Griffith a winner at knowing what women want

Griffith has been awarded the Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) citation for the 11th year in a row – and is one of only two organisations in Queensland to have received the citation each year since its inception in 2001.

It joins only two other Australian universities which have achieved this continuous citation, La Trobe University and the University of Technology Sydney.

Awarded by the Federal Government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), the citation acknowledges a strong commitment to providing an equitable workplace with positive outcomes for women.

Griffith Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor said the citation reflected a deeply ingrained culture of equity.

“We were proud to be awarded Australia’s leading large organisation for the advancement of women at the EOWA Business Achievement awards late last year,” Professor O’Connor said.

“Being a place where people want to work is of the utmost importance to us and we go to great lengths to ensure a diverse work environment that maximises opportunities for female staff.

“Creating this kind of environment allows women to participate equally at all levels, which in turn allows us to be more effective as a learning institution.”

Griffith continues to report high percentages of women in senior positions — notably 50 per cent of Deans in academic groups, 56 per cent of Directors in administration areas, and 32 per cent of professors. Almost 60 per cent of successful promotional applicants at Griffith last year were also women.

Katy Cuskelly, Marketing Manager at Griffith’s Nathan campus has worked at the University for 14 years and credits the support and flexibility offered to her as the key to her being able to settle into motherhood with such ease.

“To be able to have six months off work at full pay was fantastic and with an extra four months of paid long service and recreation leave, I was able to truly relax and enjoy 10 months with my little boy, knowing that my job was still waiting for me,” Katy said.

“Throughout my pregnancy, Griffith made every step very easy for me, even allowing me to use flex leave to ensure I made it to every check up and appointment.

“None of my friends in other jobs seemed to have the same level of leave and flexibility offered to them when they had their babies, so I was truly grateful for my experience,” she said.

Since returning to her position this year, Katy is also now close to completing her Bachelor of Communications, a formal qualification which Griffith has fully supported, both with financial assistance and leave for lectures and exams.

“This continued support has allowed me to really progress my career. I started out as a casual in the Graduations office then worked as a receptionist in Facilities Management, enjoyed roles in the Publications and Events team, and now I’m exactly where I want to be — in a marketing management position for External Relations.”

This professional development, coupled with support for personal goals is what Katy sees as the recipe for long term staff satisfaction.

“The opportunities presented to me at Griffith and the family friendly environment has been truly amazing and I feel that the University has helped me to become the person I am today,” she said.

“I feel like I have been part of the Griffith family for most of my life,” says Katy, whose days at Griffith began when she attended the campus day care as a small child while her parents worked at the University. She is also planning on continuing tradition, by sending her son to the same day care in the future.

To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, employers are required to meet stringent criteria each year, which includes offering a minimum of 6 weeks paid maternity leave after 12 months of service; conducting sex-based harassment education at least every two years; providing the ability for female managers to work part-time; ensuring the percentage of female managers is the same or greater than the industry average, and ensuring a pay equity analysis has been undertaken and any gap identified is less than their industry average.