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Mercedes Benz, Deloitte, Suncorp and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are among the 119 Australian organisations recognised as the nation’s best workplaces for gender equality, according to a new report from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). 

The Employer of Choice of Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation from WGEA is presented to organisations that have worked to greatly improve their gender pay gap, the percentage of women at all management levels, the proportion of female employees working full time and the number of women moving into senior roles and board positions. 

WGEO Director Libby Lyons revealed 14 organisations have this year been recognised for the first time.

"These leading employers are closing their pay gaps and increasing their representation of women in management at a faster rate than other employers in our dataset,” she said in a media release. “As we have always known, this report also provides further evidence that change will not happen unless workplace leaders from the Board and CEO down are committed to gender equality as a business imperative and take action.”

Lyons added: “My hope is that this insightful report will encourage other business leaders to embrace the commercial benefits of gender equality and create workplaces free of discrimination and bias for both women and men.” 

The EOCGE citation, which has been running for seven years, has honoured 25 fewer organisations this year than in 2019.

Many of the highlighted organisations have been quick to post on Twitter to share how honoured they are to be recognised.

Donna Jones, the head of diversity and inclusion at transport company Transdev Australasia, said the company was “proud” to have received the citation for the second consecutive year.

"We have introduced a range of initiatives in the last two years, including Journey Maker Academies that aim to address barriers women faced in participating in operational and front line roles in public transport by providing a tailored learning experience,” Jones said in a media release. “Diversity is more than a metric to us — it is important that our organisation reflects the diversity of the communities we serve every day.”

Likewise, Steve Johnson, the CEO of insurance company Suncorp Group, revealed women hold 51% of leadership roles. 

"We recognise that we will be our best when our workforce is as diverse, talented and passionate as the communities in which we operate,” Johnston stated. “We have achieved gender balance across all levels of leadership, and will continue to improve and embed equality for all employees because equality benefits everyone.”

Women in full-time work currently earn 13.9% less than full-time male workers in Australia. 

Further, women represent just over 14% and 17% of chair positions and CEO titles, respectively. However, gender equality across specific sectors of the workplace is improving, as shown in 2019 figures from the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ (AICD) Gender Diversity Progress Report. 

According to AICD, women represent 29.7% of board positions across Australia’s top 200 companies, a fraction beneath the 30% target set for them by AICD in 2015. Across the top 20, 50 and 100 companies, board diversity has surpassed 30%. 

Australia is the first nation to achieve 30% gender diversity across the top 100 company boardrooms without quotas.

Check out some of the citation winners below and click here to see the full list. 

AbbVie Pty, Ltd, Accenture, AECOM Australia Pty Ltd, American Express Australia Limited, Mercer Australia Pty Ltd, Mercy Health, Merri Health, Metcash Trading Limited, The Australian Catholic University Limited, Bain and Company, National Australia Bank Limited, Becton Dickinson Pty Ltd, Novotech (Australia) Pty Ltd, Caltex Australia Pty Ltd, Charles Sturt University, RMIT University, Deakin University, Sparke Helmore Lawyers, First State Super, Teachers Health, HSBC Bank Australia Limited, Kellogg Australia Pty Ltd, Unilever Australia Limited, KPMG Australia Services, La Trobe University, Western Sydney University, and L'Oreal Australia Pty Ltd. 


Demand Equity

These 119 Organisations Are Australia’s Best Workplaces for Gender Equality

By Madeleine Keck