General Policies: Gender Equity, Diversity and Flexibility Policy

Palms Australia is committed to promoting the principles and practice of equity and diversity for Director, staff and volunteer positions across the organisation, and with partners, around the world.

The commitment to Gender Equity, Diversity and Flexibility in Palms Australia is linked to our Mission, Vision and Values. These emphasise cooperation, relationships based on inter-dependence and solidarity.

This policy supplements Palms Australia’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity principles and practice that are legislative requirements to ensure the elimination of discrimination against people based on gender, ethnic group, country of birth, political or religious affiliation, health status and people with disabilities.

In upholding gender equity strategies, Palms Australia seeks to achieve fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men, and recognises that different approaches will ensure more representative equitable outcomes.

Palms Australia recognises the value that a diverse and multi-talented Board, staff and volunteers can bring to the delivery of its programs, leading to increased development effectiveness in Australia and in Majority World communities and countries. For this reason in all its organisational positions Palms Australia encourages applications from women and men, people with diverse cultural backgrounds, including Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, and people with a disability.

For the Palms Australia Board, at least one-third of the Directors are to be women and at least one third are to be men. As the Board is elected by the members of Palms Australia at an Annual General Meeting for a three-year term, gender balance will be sought in the nomination of Board candidates and members will be sent this policy with pre-selection and electoral information.

Palms Australia seeks to have a gender balance in its organisation particularly in management positions. Recognising that imbalances may exist in the organisation, Palms Australia will use gender equity as a guiding principle for nomination, selection and /or secondment of staff to senior management positions. This principle of gender balance will be taken as an added weighting where nomination, selection and/or secondment to senior management positions are based on the relative ability, skills, experience and suitability for the position.

Palms Australia is also committed to providing staff and volunteers with a work/life balance that recognises the family, caring responsibilities and other personal commitments. Staff and volunteers are encouraged to discuss with their manager about achieving that balance within their Conditions of Employment. These may include: access to part-time work, flexible working arrangements, study leave and other career development opportunities and extended maternity/paternity leave provisions. Palms Australia will give priority to being responsive to the importance of staff and volunteers achieving work/life balance.

Palms Australia’s commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women in our global programs is outlined further in our Gender and Development Policy.

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. - Indira Gandhi