March 21, 2012

Alcoa: Top Employer for 11th Year Running

For the 11th consecutive year, Alcoa of Australia has been named an ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ by the Federal Government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

The Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) citation is a prestigious acknowledgment of organisations that are recognising and advancing women in the workplace. Organisations must demonstrate they have policies and practices to support women across the business, and show how this is achieving positive outcomes for both women and the organisation.

Alcoa’s Director of Talent, Learning and Development, Jann Kinsela, said encouraging diversity and providing opportunities for women to realise their career potential have been central strategies to improving Alcoa’s sustainability and success for many years.

“We absolutely rely on talented people to run our operations, so having a strong flexibility offering - for both men and women – is key to our success.

“Taking these issues seriously simply makes good business sense because if you don’t offer flexibility you’re reducing the potential talent pool when it comes to recruitment,” Ms Kinsela said.

Alcoa believes its people management strategies are working, with 65% of employees being with the company for more than 10 years. Alcoa’s return to work rates also remain high and data suggests it’s the company’s ability to offer part-time work for women returning from maternity leave that has had a significant impact on the retention of women.

“Embracing diversity and striving to bring more women into our business ensures we have the best chance of attracting, and more importantly retaining, the right people who are best fit for the company and best placed to deliver the business results we need.

“This is particularly important as different generational expectations exist in the workplace, with baby boomers retiring, generation X deriving benefits from their profession and generation Y forging a career.

“Alcoa’s workplace policies include things like 16 weeks paid maternity leave, job share opportunities, working from home arrangement in some roles – and all are regularly reviewed so they stay relevant to the needs of our people,” Ms Kinsela said.

EOWA Director, Helen Conway, said: “Australian business leaders understood the citation was a major drawcard in the war to attract and retain the best people.

“The leaders of the organisations on this list recognise there is a competitive advantage to be obtained by employing a diverse workforce,” Ms Conway said.

“They are attracting women into non-traditional roles where there are skills shortages, reaping the rewards of increased retention rates, and realising the benefits of flexible work practices.”

“While we are delighted at the success of the 125 EOCFW organisations, some 2,500 organisations report to EOWA each year, so there is plenty of room for the remaining ones to step up to the mark.”

Currently 15% of managers at Alcoa are women. In addition, 43% of Alcoa’s corporate group is female, while 11% of the total workforce is women.

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Background to EOWA Employer of Choice for Women citation

The Employer of Choice for Women citation is an acknowledgment by EOWA of organisations that are recognising and advancing women in the workplace. The 2012 EOWA Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) list features 125 organisations ranging in size and spanning across all industries.

To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, organisations are assessed against rigorous application criteria which consider a number of workplace issues including pay equity, women in executive management, flexibility, sex-based harassment and career development training. Importantly, the citation requires the organisation’s CEO to be the driving force behind the culture which supports the advancement of female employees.

Organisations must apply for the citation each year.


Media contacts:

Alcoa: Jane McGuire on 0410 694 676 or jane.mcguire@alcoa.com.au 

EOWA: Communications Team on 02 9437 7000 or media@eowa.gov.au