Diocesan equity committees

– promoting fair, safe and inclusive workplaces

Pam Smith
Assistant Secretary

The IEU values and supports the role of diocesan equity committees and acknowledges the work of the members and officers who serve on these committees.

Operating within the context of the Commonwealth Workplace Gender Equality Act of 2012, the diocesan equity committee assists in the development and review of annual employer reports to the Workplace Gender Equality, oversees relevant policy development and implementation and generally ensures that issues about workplace equity, diversity and inclusion are ‘on the radar’.

For example, recent meetings of Sydney Catholic Schools’ Workplace Equity Committee have covered issues such as enhancing and supporting workforce diversity, reviewing current policies and practices in relation to flexible work arrangements, analysing the gender pay gap, and discussing the current Australian Human Rights Commission’s Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Workplaces.

Noting the vital role of these committees, the IEU is pleased to hear of the re-establishment of the Armidale Diocese EEO Committee and congratulates the members who will contribute to the committee.

In the Bathurst Diocese, the IEU has assisted with the development of a training package to enhance the understanding and skills of committee members in dealing with equity and diversity issues.

The IEU has written to Lismore CSO in response to concerns that the Union has been denied an appropriate role with the committee, noting the long history of IEU involvement in progressing gender equality issues in the Lismore Diocese.

On 2 August, the Wollongong Diocese’s active Workplace Gender Equality Committee hosted its 2019 Leading Inspirations dinner with guest speaker Robyn Moore.

Robyn’s Power of the Word presentation emphasised finding greater work/life balance by focusing on the core values which inspire us personally and professionally and also by making time for enjoyment and laughter at work and at home.

The MC for the night, which was attended by many IEU members in the Wollongong Diocese and beyond, was IEU member and Council delegate Shirley Jancetic.

In her MC role, Shirley told the gathering that the goal of the Wollongong WGEC is to promote fairness and equality in school communities.

“It seeks to ensure that work practices and policies support all of our staff in balancing their personal responsibilities and professional careers. This is to promote attitudes, beliefs and practices of equality that will not only be modelled to the students in our schools, but also be the foundation for our society in the future,” she said.