Tony Abbott has slammed a gender workplace quota suggestion as "anti-men."

Tony Abbott has rubbished an idea for the Human Rights Commission to set new gender workforce quotas, labelling it “anti-men”.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins reportedly wants the federal government to make private sector contractors hire more women.

Government agencies would include a clause in contracts requiring “demonstrated efforts to improve gender balance” with a hiring rate target of 40 per cent women.

“Pull your head in,” the former prime minister said of Ms Jenkins, during an interview with Sydney radio 2GB.

“We absolutely have to give women a fair go but some of this stuff sounds like it’s just anti-men.”

Mr Abbott said if the government wanted to do the right thing by women the best thing it could do was to get good conservative women into the parliament.

“That’s one of the challenges which faces my party right now,” he said.