New data to explore promotion rates of women and men

New data collected from Australian employers on the status of women and men in the workplace will look at rates of promotion by gender as well as the impact of having children on workforce participation.

The two-month period for Australian employers to report their gender data to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) opens today, 1 April. Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees must report to the WGEA annually, contributing to Australia’s world-leading dataset on gender equality in workplaces. 

This year, the legislation requires relevant employers to provide data about appointments, promotions and resignations by gender, manager/non-manager and, for promotions and resignations, whether they were part-time, full-time or casual.

The impact of parenthood on workforce retention will also be captured with employers providing information about employees leaving the workforce following parental leave.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the new data would help uncover the drivers of unbalanced gender outcomes in the workforce.

“This will shine a light on drivers of workplace discrimination that ultimately lead to unbalanced outcomes for women such as gender pay gaps and a lack of women in management. Importantly, this new data will give us insights into the actions employers will need to take in their own organisations to boost women’s workforce participation and representation,” Ms Lyons said.

“This will help employers to identify ‘hot spots’ of gender inequality for women and men within their own organisation.

“When employers report to the Agency, they are contributing to a powerful evidence base on the challenges and potential solutions to workplace gender equality,” Ms Lyons said.

The new data will be available towards the end of 2016.

Engineering, architecture, environmental consulting and construction services firm GHD has identified rates of appointment and promotion as critical to boosting women’s participation across its male-dominated workforce, said Ashley Wright, CEO.

“To meet our targets for gender diversity at GHD, we are looking closely at our recruitment, development and promotion processes. This includes striving for better gender balance on recruitment shortlists to boost women’s opportunity to have their skills and experience revealed,” Mr Wright said.

“Data on rates of appointment and promotion can help identify what else we can do as a company and as individuals to increase diversity in our business as a whole and in leadership roles in particular.”

As the new requirements are introduced, several previous reporting requirements are being discontinued. Employers will no longer have to report the salaries of CEOs, managers above the CEO level, or casual managers. Nor will they have to provide data on independent contractors.

In order to make reporting easier for employers, information that was provided by employers last year and that is unlikely to have changed will be prepopulated in the online reporting portal.