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Gender Equality

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Department of Home Affairs

Alex’s story

Alex has recently returned to work after extended paternity leave to care for his three young children and has accessed flexible hours to work Monday and Tuesday, while caring for his children the rest of the week.

It’s great that the Departments flexible working arrangements applies to men too. The fact that I’ve been so present at home has given the children, and I, a deep bond and I know that I am loved and relied on—it’s a strong and steadying feeling” says Alex.

Gender Equality in the Department

Our Department is committed to creating a supportive and enabling culture that recognises the contribution of all genders, and provides opportunities for leadership, career development, flexible work and equal participation.

The Department's Gender Equality Action Plan 2017-20 sets our commitment to sustained gender equality and ensures that best practice inclusion is embedded in our leadership and people management practices.

Through it, we will develop a robust gender diverse leadership pipeline by attracting and developing talent equally, and at all levels. Gender equality will also be integrated into our policies and procedures so the Department can provide equitable access to flexible work arrangements to support and retain the valued skills of our staff.

Staff Advancing Gender Equality (SAGE) network

The Department’s SAGE network helps support and promote gender equality in the workplace. The network meets regularly, as well as having an online platform, which allows members to actively discuss and share information on gender equality matters, and help to drive progress of initiatives for the Department. SAGE members are consulted on departmental gender equality policy, programs and initiatives, and have access to cross-agency network events, and learning and development opportunities.

Leadership development opportunities

The Department is committed to creating a gender balance across all levels and business areas. We provide a number of internal leadership development opportunities for staff to improve their leadership capabilities and individual performance.

Our leadership programmes provide a sequential and structured learning curriculum, designed to address the sometimes complex and challenging environment for leaders in the Department.

Opportunities are available to staff to participate in leadership conferences, events and forums. These include the Department’s annual Executive Leadership (EL) Conference, the Leadership in Action Events Series (LIA), the annual She Leads Conference, supported by the SAGE network, and the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Women in Leadership series.

The Department’s Information and Communications Technology (ITC) Division participates in the Women in IT Executive Mentoring (WITEM), a national program aimed at accelerating leadership development of women within the IT profession.

Staff have the opportunity to participate in external programs such as, the Women in Law Enforcement Strategy (WILES) mentoring program that encourages women to pursue careers and senior leadership positions within Australian law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and the Australasian Council of Women and Policing (ACWAP) that provides networking and development opportunities for women in policing.

Flexibility in the workplace

All staff are eligible to access flexible working arrangements, regardless of gender, to assist them in balancing their professional and personal responsibilities. Flexible working arrangements should be accessible, benefit both staff and the operational requirements of our business, and should not be detrimental to staff career progression.

Flexible working arrangements may include flexible location, hours, patterns, rostering, job sharing and graduated return to work.


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