On 4 March 2015, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, the then Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, announced that the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne will be undertaking a Workplace Gender and Equality Strategy project to assist around 10 organisations to meet their gender equality goal.
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The project is funded by the former Department of Employment in response to Australia's gender equality scorecard results released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in November 2014. The report notes that while some 48 per cent of employers have policies on flexible work, only about 13 per cent have a strategy for ensuring these policies are used by employees who want to access them. Further, over half of organisations have a standalone gender equality policy but only 7.1 per cent have a gender equality strategy.
The project will see the Centre assist organisations with existing gender equality policies to develop a strategy for the organisation's leaders to promote and achieve gender equality in the workplace.
In undertaking the project, the Centre will conduct a series of workplace visits to consult and advise managers at each organisation on how best to develop a tailored gender equality strategy in their workplace. The Centre will publish a report on the findings of the project and case studies outlining the process and outcomes of its work with each organisation in mid-2015.
The Centre, due to its strong connections to Australian businesses, will also be able to use the insights gained through the project to train leaders in the future on best practice approaches to embedding a workplace gender equality strategy.