Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been awarded a prestigious Employer of Choice for Women citation for the second year in a row.
ACU met stringent criteria to qualify for the citation, an acknowledgement by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) of organisations that are recognising and advancing women in the workplace.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the citation recognises the University’s leading human resource policies and practices, and commitment to staff.
“We are proud of our continued efforts in providing opportunities for women to reach their potential at ACU,” he said. “Women constitute more than 69 per cent of the University’s workforce, and are represented at all levels including senior management where, for example, we have two female Deputy Vice-Chancellors and five female Executive Deans.
“The recent Staff Enterprise Agreement enhanced our already leading parental leave provisions, and we continue to offer flexible working arrangements. In addition, staff are consulted about these matters on a regular basis. These policies and practices ensure equity in our workplace, which assists us to attract and retain the best staff.”
ACU’s parental leave provisions now offer primary care givers who are not the mother of the child access to 40 weeks paid parental leave at 60 per cent of the staff member’s ordinary salary rate. The return-to-work rate from parental leave is currently 91 per cent.
Women also utilise a higher rate of career development opportunities at ACU, with 75 per cent of participants in training programs being women.
EOWA Director Helen Conway said Australian business leaders understood the citation was a major drawcard in the war to attract and retain the best people.
“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,” she said.
“Leaders from across Australia from a diverse range of industries are realising the business benefits of receiving the EOCFW citation. This year’s 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.”
ACU was also awarded the EOWA Business Achievement Award in 2011 for the Leading Organisation for the Advancement of Women (>800 employees).