State Government uses buying power to advance gender equality

  • State Government commences ground-breaking 12-month procurement pilot to raise awareness of the benefits of gender equality in the workplace
  • WA is one of the first jurisdictions in Australia to introduce a gender equality clause into selected public sector procurement processes
  • Suppliers seeking to apply for a government procurement contract will be required to demonstrate they meet gender equality reporting requirements
  • Pilot is an initiative of the Second Action Plan under Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality
  • The McGowan Government is using its considerable purchasing power to promote gender equality through a ground-breaking procurement pilot.

    Under the Gender Equality in Procurement – WA Public Sector Pilot, a gender equality clause will be introduced into public sector procurement processes, supporting suppliers of goods and services to implement gender equality policies and practices.

    WA is the second jurisdiction in Australia, after Victoria, to introduce a gender equality clause in public sector procurement.

    15 State Government agencies are participating in the pilot, which will be led by the Department of Communities with support from the Department of Finance. 

    As part of the pilot, larger suppliers with 100 or more employees will be required to provide a copy of their compliance letter demonstrating that they meet gender equality reporting requirements under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

    Suppliers with fewer than 100 employees will be required to answer questions that focus on whether certain policies or initiatives are in place to support a gender equal workplace.

    Data provided by the Workforce Gender Equality Agency and the Australian Bureau of Statistics demonstrates that Western Australia continues to have one of the highest gender pay gaps in the country. The pay gap favours full-time working men over full-time working women in every industry and occupational category in the country.

    The WA Government is encouraging businesses and organisations of all sizes that participate in government procurement to play their part in creating gender equal workplaces in their everyday operations.

    Developing and implementing resources to support the gender equality clause within WA Government procurement is an initiative of the Second Action Plan under the Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality (Stronger Together).

    Stronger Together is the first whole-of-government, long-term plan to advance gender equality in WA through four action plans between 2020-2030. Further details on Stronger Together and the Second Action Plan can be viewed on the Department of Communities website.

    As stated by Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk:

    “While significant advances have been made to remove barriers faced by women, there is still a long way to go to bring about lasting solutions and achieve equality for women.

    “This initiative will use the purchasing power of the State Government to ensure companies are playing their part to address gender inequality in the workplace. 

    “Research shows companies with gender diversity are more profitable and productive and have improved employee satisfaction and decision making.

    “It is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense to support and champion gender equality and I am proud the State Government is taking the lead on this important issue.”

    As stated by Finance Minister Tony Buti:

    “Good progress has been made to achieve gender diversity across Government boards, committees and advisory bodies – now is the right time for our procurement to reflect the diversity of our community.

    “WA still has a 21.9 per cent pay gap between full-time working men and women, so there’s more work to be done to address this imbalance.

    “By working proactively with WA businesses through procurement processes, we can reinforce good governance practices and elevate the importance of establishing equality.

    “Just like the Aboriginal Employment Policy, we know when we set a goal, we can improve results.”

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