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Women Making Strides: ACT Public Service Celebrates International Women’s Day



Women Making Strides: Act Public Service Celebrates International Women's Day

This International Women's Day, the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) is proud to celebrate the theme ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress’. With a workforce where 64.6 per cent identify as female, the ACTPS is leading the charge in gender diversity.

Within the ACTPS, women now hold 56 per cent of the Senior Executive Service positions, showcasing a commitment to female representation in leadership roles.

One of the standout achievements is the record low gender pay gap of -0.1 per cent reached by the ACTPS in June 2023, a testament to the strides made in gender equality within the service.

Highlighting the contributions of women within the ACTPS, three remarkable employees share their thoughts on International Women’s Day and their experiences working for the organization.

Rachael Dawes – Senior Director Urban Treescapes
Rachael Dawes, the Senior Director overseeing Urban Treescapes at City Services, expresses her pride in managing Canberra‘s urban trees. She emphasizes the positive impact of increased gender diversity within her team, enabling a collaborative environment that harnesses diverse skills and experiences to meet environmental challenges.

Under her leadership, significant advancements have been made in urban forest management, including the development of the Urban Forest Strategy and Urban Forest Act, initiatives driven by the vision and perseverance of women within the team.

Encouraging women to explore unconventional career paths, Rachael underscores the importance of networking, seeking opportunities, and following one’s interests to unlock new avenues of professional growth.

Arooj Fatima – Customer Service Operator, Access Canberra Contact Centre
Operating as a Customer Service Officer at Access Canberra, Arooj Fatima plays a vital role in assisting Canberrans with a myriad of inquiries. She highlights the need for full inclusion and empowerment of women across all sectors of society, underscoring the importance of women’s contributions in building a prosperous future for all.

Arooj notes the significant progress made by women across different employment levels, showcasing their value and achievements in various roles. She expresses immense pride in working for the ACTPS, citing the supportive environment, work-life balance, and opportunities for professional development.

Katie Smith – Principal, Duffy Primary School
Leading an all-female leadership team at Duffy Primary School, Principal Katie Smith underscores the importance of setting a strong example in supporting women and fostering inclusivity in the workplace. Together with her Deputy Principal, Arilia Abell, they strive to create a diverse and supportive environment that inspires future generations. Katie acknowledges the progress made in gender equality, particularly in education leadership roles, and aligns with this year’s IWD theme of uplifting and supporting women in all spheres.

This International Women’s Day, the ACTPS stands as a beacon of progress and inclusivity, championing the empowerment and recognition of women in the workforce.

Rachel Adams

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