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Gender Representation on Decision-Making Bodies Procedures (Australia Only)

Gender Representation on Decision-Making Bodies Procedures (Australia Only)

Parent Policy

Equal Opportunity Policy

The participation of women on the University’s decision-making bodies is fundamental to the achievement of equal opportunity in the workplace and ensures that decision-making is informed and enriched by the diversity of staff at Monash.   

The purpose of these procedures is to provide guidance to chairs and members of committees and decision-making bodies at Monash University on achieving an increased representation of women in the leadership and membership of decision-making bodies in the University, with the ultimate aim of equal representation.

Minimum Requirements
Membership of University decision-making bodies are to have as close to equal representation of both sexes as practicable, with a minimum of one-third women.

Definition of terms

Decision-Making Bodies: A committee or group which has responsibility for the institution's governance and management. This includes Council, Academic Board and Faculty Boards, University standing committees and working parties, selection and promotion committees, resourcing committees, consultative committees, official departmental committees and ad hoc bodies which have responsibility for a substantial policy or project.

1. Decision-Making Body Documentation

Documents establishing the terms of reference and composition of committees must include the statement, `Every effort will be made to facilitate the University's aim of increasing the representation of women in the leadership and membership of decision-making bodies, with the ultimate aim of equal representation'.


Committee/Decision-Making Body Chairperson

2. Reviewing Membership

At the first meeting of a new committee and annually thereafter, the chairperson will request the committee to review its membership with respect to the University's objective of achieving an increased representation of women in the leadership and membership of decision-making bodies.

In the case of existing committees, a review of membership composition by gender will take place on an annual basis, and/or when new members are to be appointed.

In areas where women represent less than one third of staff, every effort should be made to ensure that a minimum of one third of the committee is female to support the increased representation of women within that area.

If the committee considers that the gender representation is inappropriate in the light of University policy, the committee will take action to remedy the gender ratio, or seek an exemption from the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dean or Divisional Director.


Committee/Decision-Making Body Chairperson

3. Increasing the Representation of Women

For possible actions to increase the representation of women on the University's decision-making bodies, the following examples of good practice are provided for consideration.

1     co-option of additional female members;

2     appointment of a female deputy chairperson;

3      appointment of female alternates;

4     request bodies or individuals with nominating rights to consider nominating female members;

5      invite female staff members to attend and contribute to meetings; 

6     examine the terms of reference, with a view to making recommendations for changes in the composition of the committee, which may include:

  • limited term membership;
  • provision for ex officio members (particularly those who chair committees) to be represented by a female nominee;
  • provision for a female deputy chairperson or for circulation of the office of chairperson;
  • broadening eligibility to include more junior female members of staff;
  • ensuring that ex officio membership is restricted to situations where it is really necessary.

7      where membership by election applies, electorates may be requested to encourage nominations from females;

8      contact Human Resources for names of staff from cognate faculties who may be approached to participate on bodies such as selection panels;

9      any other appropriate action.

The Equity and Diversity Centre can also be consulted for advice on the implementation of these guidelines/procedures.


Committee/Decision-Making Body Chairperson and members

4. Exemptions

In the case of academic promotion committees, including those on offshore campuses and the Gippsland campus, an exemption must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) where the one-third minimum requirement cannot be achieved.

In the case of selection committees (both academic and professional), Deans and Divisional Directors may approve an exemption where the one-third minimum requirement cannot be achieved.  Offshore campuses are to follow the same procedure for selection committees.  Deans at the Gippsland campus may approve exemptions for selection committees in consultation with the PVC (Gippsland).


Committee Chairperson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Deans, Divisional Directions, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Gippsland)

5. Reporting

In the case of senior academic promotion and selection committees, all approved exemptions to the minimum one third requirement are to be reported to the Divisional Director, Human Resources on an annual basis.  

The Divisional Director, Human Resources will report annually on those senior academic promotion and selection committees that have not achieved the minimum one-third requirement to the Equal Opportunity for Women Committee and the Senior Management Team - Social Inclusion.


Chairperson, Divisional Director, HR

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