Led by Women’s Health Victoria, RMIT was a key partner in the project, with the University’s Vocational Education Design Team leading the course development for the first nationally accredited training in this field.
The program follows the introduction of Victoria’s Gender Equality Act in February that aims to help close the gender pay gap, improve gender equality at all levels of the workforce and reduce workplace sexual harassment.
Short courses and training and assessment resources supported by high quality digitally designed materials featured in the innovative training program.
RMIT’s team also codesigned a digitally enhanced learning model that included a virtual workplace called “Gentown”.
Associate Dean in the School of Vocational Education, Design and Social Context at RMIT, Melanie Reynolds, said that piloting the training in gender equity was particularly timely in 2020.
“This year, the Victorian Government passed its Gender Equity Act in Parliament which coincided with the impacts of COVID-19,” she said.
“This current situation has highlighted existing gender inequalities and has affected women disproportionally in terms of labour force participation, caring responsibilities and increasing family violence.
“The training is the start of important work which supports both learners and trainers’ perspectives being changed and transformed.
“RMIT has extensive experience in vocational education, innovation and codesign and significant credibility within industry and the community in the social care sector.
“We are now offering the Course in Gender Equity in the first semester in 2021.”
RMIT student Cara Rose said she was proud to be one of the first people in the State to complete this training.
“This course is perfectly placed to ensure that practitioners like me are able to enact the Gender Equality Act and to drive and lead real change in organisations striving to achieve gender equity for all their staff. This course provides learners with so many tools to take back and implement into any workplace,” she said.
Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, said: “These resources will enable training providers to build the capability of employees to address gender inequality within workplace systems, structures and practices, and create a more equal Victoria.”
CEO of Women’s Health Victoria Dianne Hill said: “For the first time gender equity is being brought to Victorians through high quality training that has been developed in partnership with the vocational education and training sector and gender equality specialists, to help create safe and equal workplaces for all Victorians.”
Other partners in the pilot training program include Adult Community Education Victoria, Knox City Council, Monash University, Coonara Community House, Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House and Women with Disabilities Victoria.
Story: Kate Milkins