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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2801 ..

government has taken to address the gender pay gap in the ACTPS by actively building the skills of women and improving their opportunities for professional development.

This important work is being led by my colleagues, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. I acknowledge Minister Berry’s dedication to this work—it is admirable. Together we are working to support a public service that provides equal opportunity for everyone.

The government has made significant progress in reducing the gender pay gap for its workforce. As Ms Orr notes, 65 per cent of the ACTPS workforce is female and the gender pay gap has reached a low of 0.9 per cent. This compares to 7.9 per cent in the ACT labour force and 14.2 per cent in the Australian labour force.

The ACT public service is a frontrunner in providing a workforce where the contributions of people of all genders are valued and paid equally. The importance of this achievement cannot be overstated. However, while much good has been done, there remains much to do. Although the gender pay gap is very low across the ACTPS, differences remain in the experiences of female public servants.

Women at different classification levels in different directorates who identify with different diversity groups may face different outcomes in the workplace. Women in part-time and casual employment may also experience different challenges from women in full time ACT public service employment.

There is more to be done to remove barriers and decrease the gender pay gap for all employees. Better data capture, as we have heard, which identifies more clearly how different groups are affected by the gender pay gap, is crucial. The government is committed to improving outcomes for all women, including women with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Improving reporting on relevant data is important in ensuring that there is continuing progress against the gender pay gap for all women in the ACTPS. The government is considering improvements to how gender pay data is reported on in the State of the service report.

In a time of fast-paced transformational change, where wellbeing, agility and flexibility will contribute to high performance and sustainability, our future focus will be not only on workforce capability but on embracing new directions on work design, work-life balance, strategies that harness potential and rethinking how we work in teams. This will be crucial in changing how we think about work for all employees, including women, going forward.

The ACTPS has been increasingly adopting flexible work practices since 2015, and the public service continues to drive its aspiration to be the most progressive jurisdiction in Australia with regard to flexible working, for the benefit of our employees and the ACT community.

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