Citation recognises "gold standard" in workplace equity

UTS Women in STEM event – A conversation: women building careers & sustaining passion. Picture by Encapture Photography

UTS Women in STEM event – A conversation: women building careers & sustaining passion. Picture by Encapture Photography

In summary: 
  • UTS is among 90 diverse organisations nationwide awarded a 2015 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)
  • WGEA Director Libby Lyons said citation recipients are at the frontline of driving positive change and set "the gold standard" for inclusive workplaces

UTS ranks among the Australian employers setting "the gold standard for inclusive workplaces" as a recipient of the 2015 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

The citation, awarded by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality, with 90 diverse organisations nationwide, including 12 universities, receiving it this year.

UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the WGEA citation was an important recognition of UTS's integrity, transparency and commitment to gender equity and social justice.

"This year UTS was also selected as one of 24 universities to participate in the inaugural Australian pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter, a successful UK gender equity accreditation program in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

"Our adoption of the charter will see the university focus on gender equity and inclusion in the STEMM disciplines, through rigorous data analysis and exploration of the operation of policies and the work and study cultures across the organisation," Professor Brungs said.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the initiatives demonstrated by this year's citation recipients showed that more employers were taking a sophisticated and whole-of-organisation approach to supporting women and men's equal participation at all levels of the workplace.

"These employers are at the frontline of driving positive change as they set the gold standard for inclusive workplaces," Ms Lyons said.

Professor Brungs said, "This year we were able see from the UTS staff survey how gender equality initiatives translated into lived experience in the workplace.

"We found that 89 per cent of both female and male staff agreed that their immediate supervisor genuinely supported equality; 74 per cent of men and 79 per cent of women agreed that they were able to apply the flexible work arrangements available at UTS; and 93 per cent of men and 92 per cent of women agreed that sexual harassment is being prevented at UTS.

"We are committed to build on this. UTS is continually exploring creative and innovative ways to make our culture more inclusive, which includes regular reviews of key policies.

"One area being rethought is recruitment procedures, to address ongoing challenges to fully reach equal representation of women at senior levels and to achieve equity across all disciplines – particularly in the science, engineering and technology areas.

"We are incorporating the principle of assessing achievement relative to opportunity into in all promotion, work planning and assessment processes, including internal research grants allocation and in selection processes for fellowships," Professor Brungs said.

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