Gender Segregation And its Impact on Women’s Equality: A Senate Inquiry

The Senate will be conducting an inquiry into gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s equality in conjunction with the Finance and Administration Committee. The Committee will be comparing ‘the nature and extent of industrial and occupational gender segregation’ in Australian workplaces with other similar countries.

The Terms of Reference were proposed by Labor on behalf of committee chair Senator Jenny McAlister but a motion to extend the scope of the inquiry to include unpaid domestic labour by Greens Senator Larissa Waters, was rejected.

The inquiry will examine factors which drive gender segregation, economic consequences including the disparity in pay for men and women, approaches to addressing gender segregation in relation to economic inequality and provide appropriate remedies inclusive of improvements in women participation in male-dominated occupations, the promotion of pay equity and measures to improve conditions for women.

The Senate will be taking submissions until 10 February 2017.

Tips for Employers

If you are an employer and you wish to make a difference:

  • consult your employment lawyer in regards to making a submission to the Senate
  • encourage participation of women if you are in a male-dominated industry
  • ensure your employment contracts are not in breach of the relevant awards or the Fair Work Act and the Fair Work Regulations
  • seek advice from a workplace lawyer in devising appropriate remuneration rates for employees and implementing accordingly in contract of employment


If you would like more information about this article or if you would like any assistance in other employment law matters, from an employment lawyer in Sydney, please feel free to speak with or email one of our specialist employment lawyers on (02) 9635 7966 or

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as definitive or complete statement of the relevant workplace law.