La Trobe is employer of choice for women

Ninth year in a row: La Trobe University awarded Employer of Choice for women

La Trobe University has once again been successful in achieving the Employer of Choice for Women citation for 2009.  This is the ninth year in a row the University has received this recognition.  

The Employer of choice for Women (EOCFW) citation is a prestigious acknowledgement by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) of organisations that are recognising and advancing women in the workplace.

“I am thrilled that La Trobe’s ongoing commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has been recognized once again,” said Dr Kerry Ferguson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Equity & Student Services).

“The award also acknowledges our deep commitment to diversity and the ongoing work we do to enhance the gains we have made year on year,” she added.

The EOCFW citation is awarded to non-government organisations with more than 80 employees that have demonstrated that they have policies and practices that support women across the organisation and these have had a positive outcome for both women and the business.

To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of choice for Women, employers are required to meet stringent criteria each year which include offering a minimum of 6 weeks paid maternity leave after 12 months or service; providing the ability for female managers to work part-time; ensuring the percentage of female managers is the same or greater than 28% or the industry average, and ensuring a pay equity analysis has been undertaken and any gap identified is less than their industry average.

The 2009 EOWA Employer of choice for Women list features 111 organisations nationally ranging in size and spanning across all industries.
The Equality and Diversity Centre is responsible for applying each year and detailing the university’s approach and achievements across numerous criteria including;

•    percentage of women in senior roles
•    salary comparison between men and women across all levels of the institution
•    flexible working arrangements
•    maternity leave provisions
•    education of staff in anti-discriminatory practices
•    senior staff and major committee responsibilities for Equal Opportunity for Women

Both policy and process is assessed as evidence of the university’s commitment to delivering improved outcomes for women and the institution.

Significant performance includes:

•    From 2006 to 2008, the University exceeded the higher education sector national benchmarking average of the number of women in senior academic positions:
•    In 2008, La Trobe women employed at Professorial level comprised 28.18 % (compared to the sector benchmark average of 19.1%).
•    In 2008, La Trobe women employed at Associate Professor Level comprised 29.77 % (compared to the sector benchmark average of 26.77%).
•    Since 2005 the overall number of women applying for promotion has increased by 34% (from 65 applicants for the period 2001-2005 compared to 99 applicants for the period 2005-2008).
•    A 77% reduction in the number of complaints dealing with Discrimination and Harassment over the period 2004 - 2008

This performance is a result of the increased awareness and engagement by the University in equity issues.

The Equality and Diversity Centre has reported increased participation in the Equality Staff Diversity Program which is delivered across all campuses from 92 participants in 2003 to 325 participants in the 2008.

The Equality Diversity and Wellbeing Committee produces policy and guidelines for use by the University in implementing this very important agenda.

Background information and a full list of the EOCFW organisations can be found at this link.