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  • ATO Gender Equality Action Plan 2017–19

    Download a copy of the ATO Gender Equality Action Plan 2017-19 (PDF, 566.60KB)This link will download a file

    Deputy Commissioner's message

    I am pleased to present the launch of the ATO’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2017–2019. This plan represents our formal commitment to the actions we will take as an organisation to work towards reaching gender parity.

    Consistent with the Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy: Balancing the Future (PDF, 6.60MB)This link will download a file, the ATO has recognised the need to address gender inequality to help meet our vision to be a contemporary, professional, productive, and service-oriented organisation.

    The ATO Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017-19 identifies gender equality as both a social and business imperative, critical to organisational sustainability.

    Implemented as a priority from the ATO Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017-19, the ATO Gender Equality Action Plan outlines how the ATO will embed long term cultural change through innovative, flexible work practices and leadership to drive and sustain gender equality.

    As an organisation we have a responsibility to create an inclusive workplace, where assumptions are questioned and barriers removed to ensure equitable outcomes, regardless of gender.

    Bradley Chapman
    Deputy Commissioner
    ATO People

    Gender Equality in the ATO

    We need a workforce that reflects and embraces the diversity of the Australian community to continue to effectively manage and shape the tax and superannuation systems that support and fund services for Australians.

    Our current workforce provides a gender balance where women represent 56.1 percent and men form 43.9 percent of the workforce.

    Despite the over representation of women, the higher you look up in leadership, the fewer women you see. Conversely, significantly fewer men have access to flexible working arrangements, compared to females. This is a gender challenge for us to address.

    The ATO’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) outlines the actions that will be taken as an organisation to work towards reaching gender parity.

    The aim is to reach a 50/50 men to women ratio at senior levels of the agency by 2019 and to increase the use of flexible work arrangements to more than 25% of staff.

    The GEAP outlines how we will embed long term cultural change through innovative, flexible work practices and leadership to drive and sustain gender equality.

    Everyone has a role to play to create an inclusive workplace, where assumptions are questioned and barriers removed to ensure equitable outcomes, regardless of gender.

    Successful cultural change in the ATO will require:

    • men and women being seen equally as capable leaders
    • openly available flexible work arrangements for both men and women without risk to career progression
    • overcoming outdated assumptions about gender roles.

    The case for change

    A growing body of research shows that organisations with the most gender equality outperform those with the least, and gender equality in teams promotes an environment where innovation can flourish.

    We must recognise the real commitments facing the modern day male and female and understand how to support employees to achieve a healthy balance. Collectively, through the emergence of attitudes, policies, work practices, systems and resources, we can enjoy the rewards that come with the social benefits of equality and business gains of flexibility.

    Besides being the ‘right thing to do’, gender equality brings about benefits to both the people and the business. It is important to understand and appreciate the following principles for us to effectively engage in gender equality.

    Define

    Gender is socially shaped and constructed; it is not a synonym for women or women's issues and refers to the cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female.

    Balance

    Flexible work offers the provisions around when, where and how work is performed through viable options eg part-time hours, job sharing & locations of work, to support employees achieve an appropriate balance between work and personal needs, with a focus on outcome.

    Support

    Supporting gender equality is not about holding men back, it is about ensuring every employee has the ability to access opportunities equally.

    Act

    Actions towards gender equality will enable us to tap into new pools of talent, unlock potential, identify staff for further development, and retain existing staff.

    Create

    In a competitive recruitment market, it makes business sense to create a culture of inclusion, challenging the pre-existing attitudes and unconscious biases associated with gender in the workplace.

    Our commitment

    To promote and support gender equality within the ATO, we commit to:

    Govern

    The establishment of governance arrangements led by the Optimising Workforce Capability and Culture Board (OWCC) will:

    • support and monitor progress against the plan
    • champion efforts to raise the profile of gender equality in the ATO
    • challenge organisational barriers to gender equality.

    Report

    The creation and implementation of gender based reporting to monitor progress against key metrics. Where gender imbalance is identified, responsible areas will engage to develop mitigation strategies.

    Communicate

    Develop a communication and culture strategy to engage with employees and engender cultural change; to educate and consistently inform employees on the narrative and business case for ‘why’.

    Promote

    Promote case studies and use of role models to demonstrate gender equality. These will include women in senior leadership positions, men and women that access or support flexible work arrangements and good news stories from business lines that have success working towards gender parity.

    Innovate

    Source best practice strategies for gender equality from across the APS, public and community sectors, in Australia and overseas. The GEAP is not static and will evolve as new and innovative approaches are identified.

    Investigate

    During the life of the GEAP, the ATO will investigate systems solutions to incorporate Diversity targets and cultural inclusion expectations into the KPI’s of all employees with line management responsibilities, particularly SES.

    Review

    We will review procurement practices to ensure external service providers meet the requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

    Achieve

    We will consider seeking a citation of Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) through the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

    ATO’s Gender Equality Action Plan

    Target 1

    Increase the take-up of flexible work arrangements to >25% of the workforce

    Action

    Timeframe

    Responsibility (Branch)

    APS Strategy Element

    Undertake a survey to gauge the current utilisation of flexible work practices, barriers that might be preventing staff from utilising the arrangements available, the suitability of the existing arrangements and areas for potential improvement.

    Completed

    Workforce Strategy

    4 & 5

    Improve the collection and reporting of data relating to flexible work practices (particularly utilisation of Regular Hours Agreement, job share and Home Based Work).

    Q1 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy Establishments

    4 & 5

    Conduct a pilot of the 'flexible by default' approach.

    • Apply the Workforce and Technology Framework to provide staff with relevant technology and enable flexibility aligned with job clusters (Mobile, Collaborative, Desktop).
    • Conduct an evaluation to assess business and personal outcomes of 'flexible by default' pilot.

     

    Q4 2016/17 –

    Q2 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy Design & Change Management EST

    4 & 5

    Review current policy relating to flexible work arrangements, identify gaps in policy arrangements, and develop a flexible work arrangements policy in line with the 'flexible by default' approach. Subject to pilot results, consider adopting 'flexible by default' corporately.

    Q1 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy

    4

    Develop line manager capability in managing and supporting flexible workers and teams.

    During pilot and ongoing

    Learning & Development

    Workforce Strategy

    4

    Actively promote, facilitate and coordinate access to flexible work arrangements.

    • Promote the uptake of flexible work arrangements by men via targeted promotion and case studies.
    • Scope the introduction of a job-share register.
    • Target branches with low utilisation of flexible work arrangements to overcome localised barriers/challenges.

     

    ATO-wide rollout post-pilot

    Q3 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy

    1 & 4

    Incorporate flexibility considerations into workforce planning practices including job design.

    Ongoing

    Workforce Strategy

    3

    Test initiatives to gauge the suitability of existing and emerging technology to support flexible working outcomes consistent with the Workforce and Technology Framework.

    Enable the use of remote access, working from home, working from sites other than their home site (including flexible work spaces) and Wi-Fi on portable devices.

    Q4 2016/17 and ongoing

    Staff Experience EST

    3

    Domestic and Family Violence

    • Develop and implement a contemporary Domestic and Family Violence Policy.
    • Gauge interest in a Domestic and Family Violence Support Network (for victims, affected persons or supporters of the cause).
    • Introduce Domestic and Family Violence awareness and support training.

     

    Q4 2016/17

    Q1 2017/18

    Q4 2016/17

    Q1 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy

    Learning & Development

    Workforce Strategy, EST, Workplace

    1 & 4

    Develop initiatives to enable staff on long-term leave with opportunities to keep in touch. This could include:

    • retaining building access (House Pass)
    • keep in touch days
    • invites to planning days/seminars
    • noticeboard for people looking for part-time or job share arrangements
    • recruitment opportunities
    • corporate updates through myATO app.

     

    Q1 2017/18

    Internal Security

    Workforce Strategy

    1

    Target 2

    The rate of female representation at EL and SES levels is approximately 50/50

    Action

    Timeframe

    Responsibility (Branch)

    APS Strategy Element

    Identify SES sponsors (male and female) to visibly advocate gender equality in the ATO.

    Q3 2016/17

    Workforce Strategy

    1

    Identify resources and tools to assist the ATO leadership cohort to build their understanding of gender equality issues and to identify opportunities to remove gender barriers.

    Q3 2016/17
    and ongoing

    Workforce Strategy

    Leadership & SES Services

    1 & 2

    Introduce contemporary leadership programs for high potential EL2 and
    SES B1 employees, ensuring gender balanced participation rates. The programs will include opportunities for shadowing, coaching and mentoring by senior leaders.

    Introduced Q1 2016/17 and ongoing

    Learning & Development

    2 & 5

    Monitor results of annual talent management assessments (against
    the 9 box grid) for gender balanced outcomes. Educate SES on the potential for gender bias in assessment. Address outcomes where gender imbalance is identified.

    Annually

    Leadership & SES Services

    Workforce Strategy

    2 & 3

    Introduce exchange programs for SES between agencies or functional areas affected by gender imbalance, in a way that is sensitive to individual’s needs (pending guidance from APSC).

    Annually

    Leadership & SES Services

    2

    Monitor and report on commencements, higher duties and promotion gender ratios at EL and SES levels.

    Quarterly

    Workforce Strategy

    2 & 5

    Introduce a network to consider gender issues in the ATO. This could include networking opportunities, peer support and information sharing.

    Q2 2017/18

    Workforce Strategy

    1, 2, 3 & 4

    Ensure gender balanced access to high profile capability development opportunities (including TAP, ANZOG, JAWUN, internal leadership programs and others). Monitor application and selection processes.

    Ongoing

    Learning & Development

    Workforce Strategy

    2 & 5

    Leadership and management training initiatives continue to embed the concepts of Inclusive LeadershipExternal Link.

    Identify and create opportunities to profile leaders (male and female) who exemplify inclusive leadership styles.

    Current and ongoing

    Learning & Development

    4

    Ensure the ATO Employment Value Proposition (EVP) continues to focus on attracting candidates across a more diverse range of backgrounds, with different needs, and through different mechanisms.

    In progress
    and ongoing

    HR Operations

    3

    Pilot initiatives to recruit specialist skills under flexible working arrangements (eg Opening Doors and ATO-50).

    In progress
    and ongoing

    HR Operations

    3 & 4

    Work toward a gender balance of 50/50 on Boards, Committees and Panels (subject to role specific composition and staffing availability).

    Q4 2018/19

    HR Operations

    ATO Corporate

    3 & 5

    Introduce bias mitigation strategies including:

    • reviewing recruitment content to minimise language with traditionally masculine or feminine connotations
    • introducing Unconscious Bias training for Recruitment panels, with a priority focus on panels assessing EL1 positions and above
    • conducting a trial of ‘blind recruitment’
    • monitoring each stage of the recruitment process for gender balance amongst candidates
    • monitoring the utilisation of merit pools for gender balance.

     

    Q1 2017/18

    HR Operations

     

    Leadership & SES Services

     

    Learning & Development

    3 & 5

    Participate in a whole of APS trial to examine APS Recruitment practices.

    Completed 14–18 Nov 2016

    HR Operations

    3 & 5

    Last modified: 19 Jul 2017QC 52913