Advocates say WA government’s gender procurement policy is a missed opportunity

Advocates say WA government’s gender procurement policy is a missed opportunity


The WA Government’s new procurement policies targeting gender equality will achieve little unless the requirements on businesses are quickly ramped up, advocates say.

With WA facing the nation’s biggest gender pay and workforce participation gaps, the State Government last month announced a pilot program involving 15 departments to drive improved equality and understanding of business benefits of gender equality.

But all it requires of suppliers applying is that they agree that they report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency — which all private companies with more than 100 employees have had to do since 2012.

The Victorian government has implemented a much tougher scheme, requiring firms have audits and plans. Successful tenderers are required to complete a further audit specifically targeting the gender equity of each project, while the construction industry must also make commitments on hiring women as apprentices and trainees and meet female quotas for projects worth more than $20 million.

CEOs for Gender Equity executive officer Ashley Speers said the WA pilot was a lost opportunity.



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