Gender Equality Action Plan guidance for tenderers – suppliers

Understand how to complete the Gender Equality Action Plan when preparing tender responses.

In December 2023, the Building Equality Policy(opens in a new window) was updated. New requirements will apply from 1 January 2024 and 1 July 2024. 

See, Building Equality Policy – updates(opens in a new window) for a summary of changes. 

The team is working to update this page accordingly. 

Documents required for submission

The Building Equality Policy outlines that as part of the tender process Tenderers are required to complete and submit the following documents:

  1. Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit
  2. Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan
  3. Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan

Who completes these documents? 

The three documents are to be completed by the contracting party(ies) responsible for the building and construction works outlined in the tender.

Where two or more construction companies tender for work together to complete the construction works (for example in a Joint Venture), all companies are required to prepare the Gender Equality Action Plan documents.

Where a whole of life procurement model is used, only the party(ies) responsible for delivering the construction works are required to develop the Gender Equality Action Plan documents. They do not apply to non-construction partners, such as facilities management service providers or financiers.

Where there is a consortium involving suppliers of construction works and construction services, the parties responsible for delivering the construction works are required to prepare the Gender Equality Action Plan documents.

Requirements for sub-contractors 

Sub-contractors are not required to prepare or contribute to the development of an Organisation wide gender equality action plan.

Step 1: Complete Organisation Wide Workplace Gender Audit

A workplace gender audit collects data on seven gender equality indicators:

  1. Gender pay equity 
  2. Gender composition at all levels of the workforce
  3. Gender composition of governing bodies 
  4. Sexual harassment  
  5. Recruitment and promotion
  6. Gendered workforce segregation 
  7. Leave and flexibility

The results of this audit will show if and where the tenderers organisation has areas for improvement in relation to each of the indicators.  

How to complete the audit

Tenderers will need to gather data on each of the seven indicators listed above. 

Tenderers can choose to collect and provide data for the audit using either national or state data.

Data must separately identify women, men, and gender diverse people. If some data cannot be collected, Tenderers should:

  • note this in the comments section of the Workplace Gender Audit under the indicator
  • create strategies within their Gender Equality Action Plan to improve data quality and address data gaps.

When to submit the audit

The Workplace Gender Audit must be submitted as part of the tender response.

The following template must be used:   

Workplace Gender Audit Organisation Wide template
Excel 318.07 KB
(opens in a new window)

Step 2: Complete the Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan

A Gender Equality Action Plan documents strategies to support a gender equal workplace. It includes:

  • understanding the importance of gender equality
  • identifying where change is needed
  • planning and implementing actions to achieve progress
  • measuring change over time. 

An Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan documents strategies at the level of the tenderer’s organisation.

How to complete the plan

For each mandatory action within the Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan the tenderer must provide a strategy. Each mandatory action focuses on ways to improve gender equality. How this is linked to the audit is that an effective Gender Equality Action Plan will focus on the people who are part of your workforce and will result in reduced gender inequality over time – measured through workplace gender audit results.

In completing the Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan, tenderers must provide the following:

  • A minimum of one Organisation Strategy for each mandatory action. It is important to address the actions specifically, i.e. if the action states ‘set targets’ then a specific target should be provided within the strategy. For example, set a target of keeping the gender gap below 5%.
  • A name, job title and timeframe for who is accountable for implementing the Organisation strategy and therefore achieving the mandatory action.
  • Ensure the Gender Equality Action Plan is endorsed and signed by an Authorised Officer.

When to submit this plan

The Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan must be submitted as part of the tender response.

The following template must be used:   

Organisation Wide Gender Equality Action Plan Template
Word 83.29 KB
(opens in a new window)

Step 3: Complete the Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan

A Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan documents strategies to to support gender equality at the project level by:

  • understanding the importance of gender equality
  • identifying where change is needed
  • planning and implementing actions to achieve progress
  • measuring change over time.

Different strategies apply at the project level compared to the organisational level, i.e. the gender pay gap of an organisation and a project will differ and will require different targets to eliminate or close the gap.  

How to complete the plan

No audit is required prior to completing the Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan.

In completing the Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan, the Tenderer must provide the following:

  • A minimum of one Project Strategy for each mandatory action. It is important to address the actions specifically i.e. if the action states ‘allocate a specific budget’ then a budget figure should be provided. For example, allocate $200,000 over the duration of the project with the aim of eliminating the gender pay gap of the project team.
  • A name, job title and timeframe for who is accountable for implementing the project strategy and therefore achieving the mandatory action.
  • Ensure the Gender Equality Action Plan is endorsed and signed by an Authorised Officer.

When to submit this plan

The Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan must be submitted as part of the tender response.

The following template must be used:

Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plan Template
Word 87.69 KB
(opens in a new window)

Additional information

Key differences between the Organisation and Project Specific Gender Equality Action Plans 

Differences between these plans are summarised in the following table:

SubjectOrganisation Wide Gender Equality Action PlanProject Specific Gender Equality Action Plan
CoverageTenderers organisationTenderers project
Audit requiredYesNo

Other relevant Victorian and Commonwealth laws 

There are workplace consultation obligations under both Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and industrial instruments.

Help and Support

For more information on responding to the Gender Equality Action Plans in a tender, contact the Industry Capability Network.

Access the Building Equality Policy - Defined terms for more information.

Updated