Pernod Ricard Winemakers WGEABusiness

Australia’s best drinks companies for gender equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has announced the 2020-22 WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation holders, with five drinks companies making the list.

This year, 17 new organisations received the two-year citation, joining the existing group of 119 citation holders for the 2019-21 period. The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces.

First-time recipients of the citation include retail giant Woolworths Group and Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the producer of wine brands Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Orlando, is Australia’s first wine company to be named an EOCGE.

Bryan Fry, Chairman & CEO, Pernod Ricard Winemakers said: “Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has access to the same resources, opportunities and rewards is an important part of our commitment to valuing people. We are achieving this by instilling a mindset that drives long-term change, with gender being one area of focus.

“EOCGE certification publicly reaffirms the importance we place on gender equality and we are proud to be the first wine company to receive this recognition, as well as the only current South Australian based business out of the 136 organisations awarded this citation.

“Across Pernod Ricard Winemakers, 53% of our senior managers and 43% of our total population are female, as a result of strategies we introduced to improve our gender mix, such as making flexible work mainstream, uplifting parental leave entitlements, introducing diversity and inclusion training, closing the gender pay gap and conducting regular analysis to maintain our results.”

Pernod Ricard Winemakers staff have been celebrating the citation (pictured main).

What makes a company an Employer of Choice?

WGEA Director, Libby Lyons said: “The EOCGE citation is recognised as a rigorous and sophisticated guide for employers to implement leading-practice initiatives designed to achieve gender equality in their workplaces.

“Despite the tremendous upheaval and disruption caused to Australian businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated organisations maintained an unswerving commitment to achieving their EOCGE citation.

“I want to sincerely thank and acknowledge these employers for their extraordinary efforts in these trying times. We know that gender equality is good for business and crucial to our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. By driving better gender equality outcomes in their workplaces, these EOCGE citation holders are showing the right way forward for other Australian businesses.”

To be eligible to apply for the EOCGE citation, organisations must be compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and must meet all the EOCGE assessment criteria.

The criteria for the citation cover seven focus areas. These reflects findings from the latest academic research into drivers of improved gender equality outcomes and consultation with gender equality experts and practitioners, industry groups and employers. 

  • Leadership, strategy, and accountability 
  • Developing a gender-balanced workforce 
  • Gender pay equity 
  • Support for caring
  • Mainstreaming flexible work 
  • Preventing gender-based harassment and discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying
  • Driving change beyond your workplace

WGEA regularly strengthens its criteria to reflect best practice.

Three drinks companies retain WGEA citations

Among the drinks companies that retained their citations for 2021 were Lion, Diageo Australia and Metcash.

Metcash noted: “Metcash is proud to once again be recognised by the WGEA as an EOCGE. It’s our third consecutive year of recognition, and we’re especially proud of the work we’ve done to embed flexibility for everyone, regardless of gender, and to truly embrace the challenges of 2020 as an opportunity to move further along our gender equality journey. At Metcash we celebrate the unique strengths of each individual that allow them to truly make their mark.”

Lion said: “As an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, we’re thrilled to hear 17 more organisations, including Woolworths Group, have received the citation by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces.

At Lion we are proud of our continued focus and commitment to gender equality. This has been demonstrated in our year on year achievement in maintaining our gender pay gap at less than one percent for like for like roles since we made the commitment in 2016.”

Kerry Appathurai named Customer Solutions Director at Lion

Diageo Australia Managing Director Angus McPherson added: “Diageo has long prioritised gender equality because it’s critical to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. It’s key to driving performance, it attracts and retains the best talent and it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

“We’ve already implemented one of Australia’s most progressive family leave policies that entitles every Diageo Australia employee to take 26 weeks paid family leave regardless of their gender, carer status or tenure.

“What we’ve seen when we implement gender equality policies and practices is that everyone in our business benefits as a result, whether it’s secondary carers who get precious time spent with their young child, people getting the opportunity to take on secondments, or primary carers who can continue to build their career and be supported in raising their family.”

Diageo Australia’s executive leadership reporting to the Managing Director is 57% female and 43% male while the extended leadership group is 51% female and 49% male.

The business has consistently ensured it has no gender pay gap, its family leave policy is Australia’s most progressive and has provided gender equality for paid parental leave with new dads from right across the business taking parental leave to support their partner’s own return to work transitions.

“Now with our Society 2030 targets we’re setting even more ambitious goals to keep the momentum going in creating a workplace and a society that fosters gender equality,” McPherson said. “We see this as fundamental to our long-term sustainability and that’s why it’s part of our 10-year sustainability action plan.

“Some of our global Society 2030 targets include accelerating inclusion and diversity in our value chain by measuring and increasing the percentage of Diageo suppliers from female and minority-owned businesses and using our media and creative spend to support progressive voices, celebrate diversity in our advertising and help shape a tolerant and equitable society.”

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