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The Review of the APS: Is gender really on anyone's agenda?
journal contributionposted on 11.02.2020, 00:00 by Linda ColleyLinda Colley, S Williamson
Abstract: As recently as 2016, the Australian Government stated its commitment to increasing gender equality in the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce. In May 2018, the Prime Minister announced a broad-ranging Review of the APS, but gender equality was not mentioned in the Review Terms of Reference. An interim Review report was released in March 2019, which was also largely silent on gender issues. We examine the submissions to the Review to assess whether, and how, organisations have considered gender equality. We found an almost universal gender blindness in submissions and conclude that this may have contributed to the Review panel ignoring gender equality issues in their interim report. We further conclude that without a focus on gender equality within the Review and ensuing reforms, the APS gender equality strategy is rendered merely symbolic. We recommend the Review implement gender mainstreaming to ensure gender equality can progress in the APS.