ACU a gender equality champion

Thursday, 5 November 2015

WGEA workplace equality Amy Ryan ACU Manager of Exchange and Study Abroad, Amy Ryan, enjoys support for her career development and her work-life balance.

Australian Catholic University has been recognised as an employer of choice for gender equality in the workplace for the fourth consecutive year.

The University is one of 90 organisations and 12 Australian universities to be awarded the Employer of Choice in Gender Equality Citation by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) on Thursday.

ACU has again been recognised with the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citation, as the ACU Gender Equality Strategy 2015-2020 is implemented across all areas of the University.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons congratulated this year’s recipients, saying their efforts showed that more employers were taking a sophisticated and whole-of-organisation approach to supporting women and men’s equal participation at all levels of the workplace.

“These employers are at the frontline of driving positive change as they set the gold standard for inclusive workplaces,” Ms Lyons said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said he was proud that ACU was again recognised for its leadership in supporting workplace opportunities for all staff.

“ACU continues to be recognised as a leader in gender equality in the higher education sector. The University’s Gender Equality Strategy is committed to continuing high levels of women’s representation at all levels of the University and providing targeted support and encouragement for female and male staff,” Professor Craven said.

The University provides effective support for women to advance their career and move into leadership roles. ACU offers three annual $12,500 Research Awards for Academic Women Staff.

These awards are provided for staff returning to work after a break relating to parenting responsibilities, to support them in re-establishing their research profile.  The University also provides leadership development for staff through a variety of programs such as the Emerging Leaders and Managers Program (eLAMP) in which 83 per cent of participants in 2015 were women.

One staff member currently undertaking eLAMP is the ACU Manager of Exchange and Study Abroad, Amy Ryan.  She feels that the ACU’s workplace practices provide effective support both for her career development and her work/life balance, as she prepares for the arrival of her second child due in February.

“I’m enjoying the eLAMP program as there’s a lot of practical information and it is clear how it can be incorporated into your day-to-day work. It takes a holistic approach to learning, therefore giving you the big picture stuff along with a better understanding of how your role contributes to the organisation.  I found the most recent module really interesting - it explored strategy development and the ways in which you implement strategy.  It gives you an idea of what type of structure is really going to be most effective at that level,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan also participated in the recent pilot of a Leadership and Accountability of the Supervisor program which ACU has developed in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She says the effort that ACU puts into designing professional development opportunities for staff is positive and motivating in itself.