Gender parity at the top is the goal, state’s eight mandarins agree

Tasmania’s eight department heads have agreed that gender parity in the Senior Executive Service is their goal and set an interim target to bump women’s representation in the SES up to 40% by 2020.

Women currently occupy 35% of senior executive roles and make up about 70% of the overall Tasmanian government workforce. There is rough parity in SES “feeder groups”, according to the new statement.

Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Greg Johannes launched the agreement yesterday after a gender equality forum attended by over 120 senior executives. It refers to a 50-50 split in the upper echelon as the “goal” and 40% by 2020 as a “target” with three “areas of action” to achieve it:

  1. Identifying the barriers women face
  2. Addressing unconscious bias
  3. Promoting flexible work practices

The service-wide commitment details how each area of action will be approached as well as what’s already happening in various agencies, and a quarterly reporting regime to monitor progress towards the target.

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