Why are fewer than 25% employers of choice for gender equality listed on the ASX?


Of the 120 companies who have met the exacting requirements to receive the WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) accreditation fewer than 30 are listed on the ASX.


Commenting on last week's announcement, Claire Braund, Executive Director of Women on Boards, said that when she reviewed the data she was surprised to see so few ASX listed companies had the EOCGE accreditation.

"Is this because they do not want to do the work to apply for the accreditation or because they will not meet the requirements?"

"Clearly the accreditation is highly valued by the 50 Australian subsidiaries of global companies or other foreign owned entities who are EOCGE"

Ms Braund also said that more partnerships (global and Australian) were accredited than ASX companies, with most major law firms represented.

"Speaking of law firms, WOB sends warm congratulations to its corporate members Holding Redlich and Clayton Utz who have held the EOCGE citation for 15 and 13 years respectively. This is a fantastic achievement for these organisations."

Of the 12 newcomers, five are listed on the ASX - Blackmores, Eclipx, Monash IVF Group, Seven West Media and The Star Entertainment Group. 

Just three of the 120 companies are located in Western Australia, one each in South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania, 11 in Queensland and the remainder in NSW and Victoria.

Employees looking for a certified company to work for have the most options in the Professional Scientific and Technical Services group, with 47 Employers of Choice; followed by Financial and Insurance Services (21 Employers of Choice) and Wholesale Trade (13 Employers of Choice).

The 12 newcomers are:

  • Blackmores
  • British American Tobacco Australia
  • Eclipx
  • FB Rice
  • ING Bank Australia
  • Kearney
  • Kimberley-Clark Australia*
  • McInnes Wilson Lawyers
  • Medtronic Australia*
  • Monash IVF
  • Seven West Media
  • The Star Entertainment Group*
*Kimberley-Clark Australia, Medtronic Australia and Star Entertainment Group have previously held the citation, but not for at least a decade.

WGEA Director, 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.”

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.”

About the Employer of Choice citation

The Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation is a voluntary, leading-practice recognition program. It is designed to encourage, recognise and promote organisations' active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

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. 

All employers in Australia with 100 or more employees report annually to WGEA to comply with the Commonwealth Workplace Gender Equality Act.

The citation holders are companies who then choose to go through an additional evaluation process, passing a range of evidence-based criteria under seven focus areas.

These criteria cover leadership, strategy and accountability, developing a gender-balanced workforce, gender pay equity, support for caring, mainstreaming flexible working, preventing gender-based harassment, discrimination and bullying and driving change beyond an employer’s workplace.

For the list of all current EOCGE citation holders click HERE

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