The Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) has released a list of organisations that have been recognised as Employers of Choice for Women. The 2012 EOWA Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) list features some 125 organisations ranging in size and spanning all industries.
“The successful applicants are the trailblazers in the war for talent and I congratulate them for their innovation and commitment to improving gender equality in the workplace,” EOWA director Helen Conway said yesterday.
Conway added that Australian business leaders understood the citation was a major drawcard in the war to attract and retain the best people, and as such the recipients list was the largest group in five years, despite the agency imposing more stringent selection criteria over this period. “The leaders of the organisations on this list recognise there is a competitive advantage to be obtained by employing a diverse workforce. They are attracting women into non-traditional roles where there are skills shortages, reaping the rewards of increased retention rates, and realising the benefits of flexible work practices.”
To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, employers are required to meet stringent criteria each year which include:
offering a minimum of 6 weeks paid maternity leave after 12 months of service
conducting gender-based harassment education at least every two years
providing the ability for female managers to work part-time
ensuring the percentage of female managers is the same or greater than the industry average
ensuring a pay equity analysis has been undertaken and any gap identified is less than the industry average
The CEO of an EOCFW organisation is also personally interviewed and needs to demonstrate a strong commitment to equal opportunity initiatives resulting in positive outcomes for women.
Despite the minimum requirement being 6 weeks’ paid maternity leave, the average duration provided by the recognised organisations is over 12 weeks. EOCFW organisations have an average of 47.8% female managers and the average pay gap is 12.7% – significantly lower than the national average of 17.2%.
Recipients of the citations typically offered:
'Preparing for and returning from maternity leave' and 'Keep in touch' programs
Parental leave toolkit providing checklists and advice
Generous parental leave payments for primary care giver
Provision of breast feeding/express room
Specialist development programs for women
Ongoing compulsory training to create an inclusive workplace
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