Benetas recognised as Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for 12th consecutive year

Agency's range of flexible working initiatives for both male and female employees recognised

February 21 2018Benetas, the not-for-profit aged care provider founded by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne in 1948, has been awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation, for the twelfth consecutive year.

The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM said the organisation was thrilled to receive the citation, being one of only five health and social services organisations across Australia to do so.

“We pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity, inclusion and gender equality. In our efforts to achieve the citation we constantly push ourselves to develop innovative new ways to promote and support gender equality. Achieving this citation year after year is a priority for Benetas,” said Ms Hills.

“The health care and social assistance sector is heavily female dominated, with women making up 84 per cent of the workforce. Creating gender balance is largely about challenging gender stereotypes. Women can have fulfilling careers and still meet family responsibilities. Having flexibility and a successful career is not a trade-off, and our gender balanced Board and Executive Team demonstrates this,” she said.

In addition to supporting and enabling the professional development of women, Benetas has taken proactive steps to encourage men to enter the aged care workforce, recognising that workplace flexibility is increasingly a more important driver of employment decisions for men. In the last five years, Benetas has achieved a three per cent increase in male employees.

The range of flexible working initiatives both male and female employees at Benetas can take advantage of includes:

  • Part-time, job-share and flexible opportunities
  • Purchased leave arrangements, enabling both men and women to purchase an additional two or four weeks of annual leave each year
  • Superannuation payments for all staff on paid parental leave
  • Eight weeks’ paid parental leave for primary carers and two weeks’ paid leave for secondary carers (the latter can be staggered over three months to enable part-time work during the period and some new fathers have used this option to work part-time following the birth of their child).

Greater access to flexible work enables men to share the balance of caring and household responsibilities, helping to facilitate gender equality at work and at home.

“Our White Ribbon workplace accreditation complements our gender equality initiatives. We recognise that gender inequality is closely associated with violence against women,” said Ms Hills.

“Gender equality is more than just about gender balance in the workplace. It influences social attitudes and norms.

“At Benetas, as part of our White Ribbon accreditation, we have taken active steps in our policies and procedures to prevent violence against women within our workplace and our community,” said Ms Hills.

Trends among this year’s Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation recipients include entrenching organisation-wide flexible work practices, tailored parental leave policies to support use by women and men, programs to increase women in leadership, initiatives to attract women into male-dominated roles and robust analysis and correction of gender pay gaps.