MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Training and Skills (for the Minister for Police): In light of the recommendation that an explicit target be set for recruitment of at least 50 per cent women for future squads of police and Protective Service Officers and that this remains in place until equality is achieved —
(1) of the 2729 new sworn police officers delivered in the 2017-18 budget, what percentage are women;
(2) what systems and processes have been established that capture baseline data across the organisation with respect to remuneration and women's access to training, upgrades, and promotion; and what access to leadership training do women in the police force now have in light of the recommendations.
ANSWER on 09 August 2017:
Thank you for your question. I can assure you that Victoria Police is committed to growing a workforce that is representative of the communities it serves-valuing the diversity of age, gender, culture, religion and sexual orientation of its employees.
This year marks 100 years of women in policing and Victoria Police is celebrating gender diversity by honouring the contribution women have made, and continue to make.
As at 10 July 2017, 31 per cent of all police officers employed by Victoria Police were female, and 18 per cent of PSOs were female.
In regards to your question concerning the 2279 new recruits, the recruitment process for these police officers is an ongoing process and their eventual make up will be determined by application and selection.
The Chief Commissioner of Police has previously stated that Victoria Police wants to increase the representation of women.
There are a number of recruitment campaign tactics with a focus on women. These include techniques such as the use of visual imagery of female police members in media campaigns, and inspiring personal accounts from female police officers featured in recruitment areas such as the Victoria Police Careers website www.policecareer.vic.gov.au.
There is also dedicated messaging in these campaigns regarding women in policing, which focuses on the value of gender balance in our workforce, and the value of having female police at the forefront of modern policing, in leadership positions, in metro and country locations and in specialist roles.
Victoria Police values the different attributes, life experiences, capabilities and skills that each employee brings to the organisation and that it values the diversity of employees and is Committed to facilitating an environment which is inclusive and safe from discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying.
In the Victoria Police Equity and Diversity Plan, Victoria Police recognised that through greater workforce diversity and inclusion, the ability to provide better services to the community and improve employee engagement and productivity is increased.
Reports such as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's (VEOHRC) Independent review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police and the Victoria Police Mental Health Review illustrated some of the challenges facing police today and highlight further areas where a growth of capability is required. Victoria Police is developing various initiatives to address the issues of diversity and inclusiveness highlighted in these reports.
With regards to the capturing of baseline data, this information is captured as part the Human Resource Processes and Database, enabling data to be retrieved regarding gender, including rank. It is important to appreciate that remuneration is based on rank and is not gendered.
Victoria Police offers a range of performance development programs and flexible work options such as access to parental leave. This ensures that career development opportunities are accessible while achieving work life balance.
To support this the Government has approved funding of $116.7 million to enable Victoria Police to backfill parental leave.
The funding also provides for leadership capability training to address current gender imbalance and cultural barriers to ensure that all employees are safe and respected in the workplace regardless of sex, sexuality, race or ethnicity.