Human Resources

Employers of Choice for Gender Equality: Leading pharma and medtech companies recognised

Health Industry Hub | March 16, 2022 |
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Human Resources: The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has today named the latest list of Australia’s Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE).

120 Australian employers are now carrying the WGEA yellow tick to certify they are driving progress to make their workplaces equal, including 12 new companies awarded the prestigious WGEA certification this year.

In the pharma and medtech sectors, the WGEA certification holders include AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, MSD, Philips, Sanofi and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

At MSD 94% of employees believe their manager genuinely supports equality between genders, and 91% strongly agree they have the flexibility they need to work and undertake other commitments.

Prashant Nikam, Managing Director MSD Australia and New Zealand, said “Flexibility in how people can take parental leave and having no qualifying period are important steps towards creating a family friendly workplace. We are proud to support our employees, regardless of their caregiver status, through more choice in how they care for their family.”

Lisa Onsley, Director of HR, added “We know our parental leave policy changes and improvements have meant that we’re seeing more men take time with their children. Participation in the Employer of Choice for Gender Equity citation for the seventh consecutive year shows our strong commitment to balancing the scales of equality and ensuring all of our employees, irrespective of gender, have equal opportunity to thrive both at home and in the workplace.”

Liz Carnabuci, vice president and managing director for Medtronic Australasia, explained the EOCGE citation was a testament to how Medtronic brought to life its Mission and inclusive culture.

“Part of our Mission is to recognise the personal worth of all our employees and to provide them with a framework that advances opportunities and equity. We have an ongoing commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity and we’re pleased to see this recognised externally,” said Ms Carnabuci.

Karen Newell, ANZ director for Human Resources, added “Over the past 12 months, Medtronic has been recognised for our efforts in employee engagement and Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, having been named a Best Place to Work and one of LinkedIn’s Top Companies. This citation from WGEA as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality adds to this list of recent achievements and we look forward to continuing building on this.”

Chris Stemple, GM and VP AbbVie Australia and New Zealand, told Health Industry Hub “The WGEA employer of choice citation is an objective, rigorous measure formally recognising that at AbbVie, all our employees are equally valued and rewarded regardless of their gender.

“Embracing diversity and inclusion is one of our core principles as a company and so we are particularly proud of this achievement which puts us in a group of only 120 organisations who are committed to elevating the standards of what it means to create a gender equal workplace.”

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Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Mary Wooldridge, said the bar for certification is raised each year to challenge companies to continue maintaining leading practice standards in workplace gender equality.

“Our WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality emerge from an evidence-based assessment as Australia’s leading change-makers, who are driving and embedding gender equality in their workplaces and business practices.

“Critically, these organisations are delivering on a formula that sees better support structures in place for working families; stronger actions to address pay inequalities; and strategic recruitment and promotion practices that help to encourage the full participation of women at work.”

Ms Wooldridge said research into the cohort of Employers of Choice, produced in partnership with the University of Queensland, has analysed the actions they are taking compared to other organisations.

“It proved the outcomes of this approach are paying clear dividends: our WGEA Employers of Choice are closing their pay gaps faster, have a higher proportion of women in management, a stronger pipeline of women moving into senior management, a higher representation of women on their Boards and a higher proportion of female employees working full-time than other employers,” she said.

The WGEA citation is awarded following a rigorous application process with a range of stretch criteria, designed to measure the actions organisations are taking to advance gender equality outcomes for their employees. Compared to other organisations in the Agency’s dataset, the WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality are set apart by a range of factors, as seen in their data:

  • Lower gender pay gaps: EOCGEs have an average gender pay gap of 18.9% compared to 23% for others. They conduct pay audits annually, and track and report gender equality metrics to their Boards.
  • Higher proportion of women on boards: 35% of EOCGE employers have women on their boards, compared to 28% in others.
  • Longer periods of parental leave: 14 weeks on average; compared to 10.7 weeks, with leave available to new employees as soon as they join an EOCGE organisation.
  • Superannuation on parental leave: 100% of EOCGEs pay super on employer-funded parental leave, including 18% who are also paying it on the Government scheme; compared to 81% and 7% respectively in non-EOCGE employers.
  • More male managers are taking parental leave: Nearly 29% of all managers taking primary carer’s leave in EOCGE organisations were men, compared to 15% in non-EOCGE organisations.

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