Blue Mountains City Council continues commitment to gender equity

Blue Mountains City Council has further committed to gender equity by establishing a Gender Equity Working Party and drafting a Gender Equity Strategy, to raise awareness and promote gender equity across the organisation and in the wider community.
Gender Equity Strategy Cover

This draft Strategy, endorsed at the Council Meeting on 27 April, will help establish work conditions that support and advance women in both the local community and local government. It also includes promoting awareness of gender equality.

“This Strategy will help us achieve better outcomes for all living in our community,” Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said. “Achieving gender equity is critical to improving the health and wellbeing of our whole community.

“Enhancing gender equity has significant economic and productivity gains too, and these impact local, state and national economies. It also has significant benefits to Council’s productivity and our ability to deliver high quality and responsive services for the Blue Mountains community.”

Councillor Romola Hollywood, together with Councillor Shae Foenander, called in 2018 for the organisation to look at ways to support and improve the status of women in our community.

Cr Hollywood said: “Our Council has worked with many local organisations and community members to create this strategy. I thank all the people who have so generously shared their professional and lived experience.

“Gender equity is a core principle of a fair, safe and inclusive community and has immense social and cultural benefits. It benefits us all when everyone can contribute equally at home, the workplace, and in decision making.”

Another key focus for gender equality work is to take action to reduce family and domestic violence in the Blue Mountains.

“2021 has shown us Australia has much more work to do to improve gender equality. I am pleased our Council is taking clear steps through this strategy to improve women’s safety in our community,” Cr Hollywood said.

Blue Mountains Chief Executive Officer Dr Rosemary Dillon said Blue Mountains City Council is committed to equitable opportunity and the elimination of discrimination against people based upon their gender.

“As a major local employer, Council is committed to making its own workplace one that promotes flexibility and is committed to health and wellbeing,” Dr Dillon said.

An initial workshop with a small group of key external stakeholders was held in December, 2019, and was the first step in establishing a Gender Equity Community Engagement Group. This workshop brought together individuals and agencies who advised Council staff on how best to develop local solutions for women in our community.

Council also consulted with other councils, including Lithgow Council, Ryde Council and Penrith City Council on their models.

The draft Gender Equity Strategy 2021-2026 is on public exhibition until Friday, 28 May 2021. Council seeks feedback from the community and the outcome of the public exhibition process will be presented to Council for approval. Get more information at yoursay.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/gender-equity-strategy.

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