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Mike Rowe

Director General


My commitment to gender equity begins with a clear recognition of the challenges women and girls continue to face in our community and within the workforce. I understand the historical and systemic barriers that have prevented equal representation and opportunities for certain genders in our community. I am dedicated to dismantling these barriers and creating an environment where everyone has an equal chance to flourish, regardless of their gender.

I chose to join CEOS for Gender Equity because I firmly believe that achieving gender equity is not just a goal, but a moral imperative. Harnessing the diverse perspectives and talents of all genders can only drive innovation, increase productivity, and enhance outcomes for every workplace and the broader community.

The Department of Communities (Communities) is the lead agency for the delivery and implementation of Stronger Together: WA’s Plan for Gender Equality. The Plan provides a framework for coordinated action by State Government, business, organisations, and individuals and outlines practical steps to advance gender equality over the next 10 years.

As one of the State Government’s largest employers, Communities exceeds the Public Sector Commission’s target of 50 per cent women in Senior Executive Service (SES) roles, with a representation of 59.3 per cent of SES positions held by women. We continue to focus on ensuring women have equitable access to opportunities at all levels of employments, especially in leadership positions. I am proud of the many initiatives Communities has developed to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

While we have come a long way in bridging the gap in gender equality, we have an even longer journey ahead. In Western Australia, women continue to be under-represented in male dominated industries, such as engineering and technology (14.8%) and over-represented in traditional occupations such as education (74%) and health (73.6%). It is important that all industries, including STEM industries, ensure inclusive work environments that support work-life balance for all individuals. This means offering flexible work arrangements, parental leave policies that encompass all genders, and access to resources that aid in managing the demands of both work and personal life.

Everyone has the right to participate, reach their full potential and succeed in our community. Hence, it is critical that we ensure gender equity in all areas including in leadership where the skills and experience of all genders are valued, and individuals are empowered to participate in decision making. This in turn allows for financial agency and independence which is imperative to the overall health, freedom, and safety of all women.

Every leader also has the responsibility to work towards closing the gender pay gap regardless of industry. It is our responsibility to ensure that every employee is compensated fairly for their skills, experience, and contributions. It is also our responsibility to create workplaces where everyone feels safe, respected, and empowered to challenge discrimination whenever they encounter it.

Through CEOs for Gender Equity, Communities extends our commitment to gender equity beyond government. I encourage every leader to engage with organisations and initiatives that champion gender equity and equality in the workforce and beyond. By working together with partners who share our values, we can amplify our impact and contribute to a broader movement for positive change.



CEO Conversation.


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