Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/8.8 Gender equity

Policy Owner

Director, Equity

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review


8.8.1 Purpose
8.8.2 Application
8.8.3 Roles and responsibilities
8.8.4 Obligations
8.8.5 Sex and gender diversity
8.8.6 Embedding and achieving gender equity
8.8.7 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

8.8.1 Purpose

Consistent with QUT's Equal Opportunity and Diversity policy (A/8.4), QUT will embed gender equity philosophy and practices into all aspects of the university's activities.

QUT recognises that gender is one dimension of diversity and is committed to achieving fair and equitable outcomes for staff and students in all aspects of work and study, regardless of gender identity or presentation.

Gender equity for staff and students enhances QUT's core business as well as enabling diverse communities of staff and students to flourish and achieve their potential.


8.8.2 Application

This policy applies to all staff members, students, and members of the University community, and all aspects of QUT's operations.


8.8.3 Roles and Responsibilities


Managers and Supervisors (within their scope of authority)

  • ensure workplace and study environments are inclusive and free of gender relatedĀ  discrimination and harassment
  • implement gender equity policy in all aspects of their area's activities

QUT community

  • individual responsibility to ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner which is mindful of sex and gender diversity and is non-discriminatory
Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer and Director, Equity (according to their portfolios)
  • provide advice and support to university officers in meeting QUT's gender equity obligations
  • manage the design, implementation and monitoring of specific gender equity initiatives
  • manage reporting within the University and to relevant Commonwealth government agencies
University Equity Committee
  • provides advice on gender equity according to its terms of reference (A/8.9)
Women in Leadership Committee
  • focusses its activities on senior and near senior women at QUT and provides development and support programs


8.8.4 Obligations

In addition to QUT’s own social justice ambitions, the University’s approach to gender equity is informed by:

  • legislation arising from relevant United Nations /International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions including Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and ILO Convention No. 156: Workers with Family Responsibilities
  • obligations under Australian and Queensland industrial and anti-discrimination legislation which make unlawful personal and systemic harassment and discrimination (direct and indirect) on various grounds, including those relating to sex and gender
  • reporting and compliance requirements, including:
    • Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth)
    • Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender (Cth)
    • Women in Science Technology Engineering Maths and Medicine (STEMM) Program
    • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); and
  • standards of ‘best-practice’ awards programs such as Employer of Choice for Women (WGEA).


8.8.5 Sex and gender diversity

QUT recognises that its community includes people who do not identify with the binary construct of being either male or female, and who may be gender diverse, including those who affirm their gender as being different to the sex assigned at birth; who were born intersex or whose sex is indeterminate; or who identify as transgender or no gender.


8.8.6 Embedding and achieving gender equity

QUT will have specific strategies to support gender equity in relation to:


  • improving pay equity by assessing and, if required, reducing gender gaps at all levels; and in starting salaries, total remuneration, and above-base payments
  • ensuring procedures for recruitment, selection, promotion and performance reviews are fair and free from bias, including unconscious bias
  • maintaining working conditions that are consistent with the needs of a diverse community, specifically the responsibilities related to their sex or gender identities or presentations, family responsibilities, maternity or parental status
  • providing flexible working arrangements to support staff with family or caring responsibilities
  • supporting staff experiencing domestic and family violence
  • consulting regularly with staff on a comprehensive range of gender equity matters, guided by relevant legislation and benchmarking requirements
  • ensuring restructures or other significant operational changes do not impact negatively on gender equity


  • ensuring student support services are appropriate for a diverse student population
  • identifying targeted support services for specific groups needing particular support
  • promoting awareness and understanding of gender equity and diversity in curriculum
  • ensuring that all students’ experiences, including Work Integrated Learning are inclusive, and monitored so that students are not subjected to unlawful conduct or unfair treatment

Organisational culture

  • eliminating gender and sex-based harassment and discrimination
  • celebrating gender diversity
  • promoting an inclusive organisational culture through policy, and embedding gender equity targets in strategic planningĀ 
  • fostering leadership and accountability of managers and supervisors as part of the Performance Planning and Review process
  • providing appropriate grievance procedures and support for staff and students accessing these procedures
  • regularly monitoring and reporting on gender-related and diversity outcomes internally and in response to mandatory reporting requirements
  • encouraging research and community services activities that actively engage with gender and diversity issues, and are inclusive of, and beneficial to, gender diverse groups
  • ensuring all conferences, speaker series and the like, organised or supported by QUT, have a gender equity policy to ensure balance and diversity in their programs
  • assisting in the management of the intersection of work, study, personal circumstances and family responsibilities, including:
    • information on childcare services
    • the provision of accredited facilities for breastfeeding
    • the provision of appropriate toilet/restroom facilities and/or signage to support access to safe facilities on campus by people who are gender diverse
  • recognising those who develop their skills and knowledge in the area of gender equity.


8.8.7 Definitions

Binary construct (relating to gender) is a social construct that identifies an individual as either male/man or female/woman, and does not take account of other sex or gender identities or presentations.

Gender is part of a person’s social and personal identity. It is typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological, referring to the characteristics that a culture delineates as masculine/male or feminine/female (see definition for ‘gender diverse’).

Gender diverse is a term used to recognise people who do not fall within the gender binary construct of male and female.

Intersex refers to people who have genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics that are not exclusively ‘male’ or ‘female’. A person who is intersex may identify as male, female, intersex or as being of indeterminate sex.

Pay equity means individuals receiving equal pay for work of equal or comparable value and there is no gender bias at any point in the remuneration process (for example at commencement, base salary, out-of-cycle pay reviews, discretionary loadings and bonuses, and movement within the total remuneration range).

Sex means the characteristics associated with biological sex, generally assigned at birth usually described as being male or female. A person’s sex and gender identity or presentation may not necessarily be the same.

Transgender is a general term for a person whose gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth. A transgender person may take steps to live permanently in their nominated sex, with or without medical treatment.

Unconscious bias is a form of discrimination also known as implicit bias or implicit social cognition. It arises from the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.


Related Documents

MOPP A/8.4 Equal opportunity and diversity

MOPP A/8.5 Resolution procedures for sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination related complaints

MOPP A/9.4 Children on campus

MOPP B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

ALLY Network (QUT staff access only)

Women in Leadership Committee (QUT staff access only)

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth)


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
15.6.19 A/8.8.6 Vice-Chancellor and President Revised policy to include gender balance for conferences/panels and to clarify details in pay equity according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) requirements
08.08.17 All Vice-Chancellor New policy (formerly A/8.8 Child care and family responsibilities)