25 September 2023

Equality to cash in on Budget boost

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The ACT Office for Women is to receive a boost in funding in the upcoming Territory Budget enabling it to tighten its focus on gender equality.

Announced by the Minister for Women, Yvette Berry, the extra funding of $696,000 will allow the Office to continue its work under the ACT Women’s Plan but with a stronger promotion of gender equality across the ACT.

Ms Berry said that in a growing city there was a need to focus on building an even more inclusive community that ensured all Canberrans had equal opportunities to participate actively.

She said the Office for Women would engage in a suite of initiatives designed to drive outcomes in gender equality.

These included community engagement; improving the evidence base related to the gender equality; training to reduce and eliminate unconscious bias across Government; promoting diversity on boards through the diversity register, and delivering a board traineeship program for women.

“Importantly, the Office for Women is resourced and charged with the responsibility of working with each and every Government Directorate to drive and deliver the commitments identified under the ACT Women’s Plan,” Ms Berry said.

“This additional investment will assist the broader community, including corporate businesses and community not-for-profit organisations, by providing additional tools to better address gender inequality in their own spheres of influence, and to give women in the community direct access to policy makers.”

She said some of the additional funding for the Office would go to delivering and promoting the Diversity Register that connects women and people from a range of backgrounds with available board positions, as well as training and networking opportunities.

“The funding will also deliver a board traineeship program, particularly focused on industries where female representation is low and on sporting associations who are required to meet the target of 40 per cent female representation by 2020,” Ms Berry said.

“Training packages, strategies and tools will be developed which provide useful information for the whole community on how unconscious bias can be addressed, and how to create a more respectful environment.”

The ACT Budget is to be brought down on 5 June.

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