Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Government Announces Review of Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency

Tanya Plibersek, today announced a review of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace and Agency (EOWA) and its underlying legislation (EOWW Act).

Minister Plibersek said the review will examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency and the legislation in promoting equal opportunity for women in the workplace.

“Over the last decade, the EOWA has worked with thousands of large businesses across the country to improve women’s opportunities in the workplace,” Ms Plibersek said.

“These employers are reaping the benefits of their equal opportunity programs through the attraction and retention of the best talent, improved morale and increased employee effectiveness.

“The EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, the Business Achievement Awards and the Australian Census of Women in Leadership have also been incredibly successful initiatives.

“At the same time though, we have seen a decline in women in executive leadership roles.

“The pay gap between male and female full-time earnings is now 17.2 per cent and many parents are struggling to balance their work and family responsibilities.

“The review will investigate what’s working and where we may need a new approach.”

The Government is keen to promote public discussion regarding these issues and to hear from organisations and individuals.

There will be broad community consultation with employers, employees, unions, women’s advocacy groups and members of the public.

“The review is timely. The EOWW legislation needs to keep pace with the economic, social and legislative changes that have occurred since the last inquiry in 1998,” Ms Plibersek said.

The review will begin with the release of an Issues Paper which will signal the start of the consultation process.

The review will take several months to complete and EOWA reporting organisations are reminded they still need to report this year.