I am pleased to announce that the University has been awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation today for the fourth time, acknowledging ACU as a leading organisation in this area.
ACU was one of only 12 Australian universities to be recognised by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), after a rigorous assessment of workplace practices that support the career development and the full participation of women and men. This is a significant achievement, as the standards required to obtain the citation have increased from previous years, requiring evidence of high levels of organisational commitment to gender equality.
This year ACU has been building on our strong foundations through the development of the Gender Equality Strategy (GES) 2015-2020, which cascades from the ACU Workforce Framework.
The GES will further embed gender equality in the University’s planning and core business through:
supporting supervisors, managers and staff to embed flexible work options
monitoring gender pay equity and implementing initiatives to address any imbalances identified
maintaining high levels of women’s representation at all levels, including the Senate;
providing career development opportunities for women and men
considering child care options to support parents.
The strategy defines an action plan that will build upon the success of our current workplace practices, which have been commended by WGEA and by staff alike. These practices include flexible working arrangements, parental leave provisions for birth and non-birth parents, and resources which support the wellbeing of all staff members. These resources include work/life balance workshops, access to professional counselling services through the Employee Assistance Program, and paid leave provisions for staff experiencing domestic or family violence.
Another key to achieving gender equality in our sector is providing effective supports for women to progress their career and move into leadership roles. For this reason, the University is actively involved in the Universities Australia Executive Women group, and offers training programs for staff such as the Emerging Leaders and Managers Program (eLAMP).
I congratulate each and every manager and staff member who has contributed to the supportive and inclusive work environment that ACU provides. Our continued achievements in this space reflect a whole-of-organisation effort of which I am immensely proud.