C24 - ACT Women's Plan 2010-15

Directorate activities that related to the ACT Multicultural Strategy 2010–2013 included the following. For more details on these activities, please see Section A9.

Economic

The Directorate promotes the full and equal participation of women in the ACT economy in the following ways:

  • Women comprise of 54.6% of the Directorate’s employees.
  • The Directorate actively supports women in traditionally male dominated fields, with 55% of professional officers across the Directorate being women and 42.3% of technical officers being women.
  • Four women either held or acted in senior executive positions in the Directorate during the year.
  • Thirteen women received study assistance during the reporting period, with one officer identifying as a Torres Strait Islander.
  • Sixty-eight women have special arrangements to support and provide for flexible work/life balance.
  • Three of the five Climate Change Council members are women (of which two are the chairperson and deputy Chairperson).
  • Three of the seven Flora and Fauna Committee members are women (of which one is the deputy chairperson).
  • Three of the six Natural Resource Management Advisory Committee members are women (of which one is the chairperson).
  • Two of the five ACT Natural Resource Management Council members are women (of which one is the Chairperson).
  • Four of the nine ACT Heritage Council members are women (of which one is the deputy chairperson).

On 8 March 2013, the Director-General highlighted International Women’s Day.  While the contribution of all ESDD employees is valued, on International Women’s Day the Director-General particularly acknowledge ESDD’s female employees. International Women's Day was noted as a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  ESDD’s daily work to improve sustainability in the ACT often has a direct impact on women, who comprise the majority of low income earners in the community. Examples of this work include the Directorate’s Outreach programs which help low-income residents reduce their water and energy use; and the transport planners who are delivering a transport system that will promote independence, decrease isolation and enable access to employment, education, health care services and recreational facilities.

Transport for Canberra

The actions contained in Transport for Canberra aim to deliver an accessible, integrated transport system where it is as safe and easy to walk, cycle and catch public transport as it is to drive. Work on the Strategic Cycle Network Plan, Capital Metro light rail and bus priority such as the Adelaide Avenue bus stops project will enable access to employment, education, health care services and recreational facilities, enabling healthy lifestyles, community participation and economic security and opportunities.

Social

The Directorate is committed to the ACT Women’s Plan and received re-accreditation by the Australian Breastfeeding Association as a breast feeding friendly workplace. Breastfeeding rooms, where staff can feed their babies or express milk, are accredited and meet appropriate standards.

The Directorate has a female Respect Equity and Diversity (RED) framework coordinator and five male and five female trained Diversity Officers, thus ensuring a gender balance. RED officers provide support and advice to staff on issues such as discrimination and harassment.

The Directorate understands that employees require work life balance and may have to juggle other responsibilities such as caring for family members. Flexible working arrangements are therefore promoted to enable staff to meet these needs; 68 women and 10 men worked part-time hours.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all staff and provides a free, confidential counselling, advice and referral service. The service may be accessed for work or personal reasons and staff are encouraged to use the service whenever needed. The Directorate also encourages participation in events and training offered by the Women’s Information and Referral Centre.

Training has been provided in areas such as salary packaging, novated leases and superannuation to assist employees and their families to manage household budgets.

Naming places

The Place Names Unit within the Office of the Surveyor General and Land Information propose names for public places, including roads, to the Minister in accordance with the Public Place Names Act 1989. Section 3 (2) of that Act requires the Minister to give regard to the number of women represented in ACT place names.

Transport for Canberra

Measures to deliver an accessible transport system aim to promote independence and decrease isolation. The Community Transport Study commenced in 2012–13 and will be completed by mid-2014. This study is investigating measures to enhance the operations of community transport which facilitates individual and group travel, often door-to-door, to people who do not have ready access to a private motor vehicle and who have difficulty using public transport or standard taxi services.

Environmental

Outreach program

The Outreach energy and water efficiency program for low income residents is improving opportunities for women to participate in the sustainable development of the ACT. While the program does not formally collect information on the gender of participants, anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of people assisted by the program are women. This is consistent with data showing that women comprise the majority of low income recipients in the community.

Transport for Canberra

Transport for Canberra includes a range of policy measures and actions to reduce energy use associated with transport, based on reducing travel demand including encouraging walking, cycling, and use of public transport and increasing vehicle efficiency. Actions include preparation of the Low Vehicle Emission Strategy and development of the Strategic Cycle Network Plan.