2022-2025 Gender Equality Action Plan

Our 2022-2025 Gender Equality Action Plan outlines a range of objectives and targeted strategies that we will implement across the next four years.

Focus areas are driven by data and determined by analysis. They will be demonstrated in our practical policies and procedures and evidenced by our outcomes and results.

Man standing in front of colour wall smiling at camera Professor Alec Cameron

"RMIT has a core commitment to equality. We embrace the diversity of our staff and students, and we are determined to ensure our people are not held back by prejudice of any type.

Our future impact will be dependent on attracting and retaining the best people and providing the opportunity for all our staff and students to fulfill their potential.

To achieve this, we must be unrelenting in our expectation of gender equality and our pursuit of respect and fairness for all."

Professor Alec Cameron
Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University 


“Research has consistently shown gender diversity not only helps to empower individuals, but it improves business outcomes by supporting greater productivity, innovation, engagement, and wellbeing. At RMIT we know that when it comes to achieving true gender equality, diversity in numbers isn’t enough.

We need to create a culture in which women feel comfortable bringing their unique ideas, experiences, and perspective to work.  This plan will play an important role in ensuring RMIT is a place where women can thrive and realise their full potential at work.” 

Professor Julie Cogin 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, College of Business and Law, RMIT University 

Julie Cogin in a city laneway with graffiti artwork behind her Professor Julie Cogin

Our GEAP is subject to change following feedback from the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector. 

Highlights of gender equality at RMIT progress so far *

  • 43.4% of our leaders are women, up from 33.9% in 2015
  • 60% of managerial promotions go to women, compared to 33% in 2017
  • 50% women in STEM College Executive in 2021, up from 0% in 2020
  • 73% success rate for women in academic promotion
  • Solid progress on our gender pay gap from 10.0% (2017) to 6.2% (2021)
  • Flexibility and hybrid working approach embraced (2022)
  • Increased provisions and access to paid parental leave for primary carers and partners
  • 73% of people from all backgrounds have equitable opportunities to succeed at RMIT (2021)
  • 73%- 80% favourable “I have flexibility I need to manage work and other commitments” since 2017
  • 2,196 people engaged in D&I events since 2015
  • 2,225 staff participated in D&I professional development since 2015

Recognition

  • Employer of Choice for Gender Equality with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency since 2018
  • Bronze Recognition holder for the Athena SWAN strategy to support women in STEMM

* Data is consistent with RMIT’s GEAP and Workforce Report, plus longitudinal historical data including RMIT Athena SWAN Annual Report 2021, WGEA 2021 Report and RMIT Staff Engagement surveys (2020 and 2021).  

Our priority focus areas 

RMIT’s 2022-2025 Gender Equality Action Plan builds on progress already made, continues work underway and, through tangible objectives that drive meaningful actions, sets out a path to gender equality at RMIT. 

Action Area 1: Intersectional Gender Inequality 

Objective

RMIT commits to an intersectional perspective on gender equality and gender discrimination and embraces intersectionality frameworks at an institutional level—so that systemic, structural, and policy processes are inclusive of all.    

Key Action Areas

1.1 Ensure we accurately and progressively understand diversity within gender and our broader workforce profile   

1.2 Continue commitment to the inclusion of all Diverse Genders Sexes and Sexualities  

1.3 Remove barriers to cultural inclusion impacting career advancement and representation  

1.4 Prioritise support and promotion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Workforce Plans  

1.5 Identify and implement inclusive employment practices that promote gender equality, inclusive of people with a disability  


2022 Programs of Work   

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment and retention   
  • Introduction of CORE reconciliation learning in partnership with AIATSIS  
  • Indigenous Women in STEMM project 
  • University Data Equity Review, system design and implementation   
  • Key Impact Measures   
  • 80% completion rate Executive personal information profile data  
  • Report on % increase of staff data representation of our community  
  • RMIT staff survey results across key indicators of intersectional gender inequality identified through gender audits and staff engagement surveys  
  • RMIT Indigenous Employment and Retention 

Action Area 2: Strengthening Foundations and Leading Local Action 

Objective  

Future proofing RMIT through inclusive governance and leadership.   

Enable managers to lead effective change locally and build an inclusive culture through everyday decisions and actions. 

Key Action Areas

2.1 Sustain leadership commitment to gender equality  

2.2 Continue to review and support existing and emerging gender equality governance working, groups, committees, and networks  

2.3 Provide transparent gender equality reporting  

2.4 Participate and contribute to external benchmarking   

2.5 Develop revised gender equality targets to support gender composition at all levels of RMIT  

2.6 Achieve gender equality pay gap targets  

2.7 Align planning activities and develop localised interventions  

2.8 Strengthen diversity in governance and decision- making   

2.9 Achieve STEM Athena SWAN Silver Application and Cygnet Awards  

2.10 Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5, gender equality  


2022 Programs of Work   

  • Development of RMIT’s D&I Plan to 2025 
  • Develop a comprehensive employee engagement/listening strategy to ensure all staff at RMIT have a voice and are empowered to provide feedback at all stages of the employee lifecycle.  
  • Evaluate reporting on gender equity targets (flex working, pay gap and gender balanced representation) Maintaining Employer of Choice conditions (WGEA)  
  • RMIT Vietnam Gender Equality Action Plan  
  • Cygnet submissions within Athena SWAN pathway to silver accreditation  
  • Gender equity impact assessment pilots  


Key Impact Measures  

  • Increase women’s representation in academic senior roles - 33% (2015) 45% (2021), target 50% by 2025 Close the pay gap total remuneration - target (5% by 2023) (4% by 2025) 

Action Area 3: Building the Pipeline

Objective 
Increase the proportion of professional, vocational, and academic women at RMIT at all levels and address identified barriers that prevent more women from seeking opportunities and progressing their careers. 

Key Action Areas

3.1 Increase attraction and recruitment of women and under-represented genders 

3.2 Acknowledge and enable student pipeline through engagement outreach and employment 

3.3 Build capability in Inclusive Hiring and Decision Making, through the full employee lifecycle and career pathways 


2022 Programs of work 

  • Capability programs inclusive hiring and decision-making launch  
  • Maintain Women in STEMM Candidate outreach, candidate management, alumni programs 
  • Development of Student Equity plan 
  • Continue to embed Achievement Relative to Opportunity
  • Implement clear capability maps for each job family, increasing transparency for women to seek out development and be recognised


Key Impact Measures

While improving intersectional representation: 

  • Increase hiring appointments for women in areas of under representation - 54.7% (2021), target to 60% (2021/2022 benchmark) 
  • Maintain overall Promotion Rates Women - Women 60.8%/ Non-managers 61.6%  
  • Improve RMIT staff survey result: People from all backgrounds have equitable opportunities to succeed at RMIT - 73% (fav) ^  
  • Improve RMIT staff survey result across minority groups

Action Area 4: Career Fulfilment 

Objective  

Increase proportion, participation and career fulfilment of women, and ensure representation including but not limited to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women, culturally and linguistically diverse women, women identifying within the spectrum of diverse gender and sexualities, women who identify with a disability: “If I can see it; I can be it”.    

Key Action Areas

4.1 Remove barriers to career opportunities and promote active sponsorship 

4.2 Review Academic Promotion, including progression, reward, and recognition  

4.3 Support and review transitioning career opportunities, including into secure careers 

4.4 Review gendered impacts of workload management 

4.5 Reduce gendered impacts on flexible and hybrid working  

4.6 Remove barriers impacting visibility and participation of women 

4.7 Increase access to leadership programs and talent identification, sponsorship, and development    


2022 Programs of Work  

  • Articulate clear developmental paths for each job family   
  • Deploy leadership development programs for high potential employees, new managers, Senior leaders and executives including leadership impact diagnostics/360s 
  • Career Advancement for Women Program COBL 
  • Review of Athena SWAN Pathway to Silver STEMM (Careers) STEMM Leaders (50pax) to receive fortnightly leadership coaching   


Key Impact Measures 

  • Increase representation in leadership 
  • Progression and participation of women from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women  
  • Maintain application and success rates of women 
  • Percentage improvement in RMIT staff survey results for flexibility and workload allocation 

Action Area 5: Engaging Moments of Transition 

Objective 
Support gender equality in caring responsibilities and career progression for all carers improving management of career disruptions and transitions. 

Key Action Areas

5.1 Focus on induction, advancement, and retention, in moments of transition  

5.2 Improve parental leave utilisation, resources and supports  

5.3 Improve caring resources and communication  

5.4 Improve access to Fertility and Gender-Based Health Care leave   

5.5 Support workforce participation and transition into retirement 
 

2022 Programs of Work

  • Continued improvement of resources, communications and support across all moments of transition (e.g., parental leave, transition to retirement)  
  • Carer and Parental Professional Development program  
  • Career Re-ignite Program supporting researchers returning to work from career break (Spotlight). 
     

Key Impact Measures  

  • Maintain and improve the rate of return from primary carers leave - 93.3% (2020) to 95% (2025)   
  • Improve success rates for academic promotion applicants identifying with as parents/carers responsibility on par with overall success rates of non-carers  
  • Improve the formal flex rate utilisation of managers who are women above Australian average - above Australian average of 6.1% (2021)   
  • Parents and Carers Cygnet, Athena Swan 

Action Area 6: Safety, Wellness, Inclusion and Respect 

Objective 
Grow RMIT’s inclusive, respectful culture supporting diversity and gender equity through enterprise-wide action and local leadership. 

Key Action Areas

6.1 Advance and promote gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence in systems, structures, strategies and policies. 

6.2 Prevention of, and response to sexual harm and violence (inc. discrimination, everyday sexism, and bullying)  

6.3 Support for staff impacted by domestic and family violence  

6.4 Advance gender equality and the elimination of gendered violence as a shared responsibility 6.5 Prioritise elimination of gendered violence in partnership and in support of our wider sector and community  

6.6 Improve access and resources to mental health support, including trauma/sexual violence support 

 

2022 Programs of Work  

  • Advance and promote gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence as a shared responsibility implement capability framework. Gender Equity and Justice L&T Project. (Spotlight)   
  • Finalisation of harmonised policies and support resources (including a revised Domestic and Family Violence Policy and Sexual Harm Prevention and Response policy suite)  
  • Improvement of access and resources to mental health support, including specialist trauma/sexual violence support  
  • Implementation of complaints portal for staff and students.   

Key Impact Measures 

  • Improvement of RMIT staff survey result regarding gender based sexual harassment. ‘I feel safe to challenge inappropriate behaviour at work’. - 58% (fav) 15% improvement required*  
  • Improve RMIT staff survey result ‘Measure and instigate improvements of staff to encourage seeking assistance through RMIT’s reporting and complaint processes and support services  
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RMIT recognised as top employer for gender equality

RMIT has received the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation for the fifth consecutive year.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.