Australia’s Top Employers for Gender Equality Revealed
1 March 2019 at 1:45 pm
Corporate leaders say gender equality is now widely recognised as being essential for business success after almost 150 Australian businesses were named employers of choice, for shifting gender imbalances in the workplace.
The federal government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) this week announced the list of 2018-19 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) organisations.
A record 141 organisations were named by WGEA for their best practice commitments to promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces, compared to 120 organisations last year.
Among the 26 first-time recipients this year was the first-ever national sporting organisation: the Australian Football League.
Libby Lyons @WGEADirector speaking at @DeloitteAUS congratulating recipients of @WGEAgency citations and reminding us that we have an obligation to influence beyond our own companies and into our supply chains @KonicaMinoltaAu #genderequality pic.twitter.com/AL3xUuHkRk
— David Cooke (@drdavidcooke) February 26, 2019
WGEA director Libby Lyons said that the growth in recipients showed increasing recognition by employers that gender equality was not just good for business, it also gave organisations a competitive advantage.
“More organisations are introducing strategies and policies to ensure women and men are equally valued and rewarded in their workplaces. Gender equality has become an important focus for Australian employers,” Lyons said.
“However, we also know that policies and strategies cannot just live on paper. They have to be implemented. Targets need to be set, outcomes monitored and managers, executives and boards made accountable for the results.”
Trends among this year’s recipients included prioritising flexible work across the organisation, programs to support women into leadership, tailored parental leave policies, and setting targets to achieve gender-equal graduate recruitment intakes.
Lyons said while EOCGE recognition did not signify that employers had solved all of their gender equality issues, it showed they had embraced a rigorous and detailed program to transform their workplaces.
This year’s EOCGE recipients ranged from small professional services firms to large organisations such as the AFL and Telstra.
Mark Steinert, the managing director and CEO of EOCGE recipient Stockland, said gender equality was now widely recognised as a business imperative and simply made good business sense.
But he said there was still more to be done, with leadership and accountability essential to shifting the gender imbalances that still existed within Australian workplaces.
“Although we’re on the way to achieving our goal to achieve 50-50 gender equality in managerial roles by 2020, we can’t become complacent and we’re constantly looking at innovative ways to make Stockland a more inclusive place to work,” Steinert said.
“We’re also increasing investment in our future leaders to ensure we have gender balanced pipelines for senior leadership roles, through initiatives like our Senior Women’s Sponsorship Program that connects executive committee members with Stockland’s up and coming… female talent.”
Super fund HESTA was named an employer of choice for the third year in a row.
CEO Debby Blakey said more than 80 per cent of the fund’s members across Australia were women, making it vital the organisation developed innovative strategies to foster diversity and inclusion.
She said HESTA was also proud to achieve increases in male employees using primary parental leave, carers’ leave and flexible work arrangements in 2018.
“We’re championing the long-term change we want to see in workplaces as greater gender equality, inclusion and respect, impacts the financial future of HESTA members and benefits all working Australians,” Blakey said.
“We keep challenging ourselves to find new ways to realise the benefits that a diverse and inclusive culture brings to the performance of an organisation. That’s why it’s wonderful to again be recognised by WGEA as an employer of choice for gender equality.”
The full list of gender equality employers of choice can be seen here.