4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2016   
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The Democracy, Governance and Citizenship section contains the following sub-topics:
    • Leadership roles (leadership in the public and non-public sector, membership of boards and governing bodies, parliamentarians, justices and judges)
    • Recognition of outstanding achievement and service (Order of Australia awards)

Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab, above (see Table 6).


Leadership roles

Judges and Justices
    In 2016 there were 56 female and 100 male Commonwealth judges and justices (in the High Court, Federal Court, Family Court and Federal Circuit Court). The proportion of female Commonwealth judges and justices is steadily increasing, rising from 24% to 36% over the last ten years. The gender difference is lowest in the Family court (54% male, 46% female), while male Federal Court judges and justices outnumber female judges and justices by three to one (75% male, 25% female).

    The gender difference was similar in state courts: In 2016, there were 133 male and 39 female State Supreme Court/Court of Appeal justices and judges (77% and 23% respectively).

Non-public sector
    While the proportion of women CEO's decreased slightly between 2013-14 (15.7%) and 2014-15 (15.4%), the proportion of women who were key management personnel increased from 26.1% to 27.4%. Women chairs of governing bodies/boards also increased in this time, from 12% to 14.2% (see Table 6.2).

    In January 2016, women made up 26.7% of federal parliamentarians in the House of Representatives, a proportion which has remained fairly stable over the last decade. Over the last decade there continued to be higher proportions of women in the Senate (38.2%) than in the House of Representatives. See Figure 1 below, and Table 6.3 via the download tab for more detail.

Graph Image for Figure 1 - Federal Parliamentarians (House of Representatives and Senate), by sex, 2006 to 2016 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Reference period is as at 1 January in each year. These figures are calculated according to the current number of parliamentarians, and do not include vacant seats.

Source(s): Australian Parliamentary Library

    After the July 2016 federal election, the 45th Federal Parliament includes 43 female Members of the House of Representatives (or 28.6%), and 28 female Senators (36.8%). (See the Senators and Members page of the Parliament of Australia site for more detail.)

    In January 2016, 33% of state/territory parliamentarians were women (up by almost 11 percentage points since 2001).

Public Sector
    In line with the long term trend since 2001, the proportion of women senior executive managers in the Australian Public Service grew from 40.5% in 2014 to 41% in 2015, despite the ongoing decrease in total numbers since 2012. Just under 48% of executive level staff were women. See Table 6.6 via the downloads tab for more detail.

Recognition of outstanding achievement and service

Order of Australia: nominations and awards
    In 2016, 30% of all nominations for the Order of Australia (General Division) were for women, in line with the long term average of 30% between 2001 and 2016 (see Table 6.8). Although more men received nominations, women were slightly more likely to receive an order if they had been nominated: 78% of female nominees compared with 71% of male nominees.

    There are four award levels to the Order of Australia (Military Division). They are the Companion (AC), Officer (AO), Member (AM) and Medal (OAM) of the Order (see Table 6.9). In 2016, 9% of female recipients and 11% of male recipients received a higher level Order (AC or AO). Over the last decade, these higher level awards were around three times more likely to have been awarded to men (640 male recipients compared with 220 female recipients).

    In 2016, there was a female recipient of the Companion and Officer of the Order of Australia (AC/ AO) (Military Division) for the first time (see Table 6.9).

Order of Australia: Community Category
    Since 2001, the community category has received the most nominations and generated the most Order of Australia awards of any of the 31 categories, with roughly half of all awards nominated and granted being for services to the community. Between 2001 and 2015, nominations for men outnumbered those for women at a rate of 2:1 (see Figure 2 below), however women were more likely to receive an award if they were nominated (an average of 62% compared with 53% of male nominees over that time). In 2015, 79% of female nominees and 67% of male nominees received an award in the community category. See Table 6.10 via the Downloads tab for more detail.

Graph Image for Figure 2 - Order of Australia nominations and awards, Community category, by sex, 2001 to 2016 (a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Nominations considered by the Council for the Order of Australia. (b) Includes all levels of the award, that is, Companion of the Order (AC), Officer of the Order (AO), Member of the Order (AM), and Medal of the Order (OAM).

Source(s): Australian Parliamentary Library