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International Women’s Day

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day on 8 March is Press for Progress – a call to achieve gender parity around the world.

Education has traditionally been a sector dominated by women. Around 78% of our workforce is female, yet only 53% of senior leadership roles in our schools and corporate offices are held by women.

The Women in NSW 2017 report shows that women continue to be under-represented in public and private sector leadership roles, holding just over a third of senior leadership roles.

Our vision is to be the best education system in Australia and one of the finest in the world, so we need to always encourage and support opportunities for all staff to succeed and strive for excellence, regardless of their gender, background or individual circumstance.

For the students in our care, we must promote the same opportunities for girls and boys so we can adequately prepare them for a rapidly changing world.

We can support our students for the future by encouraging the participation in STEM subjects – an area where there is significant examples of gender inequality. In the 2017 HSC candidature, girls accounted for just 36% of enrolments in the most advanced mathematics course and 23% of enrolments in Physics.

Our schools and workplaces should be safe and respectful environments that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. It’s important that we call out inequality and celebrate the achievements and success of all our students and staff.

I hope you take the opportunity to join millions of women and men, girls and boys around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day.

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Secretary Mark Scott

About the secretary

Mark Scott is Secretary of the Department of Education. He has worked as a teacher, in public administration and as a journalist and media executive. He is committed to public education and learning environments where every child can flourish.

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