In 2018, the International Women’s Day theme was #PressForProgress and, as we embraced the topic, we made it the year of change at WORK180.
Every day at WORK180, we work closely with employers from small independent companies to large multinationals, growing and future-proofing businesses through smart policy and process improvements.
In 2018 we saw employers changing their policies from scratch to meet our criteria. We also saw long-term employers improve and even scrap outdated policies to better support new employees and current staff members. As we sit back and look at the achievements of 2018, we are fuelled with energy to do even more and better in 2019.
(BTW…if your company is not on our list of Endorsed Employers, ask them why and tell them to reach out to find out how they can join our network of change makers)
The year of the start-up
Innovation doesn’t happen by accident. Research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth. To attract and retain diverse talent, start-ups in Australia and globally are launching their businesses with competitive policies already from the start. Gone are the days when employers said they don’t need formal policies because their teams are too small. Here is a snapshot of what’s happening across the nation in the start-up sector:
When one of the WORK180 team reached out to FluroSat’s CEO and Founder Anastasia Volkova, she was super busy and said she would get back to us in a few months.. But then Anastasia met our Co-Founder and CEO Gemma at a KPMG event. She immediately called and said, “I totally get it. What do I need to change to create a more welcoming workplace for women?” We sent over a copy of WORK180’s HR policies to use as a reference and within three business days, Anastasia had implemented every single one:
- Equal leave allowance for primary and secondary carers (6 weeks)
- No minimum tenure required to be eligible for paid parental leave
- Superannuation contributions on paid parental leave
- A $2k super bonus upon return to work from unpaid parental leave and a clause to ensure parents of stillborn children were not excluded.
Similarly, start-up Black.ai came on board after introducing:
- 8 weeks paid parental leave for primary carers
- 2 weeks paid parental leave for secondary carers
- A clause to ensure parents of stillborn children are not excluded from paid parental leave.
- One year minimum tenure to be eligible for paid parental leave
- A family violence policy
Finally, start-up No Moss initially implemented a 24 month minimum tenure for paid parental leave but then abolished it completely. They introduced paid parental leave with 6 weeks for primary carers and 2 weeks for secondary carer. They also pay super on paid and unpaid parental leave up to 12 months. This is an important initiative to tackle the super gender gap and recognizing the structural impediments currently resulting in women retiring with an average of 52.8% less in super savings compared to men.
Creating a long-lasting impact beyond passing criteria
Developing gender diverse workplaces is both fair and good for business, so we make sure everyone knows when an organization is actively improving the way it supports women in the workplace. Coming on-board and joining the WORK180 network is the beginning of a long-term journey. Every day, we meet with passionate people who are committed to doing more.
When Andrew McBride reached out and shared his story, we knew we had to do something. Andrew and his wife had lost a child to stillbirth and were campaigning for employers to include a stillbirth clause in their parent leave policies. We began approaching some of the organizations in our network to see if they were willing to provide support for grieving parents when they most needed it.
The first employer to put their hand up was John Holland. Not only did they write stillbirth into their HR policies, they actively promoted the initiative to their clients and associates.
Next was Xero, who took just three days to adopt the stillbirth policy. They even sent us a copy so any other employer could copy and paste the document straight into their policy guides.
The stillbirth policy initiative continues to grow, with businesses such as Microsoft, HSBC and Buildkite joining in 2018.
Introducing the new Pay Equity Ambassadors
Becoming a Pay Equity Ambassador is a choice we see more and more employers making. To become a Pay Equity Ambassador, the organization must undertake a pay gap analysis of its workforce in the last two years, take action on the results, report pay equity metrics to the executive and board, and communicate their pay equity initiatives to their employees.
These companies are the most recent additions to this list:
- CIMIC Group
- CBP Contractors
- John Holland
- Global Vision Media
In 2017, the newest employers on the list included Laing O’Rourke, Robert Bird Group and QinetiQ.
You can find out who else is a Pay Equity Ambassador on each company’s employer page.
The employers who don’t stand still
The company completely removed their minimum tenure to access paid parental leave. Kathryn Farnell, Head of Talent and Development simply said: “We need the best talent to take our business further, and we want to ensure that the best people have no hesitation in joining our team – no matter what stage of life they are at.”
We saw a number of positive changes to the policies at Anglo American, the second largest Australian and third largest global export metallurgical coal producer operating in open cut and underground mining.
- Continuation of superannuation payments whilst on unpaid Parental Leave
- Opportunities to purchase leave
- Domestic and Family Violence policy
Australia’s largest superannuation fund already has a dominating YES across their policy table including being awarded the Flex Able Certification. In 2018, we received a message from their resourcing manager sharing the news of having completely removed the minimum tenure to be eligible for paid parental leave.
Robert Bird Group
Back in 2016, Robert Bird Group increased paid parental leave for primary carers from 6 to 8 weeks. In 2018 they increased it again, this time to 13 weeks.
During the qualification process to join WORK180, Motorola:
- Increased paid parental leave for primary carers from 8 to 12 weeks
- Introduced paid super for primary carers on unpaid parental leave
nbn’s commitment to gender balance means they actively focus on ensuring that all their people have a fair go at reaching their career aspirations. They have an outstanding return to work program for new parents at nbn:
- Upon returning to work, for the first 6 months if you return 5 days, you actually only work 4 but get paid for 5 days, similarly if you return 3 days you actually only work 2 days but get paid for 3.
For us, the coming year is amplifying the social impact to date. We want to encourage more businesses to take the WORK180 HR Health Check so they can compare policies with others in their industry and make smart decisions.
As an advocate for working women, we’ll continue to provide a transparent directory of Endorsed Employers who support diversity, inclusion and equality.
We’ll share information around pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other important criteria.
And we’ll double down on our mission to finally put an end to workplace discrimination, so that everyone is valued equally and businesses can enjoy the benefits of a truly diverse workforce.
Thank you for being part of our amazing journey.
WORK180 is an international jobs network that connects smart businesses with the very best female talent. We pre-screen every employer on our jobs board to see where they stand on pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other criteria. We also take into account diversity initiatives focusing on age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
The information we uncover is made public on our website, so that everyone knows what to expect from each employer before applying for a job. We continually review and evolve our pre-screening criteria to ensure workplaces are fair and equal for everyone.