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Case Study: Western Australia Government Gender Equality Procurement

Introduction

As part of the Western Australian Government’s Stronger Together 10 Year Women’s Strategy to drive gender equality, and in conjunction with the WA Government’s introduction of their Social Procurement Framework (Procurement Act 2020), the Department of Communities engaged Femeconomy to assist with a pilot project to explore development of whole-of-sector gender equality data disclosure in procurement.

Project Overview

The WA Government declared a commitment that women would be central to the State’s COVID recovery. They recognised that putting gender and diversity criteria on the tender as a consideration for assessing bidders for government contracts will contribute to improving outcomes for community members who experience barriers to employment opportunities and to those who are disproportionately vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of COVID.

The project objectives included:

  • Increased awareness in the benefits of gender equality procurement practices among public service officers procuring goods and services.
  • Increased gender equality in the workforce of organisations that supply goods and services to State Government.
  • Women’s participation in the workforce is supported and expanded.

From previous discussions with Femeconomy on the Gender Equality Procurement Toolkit, it was agreed that educational/ information resources would be developed to support awareness and understanding of the benefits of introducing gender equality and diversity into organisations, and using procurement as a lever to achieve this.

A series of educational resource checklists were created for use by suppliers and Government buyers, customised for the size of organisation and relevant gender equality considerations and aligned to Workplace Gender Equality Agency reporting criteria.

Outcome

The WA Department of Communities is now working towards a pilot initiative to commence later this year to introduce gender equality measures into the procurement process within the Department and assessing the potential to include other WA public sector agencies.

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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Founder

Mother, wife, daughter, determined dreamer. Lover of books. Background in Human Resources leadership in global organisations.