March 9, 2011

Alcoa: Top Employer for 10th Year Running

For the 10th 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 providing opportunities for women to realise their career potential have been central strategies for Alcoa 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 fundamental to our success.

“It simply makes good business sense for organisations to offer flexibility because if you don’t you’re cutting off your pool of potential talent when it comes to recruitment,” Ms Kinsela said.

Alcoa believes its people management strategies are working, with 60% 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 means we have a better chance of attracting, and frankly retaining, the right people who will be the best fit for the company and who are best placed to deliver business results we need.

“Alcoa’s workplace policies include things like 13 weeks paid maternity leave, job share opportunities, working from home arrangement in some roles – and all these things are regularly reviewed to ensure they stay relevant to the needs of our people.”

EOWA Acting Director, Mairi Steele, said: “Bolstering gender equality in workplaces is not just a social justice issue; these organisations represent smart business management. They are positioning themselves to attract and retain the best female talent in what is still a highly competitive market for skilled employees. Women now represent just over 50% of university graduates and are a huge proportion of the talent pool.

“While we are delighted at the success of the 98 EOCFW organisations, over 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 25% of managers at Alcoa are women, up from only 3% more than a decade ago. Today, 35% of Alcoa’s corporate group is female, while 11% of the total workforce is women.

- ENDS -

Journalists: Please read stories of Alcoa women utilising flexibility polices at: www.alcoa.com.au/employerofchoice. Media outlets can feel free to use employee quotes from this page in their articles.

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 2011 EOWA Employer of Choice for Women (EOCFW) list features 98 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 six 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