The University of Newcastle has again been named an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. This is the sixth consecutive year the University has been recognised by the Workplace for Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for progress in areas such as leadership, flexible working, preventing harassment and discrimination and targets for improving gender equality outcomes.
“Our University continues to be at the forefront of action to achieve gender equality because we understand that to reach our full potential we need to benefit from the talents of all,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said.
“As this year’s additional eligibility requirements demonstrate, words are not enough. Action, resources and a culture of continual improvement are key to understanding and challenging the barriers to workplace equality,” Professor Zelinsky said.
Action over the past year has included:
- The appointment of an Assistant Dean – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in each Faculty
- Facilitating career progression pathways through initiatives such as Women in Leadership, NEWstar, the Women’s Professoriate Network and the Women in Research Fellowship Program
- Maintaining our above-sector average for female representation in Level E Academics (Professors) at 33%
- Increased flexibility for staff on or returning from parental leave
- A review of the Respectful and Inclusive Behaviour Policy
- Recognition as a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion by the Australian Academy of Science.
Our female academics achieved outstanding success in the 2019 promotions round. At 62% of the total number of successful applications, we saw women at all levels progressing to the next stage of their career. The overall success rate for female candidates was 89%.
Commenting on today’s announcement, WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation provides a rigorous and evidence-based guide for employers to chart a course towards achieving gender equality in the workplace.
“This year, we strengthened the eligibility criteria by placing even greater emphasis on accountability, outcomes, evidence and internal reporting processes. I would like to congratulate all of our 2019-2020 EOCGE citation holders for the extra effort and commitment it has taken to meet these additional rigorous requirements,” Ms Lyons said.
“All these organisations are at the forefront of momentum for change towards gender quality in Australian workplaces. These industry leaders are showing other Australian businesses how to create a better and more equal future for both women and men.”
The number of accredited organisations fell from 141 in 2018-2019 to 119 in 2019-2020 – of which the number of education and training institutions fell from 20 to 13.
“We are extremely proud to remain at the forefront of gender equality in the workplace. But as the bar is raised, there is more we can and will need to do to demonstrate our commitment to a more equitable world. I am confident we are up to the task,” Professor Zelinsky said.