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launching alcoa live – online video channel
Alcoa of Australia’s website has a new feature – Alcoa Live .
 
Alcoa Live is a video streaming, micro-site enabling you and other  members of the  community to get an inside look into what we do and how we do it.
 
The new micro-site features TV news stories about Alcoa, vision from our partnership events, our Managing Director Alan Cransberg speaking on significant issues facing our business and industry, and the most recent upload -  the 2008 Month of Service highlights video.   
  
diversity pays says Alcoa
Flexible work arrangements and workplace diversity are key to business sustainability, according to our Executive Director of Human Resources Kim Horne.
 
Mr Horne’s comments follow new research released today by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and Alcoa, which shows an increasing number of organisations are providing flexible work arrangements.
 
The data, in the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency’s Survey on Workplace Flexibility, were collected through telephone conversations with over 2000 organisations between May and September 2007. As an EOWA recognised ‘Employer of Choice for Women’, and as part of the company’s commitment to promoting equal opportunity and more diverse workplace, Alcoa funded the EOWA research.
 
Mr Horne said flexibility and diversity make good business sense.
 
“By taking the issue of diversity and work/ life balance seriously, we know we stand a far greater chance of attracting the right people who will be the best fit for our organisation and who are best placed to assist in delivering bottom line results. 
 
“For these reasons, encouraging diversity and providing opportunities for women to realise their career potential have been central strategies for Alcoa for many years.”
 
The survey also revealed 48.9% of surveyed organisations now provide paid maternity or primary carer’s leave – up from 23.7% in 2001, when the first EOWA survey was conducted. Of the organisations which provided paid maternity leave, 5-6 weeks paid leave was most common.
 
“We have very low staff turnover rates at Alcoa and I think this has a lot to do with our flexible work arrangements and entitlements which include 13 weeks paid maternity leave and 1 week paid paternity leave,” Mr Horne said.
 
Alcoa’s return to work rates following maternity leave remain high at around 90 per cent and data suggests that the organisation’s ability to offer part-time work for women returning from maternity leave has had a significant impact on the retention of women. 
 
Alcoa has also come out in support of the recent proposal for a Government funded paid parental leave scheme in Australia as an important step towards equal economic opportunity and work/ life blend for both women and men.
 
“We recognise that getting that blend right is not only important for our business by helping to attract and keep our employees committed to working with us, but also critical to sustainable national productivity growth and wellbeing in Australian communities,” Mr Horne said.
 
“Alcoa will certainly be engaged in the public discussion around a Government funded paid parental leave scheme as the Government and all businesses work together to make it a reality.”
 
While the survey results released today show promising signs in terms of workplace flexibility, they also show more work needs to be done to ensure the flexible arrangements can be accessed by all employees.
 
EOWA Director, Anna McPhee, said: “While it is extremely positive to observe from the survey that more employers are helping their staff to maintain a work/life balance, employers need to carefully consider whether the flexibility policies and strategies being implemented are being properly communicated and can be equally accessed by all employees across the organisation.”
 
“It is important that flexible working arrangements do not become stigmatised, resulting in those who are more likely to access these arrangements being disadvantaged in recruitment processes and when promotions, bonuses and development opportunities are awarded.
 
“All employees need to achieve a work/life balance whether this is to fulfil their family responsibilities or pursue other activities such as study, private business and sporting activities.”
 
To read the full survey results click here.


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Channel 9 filming a segment on Alcoa's Make an Impact program this year



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Executive Director of Human Resources, Kim Horne