10/03/2011 - 00:00

It’s official: women could do better in WA

10/03/2011 - 00:00

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ONLY three Western Australian businesses have been named an ‘employer of choice for women’ among a list of 98 organisations considered to promote gender equality and provide equal opportunities for women in the workplace.

It’s official: women could do better in WA

ONLY three Western Australian businesses have been named an ‘employer of choice for women’ among a list of 98 organisations considered to promote gender equality and provide equal opportunities for women in the workplace.

The list, announced by Status of Women Minister Kate Ellis, has been compiled by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, with data from more than 2,500 organisations that report to the body each year.

The criteria to make it on the list included having provisions for maternity leave, development programs, sexual-harassment training, and equal opportunity programs in compliance with the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act.

Only non-government organisations with more than 100 employees were eligible.

The WA organisations recognised were Alcoa Australia, Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia.

UWA vice-chancellor Alan Robson said the university supported a balance between work and family and provided development plans for high achievers.

“Our university’s flexible structures support workers in their chosen career paths – such as those with dual careers, part-time workers and others who have made career changes,” Professor Robson said.

Many national companies are on the list, including the big four accounting firms, major law firms and several financial and insurance providers.

EOWA acting director Mairi Steele said she hoped the number of organisations on the list would have reached 100 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, but only 98 had made the grade.

“This is a solemn reminder that there is still some way to go before we have gender equality at work,” Ms Steele said.

“While we are delighted at the success of the 98 EOCFW organisations, over 2,500 organisations report to EOWA each year, so there is plenty of room for the remaining ones to step up to the mark.”

Recruitment company Hays got a mention, and while it is based in Sydney, it does have one office in Perth. The company’s CEO and CFO are women and 62.1 per cent of all its staff are women.

Queensland-based financial institution CUA, which has a branch in Perth, also made the list. Women make up 70 per cent of its workforce, including half the senior team and just over 40 per cent of its board.

Meanwhile, Diversity Council Australia has released a paper critical of the one-size-fits-all approach to gender diversity programs, saying other factors like age, ethnicity, family situation, parental and care-giving responsibilities, religious affiliation and sexual orientation had to be included when considering equality and diversity in the workplace.

 

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