September 19, 2018

Jury Rules In Favour Of Quotas

A Citizens’ Jury has recommended implementation of a 40:40:20 gender equality quota in the Victorian public sector.

The diverse group of Victorians was randomly selected to deliberate on quotas as a critical part of the Victorian Government’s proposed Gender Equality Bill.

The Bill proposes that Victorian Government departments, public sector entities like hospitals and TAFEs, and local governments plan, promote, and report on gender equality.

The job of the Jury was to determine what gender equality quotas are fair, and how they can best be implemented.

The majority of jurors recommended that a 40:40:20 target – 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men, and 20 per cent flexible – be set to eliminate gender bias in recruitment to public sector positions. The Jury also recommended the same 40:40:20 quotas be set for all senior management and executive roles.

Other recommendations from the Jury include:

  • Legislating parental leave for all public sector employees, including paternity leave
  • Incentives for organisations to implement quotas
  • Ensuring public sector leaders are accountable for meeting quotas
  • Programs to eliminate gender bias in career pathways
  • Establishment of an independent authority to oversee progress.

Jurors arrived at their recommendations after being presented with research, data and evidence regarding the use of gender equality quotas.

The recommendations will inform Victoria’s first Gender Equality Bill, to be introduced to Parliament early in 2019.

International evidence shows that gender equality legislation in the public sector generally improves gender equality overall, including outside of government.

To view the Jury’s final report and have your say on the Gender Equality Bill being drafted  – including the use of quotas  –  visit  engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“The Andrews Labor Government is determined to deliver gender equality and this Victorian first legislation will help achieve it.”

“Because gender equality legislation is important for all of us, we asked a Citizens’ Jury of Victorians to help us understand how gender equality quotas should be implemented.”