All public service jobs will soon be flexible in New South Wales after state premier Mike Baird announced the policy on Tuesday, in a bid to get more women into senior positions.
Delivering the announcement at an International Women's Day breakfast in Sydney, Baird said all public service roles -- currently 380,000 -- will be flexible by 2019.
The government will implement an online job share register and will also train senior executives about unconscious bias, which is a systemic and cultural issue holding many women back from leadership positions.
“Currently, we only have 1 to 2 percent of our senior managers in formal flexible arrangements," Baird said on Tuesday.
"We have to tear down the obstacles to attracting good candidates, we must undo the notion that work is confined to the desk, and we must create and retain a pipeline of senior women managers.
“At the moment, despite women accounting for 64 per cent of the workforce we only have 36 percent in senior leadership roles. So we have more to do but we have a very clear plan to do it.”
— Elizabeth Broderick (@LizBroderick) March 7, 2016
On Tuesday afternoon, Minister for Women Michaelia Cash told the National Press Club the government would consider adopting a similar policy to the Baird government.
Cash said governments and big corporations needed to lead by example, and recognised Telstra's successful implementation of the policy.
"If an organisation as big as Telstra is able to do it, then I think within the public service, we need to be able to look very carefully at the practices that we have and ensure that we're also leading the way," Cash said in Canberra.
"There will be some exciting announcements over the coming weeks."