In the lead-up to tomorrow's 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, The University of Western Australia has been recognised nationally as an Employer of Choice for Women for the ninth consecutive year.
UWA is one of fewer than 100 organisations to be recognised from a field of more than 2,500. The citation, awarded by the Federal Government authority which administers the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act (EOWA), was announced last night by the Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the University was committed to equal opportunity and had increased the number of women at senior levels, provided development plans for high achievers, delivered paid parental leave and supported family friendly working arrangements.
"It is part of the University's culture to help women and men achieve their full potential while also helping them to find a balance between work and family.
"Our University's flexible structures support workers in their chosen career paths - such as those with dual careers, part-time workers and others who have made career changes.
UWA Associate Director of Equity and Diversity, Beverley Hill, said that over the past two decades UWA had worked on removing structural barriers that could impede the careers of female staff.
"UWA has also provided opportunities for men to take up caring roles - through parental rather than maternity leave. In the past, women were the ones who had delayed and interrupted careers because only they were able to take extended paid leave. We recognise that we also need to work towards a more finely tuned way of positioning staff who do not work traditionally so that they can flourish in their chosen careers. We are working towards a more calibrated assessment of achievement relative to opportunity."
EOWA Acting Director Mairi Steele said it was important to recognise those employers making their contribution to raise the status of women in Australian workplaces. "Women now represent just over 50 per cent of university graduates and are a huge proportion of the talent pool," she said.
The citation is awarded to non-Government organisations with more than 100 employees that have demonstrated policies and practices supporting women across the organisation, achieving positive outcomes for both women and the business.