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University named Employer of Choice for Women


Brigid Veale
8 March 2010
Southern Cross University has been named as an Employer of Choice for Women by the federal government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA).

The announcement today coincides with International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated with a range of activities at Southern Cross University’s campuses in Lismore, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads.

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 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.

EOWA acting director Mairi Steele said: “By applying for and receiving this citation, these organisations are not only meeting the pre-requisites and criteria, but are publicly declaring their commitment to making their workplaces equitable.”

Rachel Callahan, manager of Southern Cross University’s Equity and Diversity Office, said she was delighted the University had received this recognition for the second year running.

“This is wonderful recognition of the ongoing work being done across the University to increase the representation of women at senior management level and in providing support for the development of their careers,” Ms Callahan said.

“We have a number of initiatives through the Development Program for Women aimed at supporting and promoting the University’s female staff.”

The Development Program for Women includes a mentoring scheme, which in its first year matched around 30 women with more senior and experienced women across the University.

The Equity and Diversity Office runs a networking forum for women, with opportunities for guest speakers and presentations. It also hosts promotions workshops for women academic staff and regular research workshops for early career academic women staff.

Ms Callahan said a host of activities were planned as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day today.

At the Lismore campus a morning tea will be held from 10am to 11am, with guest speaker Professor Judy Atkinson from Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, music by by Ella Mingaye and Vic Hudson, and storyteller and singer, Jenni Cargill.

At the Coffs Harbour campus, a joint event with Coffs Harbour City Council will be held from 10am to noon outside the Osprey Restaurant. Speakers will include Dr Gail Moloney, Pat Funnell and Michele Greenwood.

Morning teas will be held at 10.30am (Qld time) at the Gold Coast campus, SCU Lakeside, Caloola Drive Tweeds Heads, and SCU Riverside, Brett Street, Tweed Heads (10am).

Photo: Rachel Callahan, manager of Southern Cross University’s Equity and Diversity Office.