Why Adelaide is Employer of Choice for Women
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
The Employer of Choice for Women citation is awarded annually by the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA).
The 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 of Adelaide is one of only 10 employers based in South Australia to be named an Employer of Choice for Women in 2007. This is the second year in a row that the University has won the citation.
"To be named an Employer of Choice for Women two years running shows that the University of Adelaide has made significant advances, with policies to promote the employment of women and to support their professional development. We are striving to provide a quality working environment that understands their needs," says the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, Professor James McWha.
"Being named an Employer of Choice for Women is a great honour, and it shows potential employees as well as current staff that the University is a leader in providing professional opportunities for women in this State," he says.
"Of course, we can always do more, and we are working to introduce further initiatives to support women in the workplace and to improve the gender balance, particularly at senior academic and professional level.
"To that end, the University's Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee has been consulting with all areas of the University over the past year to identify areas of need, and will continue to do so in the future."
Some of the initiatives already in place are:
- The Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee, which reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor;
- Excellent networks for women, including the Academic Women's Forum and Women's Professional Development Network;
- Mentoring Program for professional women staff;
- Leadership Development Program;
- A new Fair Treatment Policy that covers sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying;
- The appointment of experienced equity and diversity staff to provide advice, and to evaluate and develop policies and programs; and
- A new Equity and Diversity website, which promotes activities and provides policies and other resources to staff.
In addition to those initiatives, the University of Adelaide supports and promotes flexible work practices, including:
- 26 weeks paid maternity leave (an increase from 14 weeks prior to 2004), with the option to take up to two years of leave in total;
- A 12-week 'bonus' option within the 26 weeks of paid maternity leave;
- New guidelines on Reduced Hours for the Care of Children.
"This year, the University of Adelaide will begin a study on women and research at the University, which aims to identify potential barriers to women's participation in research and identify strategies to support and encourage their full participation," Professor McWha says.
"This project was an initiative that came out of the Academic Women's Forum.
"Research participation and success is crucial for staff if they hope to attain promotion and advancement, so we hope the results of this study will be extremely useful to our efforts in the future," he says.
For more information about Equity and Diversity at the University of Adelaide, visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/hr/equity/