Empowerment and recognition

Discover achievements made in 2022 and focus areas in 2023 to deliver on commitments made in the Queensland women’s strategy 2022–27 (the strategy) in the areas of empowerment and recognition.

2022 achievements

  • Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR):
    • developed a Gender equity plan 2022–24 in consultation with DTMR employees and executives; informed by workforce data and industry research, the plan outlines TMR's gender equity goals as well as the initiatives required to achieve them, with priority areas including career development, safety and flexibility
    • trained over 2,000 staff in cultural and gendered violence prevention
    • reduced their gender pay gap from 13.92% in June 2020 to 12.26% in March 2022
    • delivered the annual Wonder Women program, which celebrates the diverse and inspirational women of the department working across many disciplines, and provides executive mentoring and the opportunity to have input into the development of departmental gender equity initiatives; nominated by their colleagues, every year the Wonder Women are chosen for their leadership, innovation, dedication and advocacy, both at work and in the community.
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) established a Gender Equity Advisory Group (GEAG) aiming to support the empowerment, development and retention of under-represented persons within the paid and volunteer workforce. GEAG meets every 2 months and includes representatives who identify as female and as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
  • The Queensland Government:
    • progressed the Industrial Relations and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 which: ensures that gender pay equity is to be considered early in negotiating bargaining instruments; updates the personal and parental leave provisions to ensure the ability to take extended parental leave expands to cases of stillbirth, adoption-related leave and cultural parent leave; and removes language that implies gendered divisions in parental care
    • committed $35,000 to the Breaking the Bronze Ceiling partnership led by Women in Technology to install a bronze statue of pioneering Australian geologist and astrobiologist Dr Abigail Allwood to demonstrate its commitment to greater representation of women and girls in public spaces.
  • The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP) delivered the Women in local government strategy which promotes greater diversity and inclusion in local government and provides female council officers and councillors with access to a range of mentoring and professional development. A recently completed survey of participants indicated very high levels of satisfaction, with 97% of respondents feeling that they had grown and developed stronger leadership skills.
  • The Queensland Ambulance Service recognised and honoured 6 women through the Council of Ambulance Authorities Women in Leadership Awards, designed to highlight successful and hardworking women in ambulance services across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
  • QFES:
    • is represented on the Women and Firefighting Australasia Board and supports the biannual Women and Firefighting Australasia Conference; during 2022 QFES continued to support Women and Firefighting Australasia and its purpose via the provision of networking, mentoring and research opportunities from continued support
    • Women in Fire and Emergency Services Awards acknowledged members of the QFES workforce—paid and volunteer—who have made an outstanding contribution to the inclusion of women in QFES; the awards are presented at the Public Safety and Associated Agencies International Women’s Day event.
  • The Queensland Government's sponsorship of the Australian Women in Music Awards has shown a commitment to recognising the importance of women in the Australian music industry. The initiative also supports First Nations women living in regional and remote Queensland and provides them with exposure to music industry talent.
  • In 2022, the Terms of Reference of the Responsible Gambling Advisory Committee—which provides advice to the responsible Minister on strategies to minimise gambling harm—were amended to include a requirement for gender balanced representation (50:50).
  • There is also a focus placed on recognising work that women have produced through the year with the Outstanding Woman in Planning Award for 2022 to encourage more participation and to acknowledge the capabilities of women in the planning space.
  • The Connecting Women in Industry initiative is a breakfast series hosted by DSDILGP that showcases achievements of successful female business owners, information sharing, and promotion of government programs.
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) hosted the:
    • Premier’s Women on Boards event series, which provided a platform for robust discussion around gender parity on boards; each event focuses on discussing current opportunities and challenges, and inspiring women to put forward for Board opportunities, and regional events have been held in Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Gold Coast
    • Premier’s International Women’s Day reception showcased the Queensland Government’s women’s initiatives and provided an opportunity for prominent Queensland women to celebrate their achievements over the past year; the reception coincided with International Women’s Day and Queensland Women’s Week.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Women in Recreational Fishing Network (WIRFN) Leadership program recruited 10 passionate leaders across the state from Cairns to the Gold Coast to act as advocates for women in recreational fishing in their local community. By establishing the program the leaders have the opportunity to promote women in fishing in the community and encourage people of all demographics, skill level and age to participate in this great past time.

Good news story

Australian Training Awards 2022—Apprentice of the Year, Jennah Halley

Cairns refrigeration technician Jennah Halley was awarded the Apprentice of the Year award at the Australian Training Awards 2022. Jennah returned to work after 8 years as a single mum. Her training journey started when her brother—also a refrigeration technician—asked her to help out for a few hours a week. From there, Jennah grew a keen interest in the industry and, with the completion of her Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration in 2021, she is believed to be the only qualified female refrigeration technician in Cairns—a statistic she's hoping to help change.

2023 focus

  • The Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG):
  • The Special Commissioner, Equity and Diversity will work with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Queensland Government departments to undertake inaugural gender equality auditing and meet the obligations of the new Public Sector Act 2022 to progress equity.

What the Queensland Government is already doing

  • The Queensland Health Women's Network hosts the Empowered Leadership Summit and the Queensland Government Breakfast Series, which is delivered jointly with the Public Service Commission. Both events support the Queensland Government's diversity and inclusion commitment, so we are building an inclusive and diverse workforce that better reflects the community we serve.
  • Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS) promotes Sport Australia’s Women Leaders in Sport program which to date has supported more than 26,000 women. This program provides leadership development opportunities for women on and off the field and drives inclusive cultures.
  • The Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Commissioner's Awards for International Women's Day recognises and celebrates the achievements of female staff and First Nations female staff. The awards celebrate outstanding female leaders, emerging female leaders, and excellence in performance across the agency.
  • The National Association of Women in Construction Award for Outstanding Achievement of a Woman in Environment and Sustainability within the construction industry is sponsored by DEPW. The award recognises women that demonstrate leadership and commitment to the environment, sustainability and social or community outcomes.
  • DAF:
    • delivers the WIRFN Queensland initiative, created as an online platform where female anglers of all experience levels, backgrounds and age are encouraged to join the network and learn from one another, share their best fishing photos and take opportunities to engage in fishing related discussions; the program aims to encourage more women to participate in recreational fishing by creating a supportive online platform for women to promote information sharing and the platform will give confidence to women to ask for advice free from gender biases and without the intimidation that their question will be ridiculed, given recreational fishing is usually a male-dominated space
    • supports the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award which aims to identify and support emerging female leaders in Australian agriculture and awards a $15,000 grant to 1 woman per state/territory to deliver a project that positively impacts rural communities, industries or businesses.
  • DSDILGP's Women in Planning Network aims to connect women to others in the industry through face-to-face networking and development events. This initiative hosts multiple events, such as their annual breakfast in line with International Women's Day.
  • DTMR champions a range of programs including Women in Construction, Women in Project Management, Women in Engineering, and Women in Maritime. These programs are all designed to support women into non-traditional, high paid, in-demand fields, and help to close the gender pay gap in those male-dominated industries.
  • The Queensland Government, along with the Queensland Museum Network, continues to profile extraordinary women working in STEM fields and inspires more girls and women to start STEM careers as part of the Queensland Women in STEM Prize. The Prize, running since 2016, will award multiple professional development prizes to winners in 2023.
  • The Queensland Government’s Investing in Queensland Women grant program provides one-off grants for one-off events and/or projects that address the unique issues faced by women and girls. This grant program supports community groups and organisations across Queensland to develop and deliver events and/or projects that align with the Queensland Government’s strategic priorities and addresses the unique issues faced by women and girls.
  • The Queensland Carers Advisory Council continues to have a strategic focus on advancing the interests of carers (in Queensland, women make up 57.9% of all carers and 71.9% of all primary carers). The council consists of 12 members, including 9 female carers, from a diverse range of backgrounds.