2009 Case Study: Equal Opportunity Research

As an Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) recognised ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ - and as part of Alcoa’s commitment to promoting equal opportunity and more diverse workplace - Alcoa funded EOWA research in 2009.  This was part of a three-year partnership with EOWA which began in 2007.

EOWA is a Federal Government statutory authority which administers the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act (1999). Employers of 100 people or more are required to report to the Agency on the initiatives they take within their organisations to advance women in the workplace. EOWA works with employers to improve equal opportunity outcomes for women in the workplace to create an Australia where women in the workplace can achieve their greatest potential.

Believing sustainable national productivity and growth partly relies on equality for women in the workplace, Alcoa was proud to fund research to help Australia develop in this important space. We are of the view that flexibility, equality and providing career opportunities for women are critically important for well functioning communities, and it’s research like EOWA’s which helps sign-post the way for businesses and society to progress.

The research, which was carried out in 2008, was released publicly in Canberra in August 2009. The data were collected from 2300 organisations, representative of over one million Australian women. 

The survey showed 50.8% of organisations were providing employees with paid maternity leave – an increase by more than 15% from 2003.
However, Australia saw only a 1.9% increase in paid maternity leave between 2007 and 2008.  EOWA is collecting data on how organisations plan to change their current practices and policies given the expected introduction of a Government funded paid parental leave scheme.

To read the full survey results, click here.

To read about the research released in 2009, visit: www.alcoa.com.au/eowa2009.

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Acting EOWA Director Mairi Steele, Federal Minister for the Status of Women Tanya Plibersek, with Alcoa's Jann Kinsela

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Alcoa's Director of Talent, Learning & Development Jann Kinsela at the launch of the EOWA research in Canberra