Employers of choice for women named

by 18 Mar 2008

NINETY-NINE AUSTRALIAN businesses have been recognised as employer of choice for women by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA).

In its annual survey, McDonald’s, the University of New South Wales, ANZ Bank and Shell were some of the companies recognised for showing outstanding initiatives in the area of advancing women in the workplace.

This year six new prerequisites were introduced. These included a minimum of six weeks’ paid maternity leave after 12 months of service; the ability for female managers to work part-time; the percentage of female managers is the same or greater than 27 per cent or the industry average, and a pay equity analysis has been undertaken, and any gap identified is less than the industry average.

The 99 companies which made the list were seen to be working hard to fully utilise their female workforce and meet these requirements.

“These businesses have moved beyond simply writing policies and providing basic flexibility. For these organisations creating equity is about changing culture, changing expectations, breaking down the outdated myths about women and finally valuing the massive contribution women make to the workplace whether they are working part-time or full-time, working from home or in the office, starting their careers or nearing retirement,” said Anna McPhee, director of EOWA.

This year, each of the 99 companies had to undertake a gender pay equity analysis in their workplace and outline the ways in which they will address any gap identified. The data collected through the application process revealed that the average pay gap of companies on the list is 10 per cent which is 7 percentage points less than the Australian national average.

McPhee hopes that some day drawing up this list will no longer be a requirement.

“I am looking forward to a time when there is no need for an Employer of Choice for Women List because all organisations understand that every working woman has a contribution to make to the workforce and that it makes sense to embrace diversity,” she said.