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EEO starting to pay dividends: women getting ahead

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GARY JO H N S MP M e d i a R e l e a s e

A ssista n t M inister for In d u strial R elation s

20/94 . .

P ’v l o i ' G Q i z y v i C C

Wednesday 25 May 1994


Equal employment opportunity policies were beginning to show dividends in the Commonwealth public service, according to the Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations, Gary Johns.

Mr Johns made the comment today at a major two day conference, attended by more than 400 people, on Equal Employment

Opportunity in the Australian Public Service.

The Minister outlined a significant rate of increase in the number of women in the Senior Executive Service of the public service.

In December 1984 women only made up 4.35% of permanent SES positions.In June 1992 this had risen to 13.1%. Today women make up 15% of all permanent SES positions.

In 1988-89 women formed 13.55% of total SES appointments and promotions. Today women make up 28% of total SES appointments and promotions.

The representation of women in the annual intake of Graduate Administrative Assistants, a key feeder group for the SES, has also improved significantly. In 1982-83 women made up 39% of the intake. In 1992-93 this had risen to 53%

A Department of Finance working paper-"Promotional Opportunities for Women in the APS" released in October last year concluded that there was very little difference between the career paths of males and females appointed as GAA's.

"This rate of growth is in significant contrast to the private sector," Mr Johns said.

"Information would appear to indicate that the proportion of women in senior management positions in the private sector had decreased between 1984 and 1992, falling from 2.5% to just 1.3%.

"On these figures the Commonwealth public service is obviously way out in front in terms of allowing women to reach their potential. . . / 2

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters

Parliament House ยท Canberra

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"If an organisation is to achieve its best, then it must make the greatest use of all its people. This is what EEO is aimed at.

"We have come a long way in the past decade in allowing people to achieve their full potential, however there still remains a long way to go," he said.

The Minister also launched two new important initiatives in EEO- Harassment Guidelines for the Public Service and an annual award for excellence in EEO in the Commonwealth public service.

The Harassment Guidelines complement the existing "Elimination of Sexual Harassment Guidelines" released in 1990. The new guidelines set out responsibilities of management and staff, methods to prevent workplace harassment and ways to resolve

complaints effectively.

The first annual award for Excellence in EEO will be awarded in November this year. The award is designed to recognise agencies that have achieved high levels of excellence in EEO.

For further information:

Peter Vicary Minister's Office (06) 277 7200 018697 796