Employers support ‘WAY FORWARD’ STRATEGIES AMMA MEMBERS HAVE backed a national education campaign to boost competitiveness, productivity and economic growth through increased women’s participation in the mining, energy and allied construction sectors. Through AMMA’s government-partnered initiative the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA), the campaign promotes top-down leadership towards greater gender diversity, backed by tools and information through its online Way Forward Guides. AMMA chief executive Steve Knott says hundreds of employers and HR professionals attended a series of workshops held across the country to discuss how the guides’ strategies can be used to break down barriers to female participation, from attraction and recruitment to culture, mentoring and work-life balance. “The AWRA Way Forward Guides provide the resource industry’s first end-to-end toolkit of practical business strategies to assist employers to attract and retain women workers,” Knott says. “They assist HR professionals to build a compelling business case for gender diversity and shore up organisational support and executive leadership toward this vision.” The guides contain several case studies highlighting diversity
success in the resource industry, such as: • Anglo American Metallurgical Coal’s innovative recruitment campaign promoting their top female talent to achieve a ‘pipeline’ target of 75 per cent women among new recruits; • Caltex’s BabyCare initiative designed to increase staff retention by providing financial and practical support for new parents returning to work; and • A career development partnership between OZ Minerals and Beach Energy providing strategic training and development opportunities to assist women toward their career goals. “These case studies show some resource organisations are already pioneering the diversity business case. However, Australia is ranked outside the top 20 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, so clearly there is much work still to be done,” Knott says. “This type of change must be driven from the top of an organisation and workforce inclusion must play a central role in normal business practice.” The AWRA Way Forward Guides can be downloaded from www.amma.org.au/awra.
ExxonMobil fuels STAFF CHILDCARE CENTRE A LACK OF convenient and affordable childcare is often a deal-breaker when new parents weigh up a return to work. Luckily for ExxonMobil Australia’s Melbourne staff, their employer has it covered. Since 1993, the Emerald Hill Childcare Centre has provided ExxonMobil employees with prioritised high-quality childcare services within close proximity to its Melbourne head office. Maintaining this valuable service is critical to the company’s focus on leading all industries in best practice parental support. This is why 20 years after opening the centre with three joint-venture partners, the oil and gas major has elected to continue its operation as its sole sponsor. Operations technical subsurface manager Melanie Cook says this support enabled her to resume her career with ExxonMobil. “I cherish the opportunity to have our children cared for in a place where the families know each other and where there is personalised attention to both childrens’ and parents’ needs. Emerald Hill is a very special place,” Cook says. Chairman of ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Australia, Richard Owen, says the company is focused on creating a working
www.amma.org.au | Autumn 2014 |
environment that encourages all employees to achieve their ultimate potential. “As well as providing company-sponsored childcare places, over the years we have introduced many policies that acknowledge the needs of our employees,” Owen says. “These include 15 weeks of paid parental leave in addition to the federal government’s scheme, workplace flexibility programs that allow part-time work opportunities, a childcare referral service and the recent introduction of return-to-work leave, which provides an additional week of paid leave in the first 12 months after returning to work to provide additional flexibility during this transition period for primary caregivers.” Owen says Esso Australia’s return-to-work rate has been excellent as a result of these initiatives. “Over the last five years, 96 per cent of employees who have taken parental leave have returned to work. In addition in 2013, 23 per cent of our executive-level managers are female. In a traditionally male-dominated industry this is a good representation, but we continue to work toward improving this even further,” he says.