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Gender Equity Policy

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Executive Director, Human Resources
Responsible Manager – Policy Director, Capability and Culture
Review Date 14 March 2027
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) This Policy articulates La Trobe University’s commitment to promoting gender equity, and in doing so, specifically covers the obligations and gender equity commitments required in the workplace by all in scope.

(2) This Policy is aligned with the University’s gender equity strategies including:

  1. La Trobe’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2021-2025;
  2. Science Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Silver Action Plan 2022 – 2025;
  3. Sexual Harm Prevention and Response Action Plan 2023-2026;
  4. the Trans and Gender Diverse Staff Support Policy (and related gender affirmation support plan); and
  5. all applicable legislation.
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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to:

  1. all staff
  2. contractors
  3. CONAGOTHs (Consultants, Agency, or Other)
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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Endorse planned gender equity workplace strategies, actions, measures and targets.
Executive Director, Human Resources

Senior Executive Group
Implement agreed gender equity workplace strategies, actions, measures and targets in alignment with the Policy. Managers
Monitoring, reporting and compliance of relevant gender equity workplace strategies, actions, measures and targets in alignment with the Policy.
Human Resources
Strategy, Prevention and Education
Staff Wellbeing Connect
Data and Analytics
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) La Trobe University is committed to promoting gender equity, diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, and identifying, addressing, and eliminating any gender inequality that exists within the workplace.

(5) The University seeks to ensure individuals of all genders have equal opportunities, are treated fairly and respectfully, and are not subject to bias and discrimination.

(6) The University is committed to fostering an environment that is inclusive, respectful and safe. An environment which is free of discrimination, sexual harm, and gender-based violence, and in doing so, seeks to identify and eliminate drivers of gender inequality in the workplace.

Gender Diversity

(7) The University respects and celebrates all gender identities and acknowledges gender beyond a binary framework.

(8) Gender refers to the social, cultural and psychological attributes, roles, behaviours, expectations and identities and differences associated with being a woman, a man, non-binary or gender diverse, cisgender and transgender.

(9) The University, and this Policy acknowledge that gender identity is based on one’s concept of self as a man, a woman, a blend of both or neither; it is how the person perceives and describes themselves.


(10) The University acknowledges that gender inequality can impact people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds and that people can experience gender inequality in different ways.

(11) The University recognises different genders may face biases and disadvantages and that gender inequality is often compounded by other forms of disadvantage that a person may experience, due to other characteristics of their identity.

(12) The University aims to address this disparity and rectify existing inequalities by providing policies and a range of strategies, actions, and measures that are tailored to the specific needs of different genders.

The University’s Commitment 

(13) The University as an education institution and an employer, is committed to advancing gender equity and ensuring equal opportunities and outcomes for all members of the La Trobe community.

(14) The University acknowledges that gender inequality stems from both structural and individual factors and also arises from biases in societal structures, systems, policies, and processes.

(15) The University is committed to promoting gender equity in our policies, processes, programs and services and fostering a culture that challenges gender-based stereotypes, detrimental social norms and power imbalances to support an inclusive, respectful and safe working, learning, and social environment for all.

(16) The University will support efforts to progress gender equity by embedding gender equity at all stages of the employment lifecycle. To achieve this, the University will:

  1. continue to implement gender equity strategies, actions and measures designed to enhance and advance gender equity; and
  2. include monitoring and reporting on gender equity indicators across the employment life cycle. 


(17) The following principles detail the practices implemented to embed and enhance gender equity at each stage of the employment lifecycle covering attraction, recruitment and induction, retention, remuneration, performance management, promotion and career advancement, talent identification, succession planning and professional development:

  1. Attraction Recruitment and Induction - establish and maintain attraction, recruitment and induction processes and practices that promote gender equity and remove bias, including, but not limited to, the formulation of job descriptions, advertising opportunities, composition of shortlists and selection panels and end to end recruitment practices.
  2. Retention and Remuneration - consider gender equity in the development and application of policies and procedures relating to the working conditions and benefits for staff, including remuneration to support pay equity, working conditions and arrangements. Introduce and modify practices and processes to enhance and maintain gender equity to support retention. The University will ensure that staff are free to disclose or not disclose to any other person, including other University staff, their remuneration or any other terms or conditions of their employment that is reasonably necessary to determine their remuneration outcomes.
  3. Performance Management - establish and maintain processes and practices aimed to encourage and promote equal opportunity and gender equity in performance management processes, as described in relevant action plans. 
  4. Promotion and Career Advancement - ensure requirements for promotion and advancement are fair, equitable and transparent, merit-based and support gender equity and consider the impacts of caring responsibilities.
  5. Talent Identification and Succession Planning - establish processes and practices for identifying high potential staff and succession planning that give due consideration to gender representation and gender equity.
  6. Professional Development - provide professional development opportunities and programs as required to encourage and support staff in their professional development. Implement initiatives to improve awareness and understanding of gender diversity and the barriers and drivers of gender equity.

(18) The University commits to monitoring, evaluating and reporting on gender equity progress including where needed, applying gender equity targets, key performance indicators and success measures. This may include but not limited to gender equity recruitment, leadership and pay equity targets and measures.

Legal Obligations

(19) Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) and Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic), the University is required to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality and to consider and promote gender equality in University policies, services, and programs. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) also places obligations on the University to ensure that staff are not subject to pay secrecy and all forementioned legislation requires the University to commit to gender pay equity in relation to equal remuneration for equal or comparable work.

(20) In alignment with the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic), the University will undertake actions and strategies to progress gender equity across the seven workplace gender equality indicators under the Act which cover:

  1. gender pay equity
  2. gender composition at all levels of the workforce
  3. gender composition of governing bodies
  4. workplace sexual harassment
  5. recruitment and promotion
  6. gendered work segregation
  7. leave and flexibility

(21) The University, in accordance with Victorian and Commonwealth legislation, supports working arrangements and processes related to flexible working, leave provisions (including carers leave, parental leave, family violence leave, gender affirmation leave), return from career break and the provision of family and domestic violence support.

(22) The University supports parental and care-inclusive work practices, including scheduling University activities and meetings in core hours and in a manner that supports staff with care responsibilities.

(23) The University will fulfill reporting on legislative obligations outlined in the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) and Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic). Progress in gender equity, including the University’s annual gender pay gap will be reported to the University Senior Executive Group and progress communicated to the University workforce.

(24) The University has a positive duty to take proactive steps to prevent gender based discriminatory practices and sexual harassment under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Respect at Work Amendment Act 2022. The University acknowledges workplace sexual harassment has a significant impact on gender equity and workplace safety and is committed to actively preventing and eliminating unlawful workplace conduct related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment and acts of victimisation.

(25) The University Sexual Harm Prevention and Response Policy sets out the University’s commitment to eliminating and responding to sexual harm. In addition, the University Workplace Behaviours Policy outlines the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and appropriate workplace behaviours to create a healthy, safe and inclusive workplace, free from all forms of unacceptable behaviour.

(26) Through the University Workplace Issue Resolution Procedure and support services provided by Safer Community and Human Resources, the University will provide staff with access to confidential mechanisms to report concerning, threatening and inappropriate behaviour they have experienced or witnessed. Staff making disclosures are able to access wellbeing support services through the University Staff Wellbeing Connect and the Employee Assistance Program.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(27) The University is required to comply with the gender equality reporting as outlined in relevant legislation:

  1. The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 requires the University to annually report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). The report includes mandatory workforce data and details of relevant University policies and strategies aimed at progressing gender equality across six gender equality indicators outlined in the Act.
  2. As part of complying with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 reporting requirements, the Vice-Chancellor or equivalent is required to review and approve the WGEA before it is submitted in the WGEA portal.
  3. Under the WGEA reporting obligations, Data and Analytics and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, is responsible for compiling, reporting and communicating to staff, the Senior Executive Group and the University Council annually the gender pay gap calculated by WGEA.
  4. The Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) requires the University to report on gender equality progress to the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector (CGEPS) every two years. The progress report includes mandatory University workforce data; policies, programs and services that were subject to a gender impact assessment (GIA) and the actions taken as a result of the GIA; progress made in relation to strategies and measures outlined in the University Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) and progress made in relation to seven workplace gender equality indicators outlined in the Act.

(28) The University Vice-Chancellor (or their nominee) is responsible for approving the gender equality progress report before it is submitted to CGEPS.

(29) These gender equality reports are compiled by Data and Analytics and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with stakeholder input from across the University. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, is responsible for the submission of the gender equality reports.

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Section 7 - Definitions

(30) For the purpose of this policy and procedure:

  1. Discrimination: refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of individuals or groups based on certain characteristics or attributes, often resulting in disadvantages or harmful outcomes for the targeted individuals.
  2. Equal Opportunity: refers to the principle or practice of treating all individuals fairly and without discrimination, ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their background, characteristics, or circumstances.
  3. Gender: refers to the social, cultural and psychological attributes, roles, behaviours, expectations and identities and differences associated with being a woman, a man, non-binary or gender diverse, cisgender and transgender.
  4. Gender Based Violence: refers to any harmful act or threat of harm that is perpetrated against an individual or group of individuals based on their gender or perceived gender. Gender based violence encompasses physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and economic abuse. Gender based violence is rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, with perpetrators targeting victims because of their gender or perceived gender.
  5. Gender Diverse: is an inclusive umbrella term that describes people whose gender does not conform to the binary of woman or man.
  6. Gender Equality: focuses on ensuring that individuals of all genders are treated equally and have the same rights, opportunities, and access to resources. Gender equality emphasizes the removal of discrimination and biases that may favour one gender over others.
  7. Gender Equity: recognises that different genders may start from different positions due to historical disadvantages and societal biases and aims to address and rectify these existing inequalities by providing individuals with what they need to achieve equal outcomes. Gender equity is concerned with fairness and justice and may involve policies and measures that are tailored to the specific needs of different genders.
  8. Gender Identity: refers to one's concept of self as a man, a woman, a blend of both or neither and is based on how individuals perceive and describe themselves.
  9. Gender Inequality: refers to the unequal treatment, opportunities, and outcomes that individuals of different genders may experience in various aspects of life, including social, economic, political, and cultural domains. Gender inequality results from societal norms, attitudes, and structures that favour one gender over others, leading to disparities and disadvantages for individuals based on their gender.
  10. Intersectionality: refers to the idea that different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to overlapping forms of discrimination and marginalisation. Intersectionality calls for policies and interventions that consider the needs and experiences of people with multiple marginalised identities rather than applying a one size fits all approach.
  11. Sexual Harm: refers to any act or behaviour that causes physical, psychological, or emotional harm to an individual through sexual means. Sexual harm encompasses a wide range of actions, from sexual harassment and non-consensual sexual contact to sexual assault.
  12. Transgender: an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned/presumed at birth.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(31) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(32) Associated information includes:

  1. La Trobe University Enterprise Agreement 2023
  2. La Trobe University Code of Conduct
  3. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (Staff) Policy 
  4. Trans and Gender Diverse Staff Support Policy
  5. Privacy Policy