The University of Western Australia continues to build on its reputation as a gender equity employer with today's naming of Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson as "Leading CEO For The Advancement Of Women" at an awards ceremony in Sydney.
The award, presented by the Australian Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, follows EOWA recognition of UWA for the ninth consecutive year in 2011 as national Employer of Choice for Women.
Professor Robson was cited in today's Business Achievement Awards as the leadership force behind UWA gender equity reform over the past 18 years. He oversaw the recruitment of the University's first gender-balanced executive and the historic appointments of women in a range of senior UWA leadership roles.
Professor Robson funded and led UWA's Leadership Development For Women program - now in its 18th year - to position women in leadership roles with confidence and success at all levels at the University.
This major reform was assisted by Professor Robson's support for the introduction of a generous and flexible UWA staff parental leave scheme that offers up to 36 weeks' paid leave for male and female parents, and same-sex couples.
Professor Robson has also led UWA and the higher education sector in recognising and supporting diverse sexuality and gender identities on campus through the University's Ally network, and was instrumental in UWA being the first Australian university to say "sorry" on the inaugural National Sorry Day in 1998.
EOWA Director Helen Conway said award winners were knocking down barriers faced by women seeking to excel and replacing them with ladders to success.
"We are seeing an improved focus on creating a culture of sustainable change and improved accountability," Ms Conway said.
The eight categories of awards were presented by the Federal Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon. Kate Ellis MP, and attended by more than 400 business representatives from around Australia.