25 February 2020

YWCA Canberra has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the sixth successive year.

Chief Executive Officer, Frances Crimmins, said the citation program sends a strong message to employers from all sectors about the importance of equal opportunity and equal pay for all staff, regardless of their gender.

“YWCA Canberra is a leading feminist organisation, and I am proud to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to gender equality in the workforce. I am committed to continuing to improve and embed our gender equality policies within the organisation,” Ms Crimmins said.

As one of only 119 organisations across the country to receive this citation and the only ACT-based organisation, Ms Crimmins said that “gender equality is a fundamental human right”.

“Diversity and inclusion are good for us as individuals and as an organisation. Our diverse and inclusive workforce improves our efficiency, productivity, innovation, creativity and employee engagement.”

According to the Director of WGEA, Libby Lyons, “Since its inception in 2014, the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation has provided a rigorous and evidence-based guide for employers to chart a course towards achieving gender equality in their workplaces.”

“This year, we strengthened the eligibility criteria by placing even greater emphasis on accountability, outcomes, evidence and internal reporting processes,” Ms Lyons said.

The organisations awarded an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation “are at the forefront of the momentum for change towards gender equality in Australian workplaces. These industry leaders are showing other Australian businesses how to create a better and more equal future for both women and men.”

As a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador, Ms Crimmins said “I am proud that all staff are remunerated according to our Enterprise Agreement. Enterprise Agreements provide transparency in pay equity.”

“At YWCA Canberra, we have a strong focus on gender equality issues such as flexible work arrangements, domestic violence leave, and impressive equal parental leave for women, men and non-binary people.”

“We regularly track and monitor flexible working practices, gender composition of the workforce, promotions by gender and use of parental leave. I strongly encourage all parents, especially men, to take advantage of our parental leave and flexible work arrangements upon their return, to help them stay engaged in the workforce and achieve their full potential.”

“I will continue to ensure that YWCA Canberra leads the way and sets the standard for equality in the workplace.”

Examples of YWCA Canberra’s progress against its Gender Equality and Equity Strategy include:

  • The YWCA Canberra Enterprise Agreement 2018-21, approved in September 2019, provides for ten days paid domestic violence leave, reflecting the important role of workplaces in supporting people to leave a violent relationship.
  • There has been increased uptake of flexible working arrangements, in particular condensed work weeks.
  • Development of managers currently is underway training, with a focus on ways to embed flexible working practices and how to balance this with business requirements.
  • In 2020, YWCA Canberra has continued to offer staff scholarships its SheLeads conference and SheLeads Diploma.

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