality
- Western Australia
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Primary prevention is key
- 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.
What are we doing?
Stronger Together – WA’s Plan for Gender Equality (Stronger Together) is the Western Australian Government’s plan for addressing gender inequality with a focus on four priority areas:
- i. Health and wellbeing;
- ii. Safety and justice;
- iii. Economic independence; and
- iv. Leadership.
It sets out a framework for coordinated action by Government, business, organisations and individuals with practical steps to advance gender equality over the next ten years through a series of four action plans.
What have we achieved so far?
The second Action Plan and the report of the First Action Plan under Stronger will both be released in late 2021. The second Action Plan will be implemented over four years 2021 2025 and includes about 50 government actions and initiatives that will build on progress to create long-lasting cultural change within the public sector and through engagement with stakeholders and communities. The focus areas for the second Action Plan are COVID 19 recovery, safety and respect at work, Aboriginal women’s leadership, older women and primary prevention of violence, including sexual violence, towards women.
Since Stronger Together was launched in March 2020, the State Government has delivered 30 initiatives and a further 20 are underway to advance gender equality in Western Australia. During this time, COVID-19 highlighted the pre-existing gender inequalities in workplaces and in unpaid work that make it more difficult for women than for men to fully engage in the workforce.
Actions under the WA Recovery Plan to support women’s recovery include:
- Low or no fee courses to engage displaced and unskilled jobseekers;
- more jobs and opportunities for women to change industries;
- improved access to financial counselling services;
- support to retain and upskill for new career pathways;
- changes allowing online lodgement for Family Violence and Restraining Orders through registered legal services providing family violence assistance;
- increased investment in support services for victims of family and domestic violence;
- strengthening capability and capacity of family and domestic violence response teams across WA;
- supporting women in refuges gain employment skills and access pathways to future employment; and
- senior leaders across WA public sector convened to monitor and report the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and work collaboratively to develop responses and maximises opportunities for women.
Stronger Together 2020-21 achievements include:
Women in WA public sector
- Representation of women in the Senior Executive Service (SES) increase from 32.9 per cent in 2016 to 43.6 per cent at June 2021.
- Gender parity has been reached for the first time in Tier 3 leadership roles at 51.3 per cent.
- Government agencies working to remove barriers and bias in recruitment
- Initiatives developed to increase the representation of women on government boards and committees.
- Take-up of flexible and streamlined approaches to working practices to increase women’s career development and leadership opportunities.
Pilot voluntary public sector reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)
- The Department of Communities is working with WGEA to prepare reports of gender equality data to contribute to the WGEA pilot.
Whole-of public sector gender equality data disclosure in procurement
- A new Social Procurement Framework was launched in June 2021, with the aim of improving social, economic and environmental benefits across WA by requiring State Government agencies to consider social outcomes in the procurement process.
- Advancing gender equality is one of those social outcomes and there is strong evidence that gender equality in the workforce and in leadership roles brings benefits for individual businesses and for the economy.
- A trial of resources to raise awareness and promote gender equality through the State Government procurement process is being progressed.
- This will include measures to increase supplier compliance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.
Grants for Women program
- The Grant’s for Women program, targeting women’s participation and COVID-19 recovery, was open from August to October 2021 and 59 applications were submitted.
What is next?
- Implementation of the Second Action Plan will continue and will leverage partnerships across government, community and business sectors to drive gender equality across WA.
- Initiatives and actions under the Second Action Plan will align with WA’s responses to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report.
- Ongoing monitoring and reporting of the gendered impacts of COVID-19 on women will continue as part of WA’s Recovery Plan.
What difference will we make?
Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality provides a long-term co-ordinated approach to address gender equality in Western Australia by bringing together Government, business and the community.