Griffith University has been named among the 2016 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation winners by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

Griffith has now been recognised each year since the awards were launched in 2001, originally as the EOWA Employer of Choice for Women.

The WGEA citation is designed to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to gender equality in Australian workplaces.

OConnor_Ian-215x297Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor, said Griffith’s reputation as an equal opportunity employer had been consolidated in the face of more rigorous criteria used in 2016.

“This marks 16 consecutive years of recognition by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, and its predecessor the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. This isa truly remarkable achievement that reflects the hard work and commitment of so many staff over a long period of time,” Professor O’Connor said.

“In 2016, Griffith University is one of just 15universities and 106 organisations Australia wide to have been recognised by the Agency for showing leadership in Gender Equality policies and practice.

“During 2016, the University has strengthened its commitment to gender equality through work on theAthena SWANcharter program, which specifically seeks for us to identify clear steps to improving gender representation and diversity in our Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines.”

A move towards greater support for women to progress into leadership positions has been evident this year across the more than 100 organisations acknowledged, according to WGEA data. Other trends have been a focus on flexibility and more sophisticated analysis of the causes of gender pay gaps.

Dr Ruth McPhailRuth McPhail, a lecturer at Griffith Business School, was appointed a professor as part of Griffith’s 2016 Academic Promotion Round.

“I was employed by Griffith 15 years ago very shortly after which I found myself unexpectedly as sole carer of my two small sons,” she said.

“Through each step Griffith supported me with flexible hours and teaching which would allow me to meet both the students’ needs and my needs and encouraged me in my career.

“I was supported from lecturer through to full professor and I doubt I could have achieved this without the support of my employer and their commitment to gender equality.”

Each year the WGEA collects almost 5000 reports from more than 12,000 employers covering more than four million Australian employees. The measures covered include pay, workforce composition, flexible working arrangements and specific actions employers have taken on gender equality at work.

Over 70 per cent of employers now have a gender equality policy or strategy.

“WGEA data shows there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow,” Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, said.

“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.”