Australia's largest customer-owned financial services provider, CUA, has been awarded the prestigious WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation for the second consecutive year.
CUA was one of just 12 financial institutions and only four mutuals to be recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for 2015. In total, 90 organisations across a broad range of industries and sectors nationally were awarded the citation this year, which recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces.
CUA Chief Executive Officer Rob Goudswaard said the award was fitting recognition of the work being done by CUA to promote gender equality and pay equity, but also broader equality and diversity initiatives.
"Receiving the citation is independent recognition of CUA's commitment to gender equality within our organisation - not only for our existing employees but also future talent," Mr Goudswaard said.
"CUA is proud to be an advocate for gender equality within the customer-owned banking sector and with our customers, and I look forward to us continuing to build on that foundation in 2016."
Mr Goudswaard said women represent 66 per cent of CUA's workforce, meaning it is important to have a clear insight into how CUA is tracking on pay equity and opportunities for women, particularly in career progression.
"I'm proud to say the results from our pay gap analysis show no significant role-for-role inequities among our workforce at CUA," Mr Goudswaard said.
"CUA is also very focused on some of the other areas highlighted by the WGEA this year – including providing access to flexible working arrangements and supporting men and women with generous parental leave entitlements.
"However, there is of course scope for us to continue to improve – particularly to encourage greater female participation in senior management or specialist roles where women are typically under represented.
"It's not about doing things differently - it's about doing more and doing it in a very targeted and strategic way."
CUA has already introduced a 50/50 gender split target for all recruitment short lists. CUA is also setting targets and implementing career development initiatives to increase female representation in these roles.
"Addressing the leadership challenge is the top priority on our gender equality agenda. By 2019 we're aiming for 50 per cent of senior leadership roles to be held by women," Mr Goudswaard said.
Having only recently joined CUA, General Manager of Human Resources, Sonia La Penna, said she is excited to be part of an organisation which takes workplace equality and diversity seriously, and is looking forward to seeing the CUA Diversity Council – chaired by the CEO – continuing to champion the cause in 2016.
"Earlier this year, the Diversity Council endorsed CUA's diversity statement, which details our commitment to creating and celebrating a diverse and inclusive culture, where employees can shine and realise their potential," Ms La Penna said.
"We're also preparing to accept the first intake into our new CUA Graduate Program in 2016. This program will help attract diverse and innovative thought leaders of the future, with a target of 50 per cent female participation.
"And I'm pleased to see that CUA has a 'Leadership in Action Program' which has been expanded this year to allow more middle management participants – women accounted for 56 per cent of participants in this program and it has received excellent feedback."
* Case studies of CUA employees are available on request, including women in leadership, men accessing parental leave and flexible working.