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WGEA citations

Drinks industry celebrates gender equality citations

March 2, 2020
By Alana House

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has announced the 2019-2020 Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE), naming 119 organisations who have received the citation.

In the drinks industry, Diageo Australia, Lion and Metcash made the list.

In 2018-2019, a record 141 organisations were recognised with the citation, however a recent update the eligibility criteria raised the bar for applicants this year.

“This year, we strengthened the eligibility criteria by placing even greater emphasis on accountability, outcomes, evidence and internal reporting processes,” WGEA Director Libby Lyons said.

“I would like to congratulate all of our 2019-20 EOCGE citation holders for the extra effort and commitment it has taken to meet these additional rigorous requirements.

“As the research we released today demonstrates, these employers have reaped the many business and workplace culture benefits from implementing leading-practice measures in their workplaces.”

Diageo Australia Managing Director David Smith (above, right) said: “Without a doubt the best performing businesses prioritise gender equality and Diageo is a leader in championing gender equality as a priority for everyone, not just women.

“We foster an inclusive and diverse workplace culture every day through our leadership, our behaviours and our market leading policies and practices.

“Ten months ago we announced one of Australia’s most progressive family leave policies. Every Diageo Australia employee is entitled to take 26 weeks paid family leave regardless of their gender, carer status or tenure. These kinds of game-changing strategies, processes and ambitious gender equality targets help us create an environment where women want to work and where they can thrive.”

Diageo Australia’s executive leadership including the Managing Director is 63% female and 37% male while the extended leadership group is gender neutral.

The business has consistently ensured it has no gender pay gap and its recent launch of its family leave policy has provided gender equality for paid parental leave with new dads from right across the business taking parental leave to support their partner’s own return to work transitions.

“Driving change isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen quickly but that’s exactly why we need to keep pushing ourselves and others to maintain the momentum,” Smith said.

“What you tend to also find is that ultimately everyone benefits from a more gender equal society. With our family leave policy coming into effect this financial year many of our employees are getting new opportunities for professional development with 6- and 12-month secondments.

“Our employees are getting the chance to step up into more senior roles or move functions that broadens their whole of business experience and develop new skill sets.”

Lion CEO Stuart Irvine (above) said: I am delighted that Lion has received the citation for the third year in a row. Across Lion, as of Q1 F20 we have a female population of 40.2%, which puts our 50:50 gender target for 2026 well within reach.

“It’s fantastic to see our Lion strategies, such as mainstreaming LionFlex, and closing the gender pay gap – and conducting regular analyses to keep it closed, are yielding results.

“These are just some of the many ways that Lion is creating an inclusive and fair workplace for men and women, and I look forward to sharing more in the future as we continue this journey.”

Metcash CEO Jeff Adams said: “I’m delighted that Metcash has received this citation. Metcash strives to be a favourite place to work and has implemented a range of programs over the past few years to increase diversity in our workplace, including flexible working, parental leave polies and addressing the gender pay gap. This citation aligns with our values and is a testament to our hard work so far, we’ll continue to build and improve on these efforts.”

Report reveals EOCGE citation driving change

A new report produced by the University of Queensland has proven the Employer of Choice Gender Equality citation is driving improved gender equality outcomes in Australian workplaces.

The report, commissioned by the WGEA and written by Dr Terry Fitzsimmons and a team of researchers from the AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace, has found that EOCGE citation holders are improving on key gender equality metrics at a faster rate than other employers in the Agency’s dataset.

EOCGE organisations have a faster reduction in their gender pay gap compared to other organisations, as well as a greater proportion of women in all levels of management and a higher representation of women on their boards.

The report has also found that citation holders have a stronger pipeline of women moving into senior management roles.

The Agency regularly reviews and updates the criteria for the EOCGE citation to ensure it remains effective and relevant.