The Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency has announced the names of the companies that have performed the best in terms of gender equality this year.
The title of Employer of Choice for Gender Equality is much harder to achieve than it has been in the past, and many companies that have previously been successful were cut from this year’s list.
The WGEA decided that they would raise the bar in order to make sure companies could not rest on their laurels and would keep up momentum towards total workplace equality.
Among those companies excluded this year were American Express, IBM Australia, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the University of Sydney.
In 2012, 125 companies met all the requirements. This year, the requirements were more stringent and only 76 companies were able to meet them. In 2016, the requirements will be made more demanding again.
“We wanted to be much more specific about what companies need to be doing in order to be considered successful in working towards gender equality,” WGEA spokesperson Yolanda Beattie told Women’s Agenda.
Beattie said many of the companies that did not meet the new requirements fell short for the same reasons.
The biggest decider between companies that stayed on the list and companies that were cut was the way in which companies chose their board members. For the first time, companies had to demonstrate a formal board appointment policy that actively promotes gender equality. Many could not.
Beattie also said several companies had to be cut from this year’s list because they did not meet new requirements for organisation-wide pay equity between male and female employees.
The new requirements are more specific as well as being more demanding.
“We wanted to give companies much less leeway around these targets and much less creative license in terms of how to meet them,” said Beattie.
AGL Energy is one of the companies that managed to make this year’s list.
“We have Board-approved, public and measurable gender diversity objectives in place that focus our energies and programs. AGL monitors gender diversity at each level of the organisation, in particular the representation of women in leadership,” said CEO Michael Fraser.
Fraser plans to ensure the company does not get left off the list in 2016, when the requirements will be more demanding again.
AGL aims to see women making up 50% of new appointments to senior leadership positions by 2016.
The full list of this year’s employers of choice for gender equality is here.