The Questionnaire is divided into sections. When all sections are marked as ‘done’ the questionnaire will have a status of ‘completed’.

Throughout the Questionnaire, you will be asked whether your organisation has formal policies and/or strategies on a range of topics related to workplace gender equality. If you indicate that your organisation has a particular policy/ strategy, you will often be asked to specifically indicate whether this is a policy, a strategy or both. So, it is important to understand the difference.

Important note: If your organisation has 500 or more employees, you must have a formal policy or strategy in particular areas. These requirements are stipulated under the Minimum Standards.

What is a policy and strategy?

  What it is What it includes What it is not

The guidelines, rules and procedures developed by an organisation to govern its actions (often in recurring situations).

  • They define the limits (do’s and don’ts) within which decisions must be made.
  • They are widely communicated and available and accessible to all staff.

Policies include applying gender equality principles and practices to:

  • recruitment
  • retention
  • performance management
  • promotions
  • identification of talent and high potentials
  • succession planning
  • training and development
  • resignations
  • key performance indicators (KPIs) for managers
  • remuneration.

An informal:

  • description of the way an organisation operates
  • undocumented process
set of best practices or tips for improvement.

A plan of action designed to achieve one or more of the organisation’s objectives. A strategy fills the gap between “where we are” and “where we want to be”, that is, “how are we going to get there?”

  • It relates to how an organisation allocates and uses materials and human resources and requires an executive approval.

Strategies generally include:

  • a vision or mission
  • values or principles
  • strategic objectives
  • specific actions
  • approaches, methods or enablers
  • risk and success factors
  • measures or milestones.
  • A business case
  • A SWOT analysis.
Formal policy or strategy

A written document approved by human resources or management. A strategy can exist without a policy and a policy without a strategy. But both can coexist and support each other.

It may be:

  • a standalone policy or strategy on gender equality
  • included in your broader diversity and inclusion strategy or policy.

An email to all staff explaining an intent or other informal communication.


Workplace overview

This section focuses on organisation-wide measures that are in place to support gender equality and includes questions on your policies and strategies. You will be asked to indicate whether your organisation has a ‘policy’ and/or a ‘strategy’ in place that supports gender equality in each of eight key areas, as well as overall.

    Governing bodies

    A governing body means the body, or group of members of the employer, with primary responsibility for the governance of the employer. 

    A governing body may be:

    • Board of directors
    • Trustees
    • Management committee
    • Council
    • Other governing authority.

    It is important to note that governing bodies are not:

    • a diversity council or committee
    • a global diversity and inclusion team.

    Specify the type of body, the gender of the Chair and other members, and the existence of a formal selection policy and/or strategy, and whether a target has been set for the representation of women.

    • You must indicate a governing body for every ABN reported
    • If the ABN itself does not have a governing body, it will fall under the parent or groups governing body.

    How to answer the governing body section

    • For standalone (single ABN) employers - report the governing body details for the company on this submission.
    • For corporate groups (one of more ABNs) - you must allocate a governing body response for each ABN being reported.

    One submission covering an entire corporate group:

    • If there is one governing body for all ABNs on the submission - check the box against each ABN and provide the governing body information.
    • If there is more than one governing body for the ABNs on the submission - complete the first governing body and allocate the companies covered, then complete the next body entry.
      • All ABNs on the submission must eventually be covered.

    Please note - the section displays the governing body for each ABN when complete and is not duplicated for each ABN it was allocated against.

    More than one submission covering an entire corporate group:

    • If one governing body is reported in more than one submission - ensure that any additional submissions that use the governing body information check the box 'this governing body was reported in another submission group'.
    • This ensures that if the same body is reported in two different submissions that it will only be counted once in the dataset.

    Action on gender equality

    This section focuses on the actions an employer has taken to address gender equality issues. It includes questions on the following topics:

    Gender pay gaps

    Asks an employer about the policies and strategies they have in place related to remuneration, and whether these include specific objectives related to gender pay equity.

    The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average earnings—specifically, the difference between their average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. You can read in depth information about the gender pay on the WGEA website. 

    Gender pay equity is when women and men receive equal pay for work of equal or comparable value. Not only is it about ensuring women and men performing the same role are paid the same amount (otherwise known as ‘equal pay’) but also ensuring that women and men performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid equitably. You can read in depth information about gender pay equity on the WGEA website


    Employer action on pay equity

    Asks an employer about the actions taken in relation to gender pay equity, including whether a pay gap analysis has been conducted and actions taken as a result.

    Conducting a gender pay gap analysis is critical to understand the state of pay equity in your organisation and develop appropriate responses. Many employers believe that because an award or enterprise bargaining agreement sets their employees’ wages, they do not have to do a payroll analysis. But pay gaps can happen even when pay is set this way.

    The Questionnaire asks if you have analysed your payroll to determine if there are any remuneration gaps between women and men (e.g. conducted a gender pay gap analysis).

    Completing the remuneration data in your workplace profile does not mean you’ve checked for a gender pay gap. To answer yes, you need to analyse your payroll to determine if there are any remuneration gaps between women and men, which includes doing the following:

    • Collect relevant payroll data
    • Analyse data by gender and other factors
    • Identify any gender pay gaps
    • Identify causes of any gender pay gaps and if you can explain or justify them
    • Analyse these causes
    • Analyse further if needed

    For organisations with partnership structures, This section of the Questionnaire asks if you have conducted a gender pay gap analysis to determine if there are any remuneration gaps between women partners and men partners in your organisation. This question is voluntary to complete for relevant organisations.

    • You can use WGEA’s gender pay gap calculator and technical guide to conduct your own gender pay gap analysis.
    • There is also a guide to gender pay equity to help you understand gender pay gaps, identify and analyse those gaps, and establish goals and strategies to improve gender equality in your workplace(s).

    Employee consultation

    The Questionnaire asks if you have consulted employees about gender equality issues in your workplace, and if you have, it asks who you have consulted and how. If you have not consulted employees, you will have the opportunity to indicate why. It also asks whether your organisation has a formal policy and/or formal strategy in place on consulting employees about gender equality

    Meaningful consultation will help you bring your employees along on your gender equality journey and help to ensure your organisation develops and delivers policies, strategies and initiatives that reflect employees’ needs and priorities.

    Through consultation, you can gather information about employees’ views on the workplace, what is working well and what could be improved—from junior staff through to executive management. It will also help demonstrate a genuine commitment to gender equality from leadership.

    Employee consultation should be done through formal mechanisms; it does not include informal workplace conversations. Consider using the following methods of consultation.

    • Survey
    • Consultative committee or group
    • Focus groups
    • Exit interviews
    • Performance discussions

    Effective consultation includes:

    • Picking the right method. This will depend on the questions you want to answer, sample size, resources and timeframes and could include a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches. 
    • Continuously improving. Consulting regularly means you can monitor progress and emerging needs over time.
    • Managing backlash. People can hold divergent views on gender equality. Some may embrace the case for change, while others may resist. The guide points to useful strategies for responding to resistance. 
    • Maximising engagement. There is a need to balance the need for systematic and comprehensive data collection, with the need for employee engagement and response rates. 
    • Being inclusive. It’s important to hear the voices of different groups in your organisation. Think about different position levels, work units, as well as key demographic factors. 
    • Being ethical. Consultation on gender equality issues may require sharing sensitive or triggering information. The Guide outlines some important ethical research principles. 
    • Feeding back findings. It is best practice to communicate your findings with participants to show how their input informed decision making.

    For more information please see the Guide to Consulting with Employees.

    Flexible work

    This section focuses on the measures an employer has in place to support a gender equitable work-life balance. It includes questions on the following topics:

    Flexible working

    The flexible work arrangements an employer makes available, including any formal policies and strategies as well as specific flexible working options that are available. You can read more in depth information about flexible work on the WGEA website.

    A formal flexible work arrangement is an agreement between an employer and an employee to change the standard working arrangement to better accommodate an employee’s commitments out of work. Workplace flexibility is about more than "working from home" and it is not just for office workers. It can encompass a range of changes to the hours, pattern and location of work.



    Flexible hours of work

    Varied start and finish times.

    Compressed working

    Working the same number of weekly (or fortnightly or monthly) working hours, but over a shorter period. For example, a forty-hour week may be worked at the rate of ten hours per day for four days instead of eight hours a day for five days. Changes to salary are not required.


    You may work approved overtime and be compensated by time-in-lieu. It can include ‘flexitime’ arrangements where an employee can work extra time over several days or weeks and then reclaim those hours as time off.


    You may work at a location other than the official place of work. A wide range of terms refer to working at different locations, including ‘working from home’ ‘mobile working’, ‘distributed work’, ‘virtual teams’ and ‘telework’.

    Part-time work

    A regular work pattern where you work less than full-time and are paid on a pro-rata basis for that work. Not all part-time work is necessarily flexible in nature, but it offers flexibility to workers who have other commitments or lifestyle choices that are not compatible with full-time work.

    Job sharing

    A full-time job role is divided into multiple job roles to be undertaken by two or more employees who are paid on a pro-rata basis for the part of the job each completes.

    Purchased leave

    The option for employees to purchase additional annual leave, usually available after annual leave allocation is finished. Employers typically deduct the amount of the purchased leave from the worker’s salary either as a lump sum or averaged over the year.

    Flexible careers

    You are able to enter, exit and re-enter employment with the same organisation, or to increase or decrease your workload or career pace to suit different life stages. This may be particularly relevant for employees transitioning to retirement. It can also include employees who are able to take a ‘gap year’ early in their careers and return to work for the same employer afterwards.

    Unpaid leave 

    Taking leave without pay entitlements

    ‘Hybrid teams’ refers to a flexible work arrangement where some employees in the team work remotely while other employees in the team work at the organisation’s usual workplace.

    Employee support

    This section focuses on the measures an employer has in place to ensure women and men are supported in relation to common gendered issues. It includes questions on the following topics:

    Paid parental leave

    Parental leave policies are designed to support and protect working parents around the time of childbirth or adoption of a child and when children are young. There are several questions in the questionnaire that focus on whether employer-funded paid parental leave is available to carers in your organisation, in addition to government-funded parental leave.

    • Through the government’s paid parental leave (PPL) scheme, eligible employees receive up to 18 weeks’ pay at the national minimum wage. This paid parental leave is not the equivalent to employer-funded paid parental leaveFor information on the government’s PPL scheme, refer to the website of Services Australia.
    • Employer- funded paid parental leave is where an employer sets their own paid parental leave policy in addition to the government’s PPL scheme, which allows eligible employees to take time away from work for the birth or adoption of a child. This leave is in addition to an employee’s other leave and can be offered through an award, employment contract, enterprise agreement, or a workplace policy.

    This section asks for details of the existence of any employer-funded paid parental leave arrangements and information on the eligibility, length and type of payment made.

    • The primary carer is the person who most meets the child's needs, including feeding, dressing, bathing and otherwise supervising the child in an age-appropriate manner. For a baby particularly, this role normally requires intensive physical involvement on an ongoing basis.
    • The role of secondary carer often falls to a father or partner in a couple. The secondary carer provides additional support but is not the main carer of the child.

    For example, you will be asked if you offer:

    • the same type of employer-funded paid parental leave to employees of all genders without using the primary/secondary carer definitions, or
    • if employer-funded parental leave is offered using the primary/secondary carer definitions.

    To answer the initial question of this section you will need to select one option:

    • If you offer employer funded PPL for primary and/or secondary carers you will be asked a series of questions about your scheme - including eligibility for the scheme, the length of leave offered, and how it is paid, or
    • If you offer an ‘equally shared’ parental leave scheme which offers the same type, length and conditions to employees of all genders, who require parental leave, with no distinction between primary and secondary carers, or
    • That you do not offer employer funded PPL in any form, in this circumstance you should answer 'no' on this section at the first opportunity. You may provide a reason if you wish to do so.

    You will also be asked whether your employer-funded PPL:

    • is available to women, men or all eligible employees regardless of gender
    • covers birth, adoption, surrogacy, and/or stillbirth
    • pays the employee’s full salary, the gap between the salary and the government-funded scheme, or as a lump sum
    • includes superannuation contributions.

    You will also be asked to identify:

    • the minimum number of weeks of leave provided—if you provided different leave packages to different groups of employees, based on service time, industry or worksite, your answer would be based on the minimum number of weeks of leave available across all employee groups.
    • the proportion of your total workforce with access to employer funded PPL scheme—this refers to all employees, including casuals. If, for example, all employees, including casuals, can access your paid parental leave for primary carers, you would enter '91–100%'. If only women or only men can access a particular type of parental leave, your answer should be the percentage of that group in comparison to your total number of employees
    • the qualifying period, if any, for employer funded parental leave – this refers to a period of time that employees had to work for the organisation before they could access employer funded parental leave. If you provided different leave packages to different groups of employees, you should report what the requirement, if any, is for the majority of employees.
    • when employees can take employer funded PPL – this refers to a requirement that employees must take employer funded paid PPL within a certain amount of time after the birth, adoption, surrogacy and/or stillbirth of a child. If you provided different leave packages to different groups of employees, you should report what the requirement, if any, is for the majority of employees.

     There is a free text box at the bottom of this section that is populated into your reporting documents should you wish to provide further detail on your scheme.

    WGEA has developed information and guides for employers on developing gender equitable parental leave and a leading practice parental leave policy:


    Support for carers

    Asks how an employer supports employees with family or caring responsibilities, including through formal policies and strategies as well as other specific support mechanisms.

    Sexual harassment, harassment on the grounds of sex and discrimination

    Asks about the measures an employer has in place related to sexual harassment, harassment on the grounds of sex and discrimination, including formal policies/strategies, grievance processes, and training.

    For this section of the questionnaire, when we refer to sexual harassment we mean sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination.

    • Sexual harassment is when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed; in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
    • Harassment on the ground of sex is when a person engages in unwelcome conduct of a demeaning nature of another person by reason of their sex or a characteristic that generally relates to or is attributed to their sex. This also takes into account circumstances relating to an individual’s sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status.
    • Discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably, in circumstances that are the same or are not materially different, than a person of a different sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or on the ground of the person’s intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, breastfeeding, or family responsibilities.

    The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of gender identity, intersex status, sexual orientation, marital or relationship status, family responsibilities, pregnancy or potential pregnancy or breastfeeding. It also prohibits sexual harassment in many areas of public life including all work-related activity. Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is also unlawful for a person to subject another person to a workplace environment that is hostile on the ground of sex.

    The Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 created a positive duty requiring employers to implement measures to prevent sexual harassment, hostile work environments and victimisation. This is in addition to the duty of care employers have under WHS legislation to provide a safe workplace and to eliminate and minimise identified risks to health and safety.

    Disclaimer - This section is not an exhaustive description of, or advice regarding the legal obligations attaching to employers. Employers are responsible for understanding the scope of rights and obligations attaching to employees and the workplace.

    Domestic and family violence

    Domestic and family violence (DFV) refers to violent, abusive, or intimidating behaviour from a partner, former partner, carer or family member to control or coerce an employee, causing them harm or instilling fear.

    This section asks how an employer supports employees experiencing family or domestic violence, including through formal policies and strategies as well as other specific support mechanisms.

    Examples of DFV include:

    • physical violence, including physical assault or abuse
    • sexual assault and other sexually abusive or coercive behaviour
    • emotional or psychological abuse, including verbal abuse and threats of violence
    • economic abuse, including denying a person financial autonomy or support
    • stalking and harassment, including through the use of electronic communication or social media
    • unreasonably preventing the other person from making or keeping connections with her or his family or kin, friends, faith or culture.

    Every year, millions of Australians – from all demographics – experience DFV. Both women and men experience DFV and most men are not violent.

    However, the research shows clear gendered patterns in the perpetration and victimisation of DFV. Women are more likely than men to experience physical, sexual and emotional violence by an intimate partner and most victims – both men and women – experience violence from a male perpetrator.

    The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Employer Guide to Family and Domestic Violence explains a number of ways that DFV impacts the workplace and includes information on developing a supportive workplace  policy.

    The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provides minimum entitlements to employees experiencing domestic and family violence. Under the Act, employees can:

    • request flexible working arrangements
    • access paid family domestic violence leave. This applies from 1 February 2023 for employees of employers which are not small businesses and from 1 August 2023 for employees of small business employers. Employees of small business employers can continue to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave until 1 August 2023.
    • access paid or unpaid personal/ carers leave in some circumstances.

    For more information on these entitlements, refer to the FWO’s  Employer Guide to Family and Domestic Violence 

    Diversity and inclusion

    Gender inequality is not experienced in the same way by all women, men and non-binary people. Different dimensions of identity, including race, sexual orientation, disability, and age, can intersect and influence individual experiences and outcomes at work.

    This section focuses on diversity data and is wholly voluntary. An employer may choose whether they would like to provide answers for this section.

    • To close the section without answering, enter and click ‘Done’ at the bottom of the page without providing an answer

    The section covers the following topics:

    Diversity and inclusion policies/strategies

    Whether an employer has a formal policy and/or formal strategy on diversity and inclusion, as well as for its governing body

    Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander data

    Whether your organisation collects  data on employees who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. If so, you may choose to provide the total number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Managers and Non-managers and whether they are female, male or non-binary employees

    This information is sought to support the Australian Government’s commitment to bring employment levels of First Nations working age Australians to levels consistent with share of population by 2030. Voluntary information (for example, numbers of employees who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) is collected as authorised by the Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles .

    • WGEA will provide information on the totals provided by the 200 largest employers to the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).
    • Deidentified data may also be released together with WGEA’s public data release at aggregate level (meaning across the whole WGEA dataset and not at the organisational level).
    • For detail on how WGEA handles the information it collects, please refer to WGEA’s privacy policy.