The Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic): Breaking New Ground, Measuring Impact and Looking Ahead

A Social and Global Studies Centre Seminar

As the first law of its kind in Australia, the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) aims to improve gender equality in higher education, local government and the public sector, covering around 11 per cent of the Victorian workforce. In addition to establishing the Public Sector Gender Equality Commission, this ground-breaking legislation requires the public sector, councils and universities to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality and to promote gender equality in their policies, programs and services.

The focus on positive action, including through the development and implementation of gender equality action plans, raises important questions about how gender equality can be achieved in practice, and what policies and practices are the most effective.

How can we empirically measure the impacts and outcomes of gender equality laws, policies, programs and services? More broadly, what role can and should government play in enhancing gender equality across sectors?

These are important and complex questions given that gender inequality is often compounded by disadvantage or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, gender identity and other factors. There are also a range of everyday barriers to progress, such as violence against women, cultural stereotypes and caring responsibilities, many of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to critically investigate short and long-term approaches to enhancing workplace gender equality, as part of the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘achieving gender quality and empowering all women and girls’ (Goal 5).

Facilitated by RMIT’s Professor Nicola Henry, this virtual event brings together a panel of leading experts with experience tackling gender equality in government, academia, industry and beyond. Panellists will speak for 10 minutes each, followed by questions from Professor Henry and a Q&A session with the audience. This event will run for 90 minutes in total.

Panellists

  • Dr Niki Vincent, Victoria’s inaugural Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner
  • Dr Adele Murdolo, Executive Director, Multicultural Centre for Women's Health
  • Tanja Kovac, CEO, Gender Equity Victoria
  • Dr Leonora Risse, Lecturer, RMIT University

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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 created by Louisa Bloomer

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.