On 9 November 2016, the Senate referred the following matter to the
Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee (the committee) for
inquiry and report by 30 March 2017:
Gender segregation in the
workplace and its impact on women's economic equality, with particular
- the nature and extent of industrial and occupational gender segregation
in Australian workplaces relative to comparable jurisdictions, including gender
segregation in tertiary education courses;
factors driving industrial and occupational gender segregation in the
economic consequences of gender segregation for women, including the
contribution of industrial and occupational gender segregation to the gender
approaches to addressing gender segregation as it relates to economic
inequality and the gender pay gap in comparable jurisdictions; and
remedies appropriate for Australia, including but not limited to:
measures to encourage women’s participation in male-dominated occupations
measures to professionalise and improve conditions in female-dominated
occupations and industries; and
measures to promote pay equity.
On 13 February 2017, the Senate granted an extension of time for
reporting until 11 May 2017.
The Senate granted a second extension until 7 June 2017.
Conduct of the inquiry
Details of the inquiry were placed on the committee's website at: https://www.aph.gov.au/senate_fpa.
The committee also contacted a number of relevant individuals and organisations
to notify them of the inquiry and invite submissions by 10 February 2017. The
committee extended this time until 3 March 2017.
The committee received 42 submissions. Submissions received by the
committee are listed at Appendix 1.
The committee held two public hearings:
10 April 2017 in Melbourne; and
26 April 2017 in Sydney.
A list of witnesses who gave evidence is available at Appendix 2.
Submissions and the Hansard transcript of evidence may be accessed
through the committee website.
Scope of the inquiry
The inquiry’s terms of reference sought to measure and define the
dimensions and consequences of gender segregation in Australian workplaces and
its relationship to pay equity. As expected, the inquiry found this issue to be
complex and multi-layered. Accordingly, some of the issues raised in this
inquiry have overlapped with previous inquiries and reports.
These include the 2009 House of Representatives report Making it Fair, reviews
by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Senate legislation and references committee
inquiries and the work of the Productivity Commission.
Where there is significant overlap between the subject matter of an
existing, relatively recent report, and evidence to this inquiry, the report
will not conduct detailed examination of that issue and instead will refer
readers to the relevant existing material.
The committee thanks the many organisations and individuals who
participated in the public hearings as well as those that made written
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