Despite tremendous progress in the last decade - and a few standout statistics - women remain significantly under-represented in leadership positions across the public sector in Victoria.
Advancing women into leadership presents a strategic opportunity to strengthen our sector. Diverse leadership, which reflects the communities we serve, will maximise the effectiveness, innovation and performance of our sector. There is clear research now available that show the barriers to women’s advancement are predominantly systemic in nature.
IPAA Victoria’s Strategic Framework for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sector will allow the sector to plan and monitor strategies in place towards advancing women. It is informed by local and international research into the barriers to women’s advancement into leadership roles together with learnings from IPAA’s many years of activities throughout Australia.
The Advisory Committee has been established to drive the direction and priorities of the IPAA Victoria Women’s Network. The Committee provides advice and advocacy to the IPAA Victoria Board and to the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner.
The aim of the Network is to provide a forum to focus on supporting and advancing women in the Victorian public sector. The Network demonstrates IPAA Victoria’s commitment to more broadly supporting and empowering women in the public sector across Victoria and ensuring the sector fully leverages their skills and leadership.
The Network’s objectives are to support and advance women in the public sector in Victoria by:
actively supporting the development and advancement of women throughout their careers in the public sector
actively promoting and supporting women in leadership positions in the public sector in Victoria
addressing systemic organisational barriers to women’s advancement in the Victorian public sector
empowering future generations of public sector leaders through mentoring and developing talented women.
The Committee consists of 12 people. Following an expression of interest and invitation process, the Women’s Network Advisory Committee comprises:
Dr Emily Phillips, Chair – (IPAA Victoria Board Member)
Deputy Secretary, Agriculture Victoria, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
Project Manager, Primary & Community Health, Community Based Health Policy & Programs Branch, Department of Health and Human Services
Executive Search and Leadership Advisory, Fisher Leadership
Adam Fennessy PSM
Advisory, Government and Public Sector, EY
Senior Policy Advisor, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Paul Grimes PSM
Victorian Public Sector Commissioner
City of Hume
Chief Executive Officer, City of Glen Eira
Christine Nixon APM
Director | Service Delivery Reform Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Jennifer Wolcott (IPAA Victoria Board Member)
Acting Director Emergency Management Resilience, Emergency Management Victoria
Business Partner, Corporate Planning & Improvement, City of Whittlesea
Advancing Women in the Public Sector - a Strategic Framework
The framework identifies four areas of need in advancing women in the public sector, informed by Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) data, local and international research into the barriers to women’s advancement into leadership roles and learnings from IPAA many years of various activities across Australia.
The framework identifies four strategic areas:
Network and Connect
Support women in the public sector to connect, network, share, ideas, access information and influence decision making.
Advocate and Champion
Identify and address system barriers to women’s advancement in the public sector in Victoria.
Develop and Support
Develop and support women holding leadership roles in the public sector across Victoria.
Build the leadership capacity of women across the public sector.
The four strategic opportunities form a spectrum of needs for supporting women’s advancement in the public sector. At one end is a more traditional core service offer around building the leadership capacity of women in the public sector. At the other end is a very active role in advocacy and championing. In between are opportunities around facilitating connections and networks, and supporting current women leaders.
IPAA Victoria has adopted the framework to guide our own strategic planning and plan the activities that we will deliver in this field. IPAA Victoria will also use the framework to monitor and advocate for activities and outcomes across the Victorian public sector. A suite of indicators and targets are in development.
The Network will facilitate a wide range of opportunities such as:
acknowledge and emphasise the importance of the professional advancement of women and a greater representation of women in leadership positions in the public sector across Victoria
increase impact and networking opportunities to connect women (and men) across the public sector at various stages of their careers to share experiences and learning and to seek advice on a variety of issues, including leadership and other challenges
focus on issues of significance to women by increasing information and advocacy
identify and deliver excellent and accessible events that meet the needs of women across the public sector and strengthen our sector’s service to the Victorian community.
Stay tuned for special forums and events, mentoring opportunities, exchange ideas and networking opportunities.
For more information, contact Tania De Carli on 03 9653 2086 or 0499 072 292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Networking Lunch - 25 October 2018
Unleashing the Power of Gender Equity with Keynote Speaker, Dr Sue Williamson UNSW and guest speaker, Ms Keryn Negri.
The lunch supported the Framework for two reasons:
It was a chance to learn from actual public sector research that has been conducted here in Australia.
The research focuses attention on middle management – a very large and potentially very powerful cohort within the public sector.
Dr Sue Williamson is an academic from the School of Business at the University of New South Wales in Canberra – where she is part of their Public Sector Research Group. Sue is one of the four authors of a research report, The Role of Middle Managers in Progressing Gender Equity: A leading practice guide, which analysed interviews with almost 300 managers across four public sector jurisdictions. Her report offers a number of insights into the role that middle managers can play in operationalising gender equality-focused policies.
The report can be accessed here - https://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/public-service-research-group/research-projects/role-middle-managers-progressing-gender-equity-public-sector.
Keryn Negri has a 20 year public sector career, she was most recently Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. She is also an ANZSOG Fellow and in August 2018 was recognised as one of the Top 50 Public Sector Women presented by IPAA Victoria in partnership with Davidson. Keryn reflected on some of the insights in Sue’s research – particularly drawing on her career as a public sector leader.