ACU wins gender equality award

Monday, 7 November 2011

Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been announced a winner in the 2011 Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) Business Achievement awards.

The University won the Leading Organisation for the Advancement of Women (>800 employees) category. 

Professor Anne Cummins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching), accepted the award, and said the University takes the place of women seriously.

“We stand in the tradition of some great women educators, we believe in the family and we believe in the benefit of a diverse workplace – so for us, this is core mission business,” she said.

HR Director Diana Chegwidden said ACU had made it a priority to promote gender equality. 

“ACU continues to strive to be an employer of choice for women by providing the support for career development and work life balance that allows them to reach their potential,” she said.  

“Our leading parental leave provisions, flexible working arrangements and regular consultation with staff to ensure we are meeting their needs has resulted in high levels of female representation all the way through to senior management roles, and ensures that we continue to attract and retain the very best staff.”  

Each of ACU’s five faculties is headed up by a female executive dean, and 50 per cent of the University’s deputy vice-chancellors are women.  The University has some of the most generous parental leave provisions in Australia with 12 months paid leave, and was the first employer in the country to offer that entitlement.

Since the implementation of the maternity leave policy, staff retention has been 91 per cent.

In addition, research awards are made available to female academics returning to work after parental leave, and women constitute 68.7 per cent of the workforce.