8.2 Questionnaire sections

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.


8.2.1 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.

For Government Agencies/Departments this may be an Executive Management Board/Committee, the Accountable Authority or a Strategic Leadership Committee.

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.

8.2.2 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.

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.

Employee consultation

Asks an employer if and how they have consulted employees about gender equality issues in the workplace.

8.2.3 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.

8.2.4 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

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 Maternity Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1973 sets out baseline parental leave entitlements for Commonwealth Employees.
  • Many public sector organisations have additional parental leave provisions set out in Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.

Please respond to the questions in this section based on the total provisions an employer offers, inclusive of the conditions set out in the Maternity Leave Act.

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.

Family or domestic violence

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

9.5 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 an employer collects data on employees who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. If so, an employer may choose to provide that data in aggregated form, with a breakdown only of male, female and non-binary employees

Diversity data collection

Whether an employer collects data on certain dimensions of the identities of its employees and members of its governing body. These dimensions are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity, cultural and/or language and/or race/ethnicity background, disability and/or accessibility, sexual orientation, and gender identity.