14 May 2018

More funding to address gender inequality in upcoming ACT Budget

| Glynis Quinlan
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Gender equality

Funding of $696,000 will be allocated to address gender inequality in the upcoming ACT Budget.

The Office for Women will be provided with additional funding of $696,000 in the upcoming ACT Budget to better address gender inequality in the Territory.

Key initiatives to receive funding under the ACT Women’s Plan include the delivery of a board traineeship program for women and the promotion of a diversity register designed to connect more women with available board positions.

ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry said that the ACT Women’s Plan is a crucial step in addressing the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, and in industries that are traditionally male-dominated.

“This new support to deliver the priority initiatives under the ACT Women’s Plan will mean we can continue making progress towards the full and equal participation of women in all aspects of our community,” Ms Berry said.

Ms Berry said that the additional funding to be provided to the Office for Women will also support the following three initiatives:

  • community engagement to promote gender equality in the ACT
  • improving the evidence base related to gender equality
  • training to reduce and eliminate unconscious bias across government.

“Importantly, the Office for Women is resourced and charged with the responsibility of working with each and every government directorate to drive and deliver the commitments identified under the ACT Women’s Plan,” Ms Berry said.

“This additional investment will assist the broader community, including corporate businesses and community not-for-profit organisations, by providing additional tools to better address gender inequality in their own spheres of influence, and to give women in the community direct access to policy makers.”

Ms Berry said the board traineeship program will focus on industries where female representation is low and on sporting associations which are required to meet the target of 40 per cent female representation by 2020.

“Training packages, strategies and tools will be developed which provide useful information for the whole community on how unconscious bias can be addressed, and how to create a more respectful environment.”

Ms Berry said the ACT is a national leader in delivering diversity for ACT boards and committees and is looking to enhance this achievement by investing in the delivery and promotion of a diversity register.

“Once up and fully operational, the diversity register will connect women and people from a range of backgrounds with available board positions, as well as training and networking opportunities,” Ms Berry said.

Do you think these initiatives will be effective in helping to address gender inequality in the ACT? Let us know about any of your experiences in this area in the comments below.

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Capital Retro8:05 am 17 May 18

I want to register a complaint about this plan to the Office for Men. Does anyone know their contact number? The lady I spoke to at Access Canberra couldn’t help me.

A friend of mine made an interesting suggestion.

Paternity leave should take precedence over maternity leave.

i.e. Where possible it should be fathers who get leave to look after young children, not mothers.

His arguments are:

Traditionally, and even today women are much more likely to take maternity leave than men are. This obviously is against the idea of gender equity, and like we have seen in some occupations, as this doesn’t seem to be adjusting itself fast enough, then quotas must be the next step.

It is often claimed that a major reason for lower pay levels for women is that they take time off work to look after children, which damages their careers. This would help resolve this as it would be men who would be having their careers interrupted.

Of course in cases such as single mothers, this can’t be done, but for families with male and female parents, perhaps it should be investigated by our governments.

Giving people special treatment (Funding, The office for women etc) really isn’t doing anything for equality. Quite the opposite I would say.

Ghettosmurf8712:19 pm 17 May 18

What rot. What has enhanced equality over the past few decades then? Proactive measures to shift the male-dominated status quo or doing nothing?

I’ll give you a hint, doing nothing did exactly that, nothing.

What has increased equality in the past few decades?

Increased access to opportunities through education, training and increased workforce participation.

What has not increased equality? Telling sections of society that their inherent qualities somehow render them victims of lesser than other citizens and then attempting to throw money at these groups.

No one is suggesting doing “nothing” where equality of opportunity is lacking or individual needs arise.

Giving money to people because of their gender or race on the other hand is actually worse than doing nothing.

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