The women leading employers that made the "Best Places to Work" list | Women's Agenda

The women leading employers that made the “Best Places to Work” list

Given women make up nowhere even close to 50 per cent of CEOs in Australia, it’s good to see a strong proportion of women-led businesses on the 50 Best Places to Work List.

Just six per cent of ASX 200 organisations are led by women, with the percentage dropping again on the ASX 300.

But when it comes to those employers featured on the best places to work list, 20 per cent of those listed with 100 staff or more are led by women, rising to 30 per cent for employers on the list with less than 100 staff.

Cisco led the list of the 5 employers with more than 999 staff, with Salesforce, SAP, Mars Australia and DHL completing the list.

Salesforce is led in Australia by Pip Marlow, who said on Twitter she’s proud that the team made the list “in one of the most difficult business environments I’ve navigated.”

DHL is the only non-tech firm in the top five and has the highest proportion of women in their workforce, at 38 per cent.

Pip Marlow
Pip Marlow, Salesforce

For smaller organisations with 100 to 999 employees, a number of female-led employers were featured, including Canva (No. 3 spot) led by Melanie Perkins, OMD (7th) led by managing director Kim Hamilton, Adobe (13th) led by managing director Suzanne Steele. Special mention also to Envato in the 14th spot, which was co founded by Cyan Ta’eed, where she continues as a director but has since gone on to found Milkshake and Hey Tiger.

Melanie Perkins
Melanie Perkins, Canva

At Startlight Children’s Foundation, Louise Baxter is at the helm, with the NFP taking the 16th spot on the 100 to 999 employees list. In the 21st spot is UBank, led by CEO Philippa Watson (pictured at top of page).

In the list assessing businesses with less than 100 staff, Morgan McKinley takes the No. 3 spot, led by managing directors Louise Langridge & Vanessa Harding-Farrenberg. Beaumont is in the No. 4 spot, led by CEO Nikki Beaumont. The Green Building Council of Australia is in the 11th spot, led by Davina Rooney. Special mention this time goes to Ansarada, co founded by Rachel Riley (who is still the CFO) and Daphne Chang.

The list, compiled by Great Place to Work Australia, was based on surveys of almost 40,000 employees at 124 companies, running from September 2019 to June 2020. GPWA says it shows how organisations are demonstrating care for their employees, customers and communities during challenging times.

The list does not appear to take into account gender or other diversity numbers, nor how and where companies are specifically aiming to improve on those numbers. Gender diversity is more specifically handled by WGEA’s Employer of Choice for Gender Equality list.

You can see the full 50 Best Places to Work list here.

Below are some of the initiatives featured businesses have introduced during the Pandemic:

Cisco Systems Australia
Launched a ‘Your Response to COVID-19’ campaign, asking employees to submit ideas on how they can take action to respond to the crisis with innovation, creativity and generosity to all stakeholders. Through the campaign, Cisco delivered masks, shields, meals, laptops and tech expertise all over the world.

Launched the ‘B-Well Together’ series, which include regular broadcasts highlighting tips, resources and coping skills from wellbeing experts to help support employees and their families. It’s now available to the wider Salesforce community.

SAP Australia
Launched a remote pulse check to staff, and an opportunity for employees to share how they were feeling and what SAP management could do better and differently. They organized health and wellbeing initiatives including yoga for kids and adults, virtual bootcamps, and remote working tips.

Distributed COVID-19 care packs, including a symbolic medal for being “change champions” after adapting quickly to change.

Developed a hub for key resources, additional slack channels on work from home tips and tricks, a work from home fashion challenges and daily cook-alongs.

As we;l as putting in additional communication plans, team members formed an online band featuring the MD as the drummer

Launched daily #CoffeeWithU sessions so staff could check in with each other, along with Thank you Thursdays and Fitness Fridays.

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