Celebrating gender equality
Thursday 13 November 2014
On Wednesday 12 November, Swinburne was named Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. This is an important achievement that follows six years of recognition as an Employer of Choice for Women (the certification’s predecessor).
In 2014, the accreditation process introduced a number of new prerequisites, which have made accreditation more vigorous than ever before. Only 76 organisations across Australia earned the title this year, which highlights the importance of this outstanding accomplishment.
Paul Kneebone, Student Leadership Development Officer with the Student Leadership and Volunteer Program at SSAA, knows just how important it is to work in an organisation that advocates gender equality.
Paul has just become a parent for the first time and has spent the last couple of months growing into his new role as dad to his newborn son, Nico.
“As a new dad, I now realise the important role that men play in family life – we’re encouraged to be an integral part of every process and it changes us in so many positive ways.”
“The support that I’ve received from work has been amazing and made a huge difference during a stressful and vulnerable time for us.”
Paul has had an easy transition into parenthood with Nico being an easy baby, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“My wife had a three-day labour and also had some fairly serious complications after the birth. My admiration for her, as well as mothers generally, has grown immensely!”
“To have such a flexible and accommodating employer has really helped me to be able to focus on the health of my wife and on Nico.”
Paul’s wife will be heading back to work in March next year and little Nico will be getting plenty of bonding time with his dad, who will be taking some time during this early stage of his son’s life to embrace his new role as dad.
“I think it’s a win-win for everyone. Getting such great support gives me a sense of appreciation and value for my organisation, which makes me want to commit my absolute best as an employee, and it also helps us become the family we’ve dreamed of being from the start.”
Nataly Matijevic, Director of Communications, has also found a way to balance time between her career and family time with her two girls, Mia and Ivy. Nataly works four busy days a week managing Swinburne’s External Communications team, but once the last media release has been sent on Thursday evening, it’s family time for Nataly.
"Friday is girls’ day at our place,” says Nataly. “We spend our Friday's visiting grandparents, the library, the local park, painting in the garden, and watching Tinkerbell movies. This time with my daughters is really precious for me and I want it to be special and fun for them too.”
“Swinburne has been wonderfully supportive and has been a great place to work as a parent. I have been able to stay committed to my career, which has always been very important to me, while always feeling that the needs of my family are always looked after,” Nataly says.
Human Resources Consultant, Jyothi Chaganti, who has been driving many of the initiatives that have made this achievement possible, is thrilled about the EOCGE title. For Jyothi and her team, this latest accolade is encouraging and will spur on their strategic objectives and actions.
“The strategic action plan is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure we continue to develop our objectives and actions that foster gender equality at Swinburne,” she explains.
Under the Gender Equality Strategic Action Plan, Swinburne will continue to implement organisation-wide initiatives to promote gender equality as well as department level actions to address challenges at the grass root level.
“These initiatives will be at the core of what we do but true change can only happen when every leader and every employee imbibes and lives gender equality every day,” Jyothi says.