March 19, 2010

Alcoa awarded top employer again

Alcoa of Australia has been recognised as an ‘Employer of Choice for Women’, by the Federal Government’s
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), for the ninth consecutive year.

The Employer of Choice for Women citation is a prestigious acknowledgment by EOWA of organisations that are recognising and advancing women in the workplace.

Director of Talent, Learning and Development Jann Kinsela said Alcoa has long recognised the value of offering flexible work arrangements to both men and women, and the company remains committed to workplace diversity.

“We believe that we stand a far greater chance of attracting the people who will be the best fit for the organisation, and who are best placed to deliver bottom line results, by offering arrangements that suit working mums - and working dads for that matter,” she said.

“Without a commitment to diversity and flexible working arrangements you simply cut off more than half of the potential talent out there.”

But Ms Kinsela said good HR policies should not just attract people, but retain them as well.

“60 percent of our workforce has been with us for more than 10 years, so we believe we have policies which are effective,” she said.

“There is no doubt that business sustainability relies on talented people, and so providing equal opportunities for women to realise their career potential have been fundamental strategies for Alcoa for many years.”

“Our workplace policies include paid parental leave, part-time work, job sharing, work from home arrangements and strategic recruitment – and these policies are regularly reviewed to improve workplace inclusiveness and flexibility for everyone”.

Alcoa’s return to work rates following maternity leave remain high at around 90 per cent with data suggesting 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’s entitlements include 13 weeks paid maternity leave and one week paid paternity leave.

Currently 29% of managers at Alcoa are women, up from only 3% a decade ago. Today, 43% of Alcoa’s corporate group is female, while 11% of the total workforce is women.

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Read more about Alcoa’s diversity and flexibility practices.

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 2010 EOWA Employer of Choice for Women
(EOCFW) list features 95 organisations ranging in size and spanning across all industries.

To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, employers are required to meet stringent criteria each year which include offering a minimum of 6 weeks paid maternity leave after 12 months of service; conducting sex-based harassment education at least every two years; providing the ability for female managers
to work part-time; ensuring the percentage of female managers is the same or greater than the industry average, and ensuring a pay equity analysis has been undertaken and any gap identified is less than their
industry average. The CEO of an EOCFW organisation is also personally interviewed and needs to demonstrate a strong commitment to equal opportunity initiatives resulting in positive outcomes for women.

Organisations must apply for the citation each year.

Media contact: Sarah Tempest – 0404 800 417