Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
April 2006 Issue
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University is Employer of Choice for Women

 Good Practice

The University of Adelaide has been named an official Employer of Choice for Women by the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA).

The EOWA citation recognises employers that are supportive of women through policies and practices that have a positive outcome for women and for the organisation as a whole.

The University's Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee Convenor, Professor Michael Innes, said: "We are delighted to receive this recognition for the way we actively support our women staff members through family-friendly flexible employment policies and practices; for our inclusive and equitable workplace culture; and for the various strategies - some already in place and some still being developed further - to attract, retain and develop our women employees."

Among the good practice and initiatives recognised by EOWA is the Women's Professional Development Network (WPDN) and its mentoring program for general staff women.

The mentoring program was first piloted in 1996/97 - a pioneering scheme developed by a steering group within the University specifically for this University. The 2006 program starts on 6 April.

WPDN convenor Lee Jones said the key to the program's ongoing success was getting the right match of mentor and 'mentoree'.

"If we find the right match, we find staff taking part usually achieve what they set out to achieve, whether it be promotion to a new job, development within their current job or dealing with difficult issues."

Other University of Adelaide good practice and initiatives include: the Academic Women's Forum; a promotions policy that ensures staff who are employed part-time or who have had career breaks are not disadvantaged; a Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee which reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Innes said: "We don't want to rest on our laurels and indeed realise we need to encourage more women into senior academic posts. This year we will be working closely with each Faculty to further develop strategies to continue this process."

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