Building a stronger Western Australia through gender equity

While significant advances have been made to remove barriers faced by women, there is still a long way to go to bring about lasting solutions and achieve gender equality. Statistics consistently show that women in WA are still at considerable risk of violence and abuse, including in their own homes, and bear the majority of domestic work. They also face the nation's biggest gender pay gap of 22 per cent (compared to 14 per cent nationally), and continue to be overlooked for leadership roles.

The McGowan Government has launched Western Australia's first plan to address gender inequality. Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality sets out a long-term co-ordinated approach to addressing gender inequality, to ensure women and girls have opportunities to reach their full potential in WA. The 10-year plan provides a framework for action by Government, business, organisations and individuals with practical steps to advance gender equality and drive change. It is accompanied by specific initiatives, including:

  • a target of 50 per cent women in top-level (Senior Executive Services) public service positions;
  • public sector to trial voluntary reporting of agency data to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (currently no public sector agencies in any State do so); and
  • a commitment to examine opportunities to use the State Government's purchasing power to incentivise suppliers to support gender equality policy and practice. 

Thousands of women and girls from across WA, including representation from the Department on the State Government Reference Group, contributed to the plan through the State Government's Women's Voices: Building a Stronger WA Together consultations. An implementation and action plan will guide delivery of the plan over the next 12 months. Data collected from the outcomes of actions will contribute to the evidence base for and reflect the status of progress made to advance gender equality and will inform future action plans.

"Women deserve equal opportunities in all aspects of life - in schools, at work, in their homes and out in the community.” said Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk. "But equality for women is still a long way off, with some estimates suggesting another 200 years are expected to pass before global equality is achieved. There are several levers that governments can use to promote gender equality - one is our workforce, and another is using government contracts to reward suppliers who support gender equality. Without action on this issue, Western Australia risks being left behind because it would not be harnessing the talent and potential of every member of our community.”.

To find out more, and view the new Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality in full, please visit

Page last updated January 13, 2020