May 06, 2016

Alcoa stands up for gender equity


One hundred people stood up and committed to being ‘catalysts for change’ last week, as Michael Parker challenged them to make a positive impact on gender equity at the Women in Civil annual breakfast.
 
The event is an initiative of the Civil Contractors Federation, which promotes gender equality and provides support and networking opportunities for women working in civil construction.
 
Speaking on behalf of CEOs for Gender Equity (CGE), Mr Parker challenged the audience to think about what they could do to make or support change to gender equity in their organisations.
 
The goal of CEOs for Gender Equity is to achieve a zero pay gap with equal numbers of women and men in jobs across all WA sectors and enterprises.
 
He discussed the CGE focus on pay and job equity, and advocacy and education. He also shared Alcoa’s journey, including the progress achieved and the challenges that remain.
 
Highlighting the WA gender pay gap as being the worst in the country at 24.9 per cent (the national average is 17.3 per cent) Mr Parker said the gender pay gap was influenced by “a number of interrelated work, family and societal factors, including stereotypes about the work women and men ‘should’ do, and the way women and men ‘should’ engage in the workforce.”
 
“Alcoa’s pay gap is 2.6 per cent for base salary, and 10.1 per cent for total remuneration,” he said. “This gap is mostly due to men being on shift and being in line leadership roles – but put simply, any gender pay gap is unacceptable.”
 
He cited Alcoa’s flexible work arrangements as a good example of how the company is supporting gender equity.
 
Alcoa’s most notable achievements are: the 100 per cent success rate over the past three years for our female employees returning from maternity leave; achieving the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation for 14 consecutive years; and seeing our female employees achieving in a range of industry and academic awards, such as three finalists and two winners in the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Women in Resources Awards.
 
With just 13 per cent female participation for the past decade, Mr Parker was quick to point out that Alcoa had work to do to improve.
 
“We want to significantly increase female participation in our business – from the operator level through to senior leadership,” Michael said.
 
To help us get there we have a number of initiatives in the pipeline that we will be rolling out to support women in operations role, individual talent planning, unconscious bias training and cultural change.
 
Mr Parker urged people to consider any number of low or no-cost ideas to help improve gender equity in the workplace, including-
 
• Offer to be a mentor, or identify a mentor, for a female colleague
• Set up a networking opportunity to help women build their networks
• Nominate a woman for leadership training
• Assist in creating a career path towards promotion or additional responsibility
• Offer to help a woman develop a specific skill
• Ask employees for feedback on things that can be changed to make your workplace a better place
 
Media contact: Jane McGuire 0410 694 676 / Jane.McGuire@alcoa.com.au
 
About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our approximately 59,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products.
 
For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa