Initiatives of employers of choice for women

by 18 Mar 2008

The University of New South Wales provides a career advancement fund for women returning from maternity leave, which assists full-time and part-time female academics to re-establish their careers upon returning to the workforce. The fund may be accessed for research assistance; the purchase of equipment or consumables for research purposes; professional development; or the recruitment of casual teachers to reduce teaching loads while the academic focuses on developing their research.

McDonald’s Australia’s summer working hours program allows employees to commence work 30 minutes early or 30 minutes later in order to finish at 1pm on Friday. This practice allows employees to take greater advantage of the longer periods of daylight during summertime to spend with family, friends or enjoying leisure activities. Their fifth week leave policy allows employees who use their full leave entitlement each year to take a fifth week of paid leave in that year. This is designed to provide incentive for employees to use their full entitlement each year making sure they are fully rested as well as providing additional time to revitalise.

ANZ Bank offers parental leave to all permanent full-time and part-time employees, irrespective of length of service. Parental leave assistance of 12 weeks’ pay is available to the primary caregiver for the child and an entitlement to unpaid parental leave is also available for eligible casual employees. The primary caregiver for the child may take up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave, and request an extension up to a total period of two years of unpaid leave.

Since 2004 the number of women in senior management roles at Shell in Australia increased by 23 per cent. Shell now has two female senior managers leading businesses for the first time in its Australian history, and senior women leading the risk and insurance, external affairs/communications and human resources functions. Initiatives include its “Non-traditional Pathways for Girls” program, which sponsors secondary schools to encourage female students to look at non-traditional careers in its refineries, hosting a women’s conference, and running gender awareness programs for their top 150 leaders.