June 16, 2021

5 HR policies at Programmed helping women to thrive

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Jema Cameron began her career working in payroll, back when timesheets were all still on paper. But she always saw beyond the pages of numbers and accounts, quickly developing an interest in the people behind the printouts. For the last nine years, she has been fortunate enough to work for Programmed, who have helped her explore her interest in human resources, developing her skills and progressing her career.

“The support of my managers has been tremendous. That, combined with an ever-changing organization, has really presented me with opportunity. A true career experience.”

Jema is now Group Manager Organisational Development, heading up numerous initiatives in Culture and Engagement, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, as well as employee wellbeing. Jema beams with pride over the number and quality of the initiatives Programmed have got off the ground, many she herself helped to develop.

Programmed have never really been afraid to take the leap to do things differently. The business never shies away from cases for positive change.”

Jema shared with us just a few of the many amazing programs, initiatives and benefits she’s been involved in to help women thrive.

Open Door – Harassment Policy

Prompted by the global discussions surrounding women’s safety and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry and report into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, Jema and her team have been working on an initiative for employees to anonymously and confidentially report harassment and bullying.

“With all the news being brought to light it would sadden me to think someone wouldn’t feel they were able to come forward at Programmed.”

Jema knew it was time as an organization to take a step back, listen, and understand what people needed. The initiative will be a real gamechanger and Jema really thinks the program will change lives.

Launching in May 2021, the initiative is called Open Door, signifying how the doors at Programmed are always open.

Introducing miscarriage leave

Programmed are a leading provider of staffing and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand. This multi-national perspective means they’re across the recent introduction of legislation to give parents the right to paid leave following miscarriage as well as stillbirth in New Zealand.

Jema was involved in creating the business case to introduce equal policies for Programmed employees in Australia too.

“I had a personal connection with this – experiencing miscarriage early in in my life. Miscarriage is incredibly traumatic. No matter how many weeks you are. To implement those sorts of policies has been really important to me, beyond being just a legislative requirement.”

Employee parenting and wellbeing portals

Achieving work-life balance is challenging for most employees but can be even more so if they have a family. Juggling family responsibilities, a jam-packed work schedule and a social life can take its toll on employees.

To look after the health and wellbeing of its employees, Programmed have introduced two employee portals around parenting and mental wellbeing. Both offer supportive resources like podcasts, webinars, articles, and guided mindfulness breaks.

Jema herself is a mother to two children and will be welcoming her first grandchild in August. She decompresses from her busy workweek by fostering her creative side making candles or painting with acrylics. But she admits the webinars on the parenting portal were really valuable during COVID.

Mental first aid training

Along with the employee wellbeing portal, Programmed have also begun offering mental health first aid training across the business.

The feedback from the program has been very positive, in particular from those employees with customer facing roles.

“Programmed have always understood and tackled physical safety really well, but this new focus on including psychological safety with physical safety has been an amazing new direction. Particularly as we transition back to the office after COVID.”

Creating career pathways with learning and development

Since Jema started at Programmed, she’s watched career pathway development move from something only offered to operational roles, to now being offered to all roles. This shift has helped employees to progress along career pathways suiting their individual ambitions and goals.

The biggest piece of advice Jema hopes all Programmed employees take away from the initiatives she’s worked on is, ‘Never be shy to ask’.

“People sometimes feel like they’re waiting to be tapped on the shoulder. But they never should be shy in articulating what they want to see happen. In my experience with Programmed, at no point in time, has anyone ever not been open to exploring a career path discussion with me.”

Jema’s proud of the broad impact she’s been able to have in her role, influencing changes and helping real people achieve success and thrive beyond just data points on pieces of paper.

“Our company culture is genuine, down-to-earth and truly caring. I believe we operate as a community where each person can bring their whole selves to work each day. We have such a broad offering of employee benefits, tailored to supporting everyone, no matter what stage of life a person is at.”

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.