Action plan guide

Find useful advice and resources to help guide you through each suggested action area in your action plan.

Action 1. Understand the business case

Understand the business case for board gender parity and inclusion beyond a focus on compliance with targets.

Belief in the business case for diversity and inclusion is critical in the journey for gender parity, and essential for motivating individuals to expend time, energy and resources in the pursuit of parity. Below are some suggested materials to help you in understanding how gender parity increases board and organisational performance, and why other powerful and influential business leaders in Australia have committed to action.

Action 2. Panel pledge

Make a public pledge to support achievement of our gender parity targets or your own targets, and other similar initiatives such as The Panel Pledge.

The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem. Because speakers are usually male, audiences are given a narrow perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation and potential outcomes. Committing to speak at events with gender parity provides more women with profile building opportunities.

Action 5. Role modelling inclusion

Reflect and seek feedback on whether you are role modelling inclusion and engage in personal development to become more inclusive.

Action 7. Mentoring programs

Participate in a mentoring program to support high-potential female candidates.

If your department or organisation doesn't provide mentoring for women on boards, you can establish and participate in your own program or find suggested providers you can sign up with.

Action 8. Recruitment plan

Prior to each appointment decision establish through your recruiters, a written recruitment plan which supports diversity and inclusion. Below are some resources to support you in influencing others to take action to address diversity and inclusion during the recruitment process.

For example, the plan may address:

  • inclusion of diversity in the Board skill matrix (XLSX)
  • review of role description for criteria that is unnecessarily limiting the talent pool or using biased language
  • steps taken to identify/attract broadest range of candidates (e.g. advertising or referrals from others to be a gender-balanced list)
  • gender balanced interview/selection panel and appointment of panel members with a demonstrable track record of commitment to gender diversity and inclusion
  • specific targets in the recruitment process e.g. gender balanced candidate list
  • recognise bias during recruitment.

Action 11. Set gender parity and inclusion targets

Establish approved gender parity and inclusion targets and include progress in individual and departmental/organisational performance reviews.

For example:

  • Board diversity outcomes: Queensland Government gender parity targets.
  • Board inclusion outcomes: X% of directors feel included (treated fairly/respectfully, feel valued, confident to speak up), X% of directors feel the board chair demonstrates inclusive behaviours.
  • Board diversity and inclusion inputs: All directors undertake inclusive leadership training as part of personal development.
  • Board recruitment: Candidate lists to include at least 50% women candidates, shortlist/interview pool to include at least 50% women candidates, 100% of interviewed candidates perceive process as fair and transparent, gender balanced selection panel.