• FWX Mar qtr 2024  78.3
  • FWX yr-o-yr  3.66
  • FWX qtr-o-qtr  2
  • ASX 200 Boards years to equality  5.6
  • Underemployment years to equality  19.9
  • Superannuation years to equality  17.7
  • Gender pay gap years to equality  23.3
  • Employment years to equality  25.6
  • Unpaid work years to equality  45.5
  • Education years to equality  389

Steps to promote gender equality in the workplace

A look at the steps government and employers could take to promote gender equality in the workplace.
May 5, 2023

Australian employers have a choice – wait to be told to do more to promote gender equality in the workplace, or start doing it yourself.

In this article we look at what’s possible from the upcoming Federal Budget and beyond that what steps employers can take to support gender equality at work.

What’s likely in the Federal Budget?

For many years now, Financy has been calling on past and present Federal Governments to include superannuation payments to primary carers whilst they are on parental leave.

With the Federal Budget just days away, anticipation is high that it might include this measure, particularly given that it has been one of six key recommendations made by the Women’s Economic Security Taskforce.

Such a move to include super payments on parental leave would prove more costly on employers but at the same time would help go some way towards closing the 19 year wait to close the gender gap in median lifetime superannuation savings, according to the Financy Women’s Index report.

The Women’s Economic Security Taskforce have also called for the reinstatement of the Parenting Payment (Single) for women with children over eight years of age, abolition of the Parents Next Program and the Childcare Subsidy Activity Test as well as increases the rate of Commonwealth rental assistance to improve women’s housing security.

How else government could help promote gender equality at work?

Among the other actions that Financy has called on the federal government to consider in the upcoming Budget that would further advance the financial progress of women are.

  1. A gender equality time frame target as part of the Federal Government’s current development of a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality. FWX 
  2. Investment in schools and university-led programs that educate students on the financial implications of gender stereotypes, and to ensure that women are exposed to more choices and the stigma against men working in care and community sectors is broken down. 
  3. Ongoing investment in media campaigns that seek to educate people on the benefits of breaking down gender stereotypes in unpaid work. 
  4. Mandatory gender-balanced targets of 40% minimum for female board directors across all listed companies by 2030 or within 2 years of list date. Plus, government incentivised programs that build the actual number of board ready women in Australia. 
  5. Federal Government introduction of a procurement target, suggested at 5%, to purchase from genuine and authenticated female owned and led businesses, based on recommendations by the women’s business and equality advocate Femeconomy.

How else business could promote gender equality at work?

Financy has consulted with a bunch of industry groups and advocates to come up with 12 impact-driven initiatives that employers can lean into to support equality at work.

Steps to closing the Education gender gap

  • Encourage equal participation of men and women in education and mentor programs that support career development.
  • Offer gender and diversity-specific programs to ensure equitable take up of education and training opportunities across our organisation.

Steps to closing the Employment gender gap

  • Have policies for zero tolerance of gender discrimination, workplace harassment or violence against women in the workplace.
  • Set policies to ensure a diverse supply base that includes female-owned businesses.

Steps to closing the Superannuation gender gap

  • Provide Super Guarantee payments on parental leave regardless of gender.
  • Provide information or workplace incentives to help female employees contribute more to their balances to help close the gender gap.  

Steps to closing the Leadership gender gap

  • Work to ensure equal gender representation in our senior leadership teams and aspire to a 40:40:20 ratio wherever possible.
  • Have a proactive internal policy in place to improve gender diversity in leadership via recruitment and pipeline initiatives.

Steps to closing the Unpaid Work gender gap

  • Allow flexible work arrangements for all staff regardless of role or seniority.
  • Offer non-gendered and equal paid parental leave to all parents.

Steps to closing the Gender pay gap

  • Set a proactive and documented policy to support reducing gender pay gaps where they exist within our organisation.
  • Report our gender pay gap performance at least once a year to all staff


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May 5, 2023
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