Workforce analysis of WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality shows they have on average; 26% lower gender pay gaps.
New analysis has revealed that Australian employers awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) are closing gender pay gaps faster and successfully implementing work environments that support more equal sharing of caring responsibilities at home.
A cohort of 25 organisations have been added to the existing list of 104 citation holders today after passing a rigorous, evidence-informed evaluation of workplace policies and actions across seven key areas.
A new analysis of the workforce data reported to WGEA by employers with an EOCGE certification proves that a commitment to change is getting results.
When compared to non-EOCGE employers that report to WGEA, the data shows:
- an average gender pay gap of 17.4%. This is 26% lower than non-EOCGE certified employers
- more women on governing bodies: 37.2%, compared to 31% for others
- longer periods of employer-funded parental leave for primary carers: an average of 14.1 weeks for EOCGEs, compared to 11.2 weeks. When it’s provided with no distinction between primary and secondary carers it’s 16.7 weeks, compared to 10.2
- more male managers taking primary carer’s leave: 34% of all managers taking primary carer’s leave in EOCGE organisations were men, compared to 18%.
WGEA Director Mary Wooldridge said the results were encouraging for all employers seeking to accelerate change in their workplaces.
“EOCGE employers have made gender equality an integral component of their business strategies and they’re seeing results,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“With the upcoming legislative reforms requiring WGEA to publish employer gender pay gaps, the results of this new analysis show that with intentional leadership and a commitment to gender equality, an employer can reduce their gender pay gap for the benefit of all their employees.
“Critically, EOCGE employers are delivering an approach that results in better support structures in place for working families; stronger actions to address pay inequalities; and strategic recruitment, promotion and retention practices that encourage the full participation of women at work.”
The Agency’s certification process also requires employee confirmation that there’s a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based harassment and sexual harassment, and that managers genuinely create environments within their teams that support equality for all employees.
This step ensures EOCGE-certified employers are not simply putting strategies in place, but that they are striving for and delivering lasting change by firmly embedding gender equality in company culture.
Agency research, produced in partnership with the University of Queensland, analysed the impact of actions taken by EOCGE employers over a five-year period.
It found that citation holders were seeing a faster reduction in their gender pay gaps, have a higher proportion of women in management and a stronger pipeline of women moving into senior management.
Ms Wooldridge said this research, as well as feedback from CEOs of EOCGE applicant organisations, indicated the value of the citation as a catalyst to improve their gender equality strategies.
“Through the application process, CEOs told us that being an employer of choice continues to expose their blind spots, that it’s a good framework that challenges and drives them to continually improve and keeps them focussed on their gender equality objectives,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“In many cases, CEOs admit they wish they hadn’t waited to address gender equality in their workplace, with one leader telling us: ‘once you go down this path and see the benefits, you wish you had started earlier’.
“EOCGEs are proving that enlightened employers can reap benefits to employee satisfaction, productivity and profitability with innovative actions to improve gender equality at all levels of the organisation.”
At March 2023, EOCGE certified organisations employ nearly 550,000 Australians, offering benefits to those workers such as family-friendly workplaces through paid parental leave and flexible working policies.
The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation recognises, encourages and promotes organisations with an active commitment to workplace gender equality.
WGEA accepts new applications for the voluntary leading practice program each year. Successful organisations will hold the citation for two years. This year’s cohort, announced on 1 March 2023, will hold the 2022-2024 citation.
WGEA's EOCGE criteria spans seven focus areas:
- leadership, strategy and accountability
- developing a gender-balanced workforce
- gender pay equity
- support for caring
- mainstreaming flexible work
- preventing sexual harassment, gender-based harassment and discrimination, and bullying
- driving change beyond your workplace.
These seven areas reflect the latest academic research in how employers can improve workplace gender equality.
EOCGE organisations must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. They must also meet all the assessment criteria.
Download the press release
WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Media release (PDF)
Find out more
129 organisations now hold a WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation. Find out who they are.
To apply, employers must comply with the act and seven criteria. Get all the details here.