8 December 2016

YWCA Canberra is proud to accept the accolade of Employer of Choice from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the third successive year.
Frances Crimmins, Executive Director of YWCA Canberra said, “As a leading, feminist organisation striving for positive social change, we ensure our policies and practices advance equal opportunities for women.

“The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation recognises these efforts, and 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.”

This year, despite more rigorous criteria, a record number of more than 100 organisations have been granted the citation, indicating that commitment to workplace gender equality is gaining momentum.

Trends in this year’s recipients include a focus on flexibility, greater support for women to progress into leadership positions, and more sophisticated analysis of the causes of gender pay gaps.
WGEA Director Libby Lyons said, “WGEA data shows there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow.

“It is only through more employers adopting leading practices to promote gender equality in the workplace that we will see the pace of change pick up.

“That’s why it is so encouraging to see more than 100 organisations meet the very high standard required to receive the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation this year.
“I congratulate all the 2016 citation holders for their commitment and recognition of the strong business case for gender equality. I hope to see continued growth in this community of leading practice employers.”

Ms Crimmins added that while it is heartening to see more organisations taking the necessary steps to ensure gender equality in the workplace, governments also have a key role to play.

“The Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016 is currently before the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, which proposes drastic and detrimental changes to the current Paid Parental Leave scheme.

“Our current scheme was designed to operate as a partnership between business and government, to ensure women can both parent effectively and return to the paid workplace.

“The proposed changes would financially disadvantage women who take time off work to be with their babies, which will only grow the shameful gender pay gap in Australia.

“As an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, we are don’t think new mums should have to choose between losing income, and attempting to survive without it, or being forced back to work before they’re ready, losing valuable bonding time with their babies.”

YWCA Canberra is calling on its members and the wider community to make a submission to the Senate Committee, support online campaigns from the Parenthood and Fair Agenda, and write to MPs and Senators to seek their support in blocking the proposed changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme.

– ENDS –


Frances Crimmins is available for interview.

Media contact: Joanna Le, 0402 265 145, Joanna.Le@ywca-canberra.org.au

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