Queenslanders are already making strides in achieving gender equality. Community organisations and businesses are putting inspired policies and programs in place to boost women's workforce participation and improve their health, wellbeing and economic security. Some examples are shared here.
The Spice Exchange engages women from diverse cultural backgrounds to create spice blends and condiments reflective of the regions from where they come.
The program helps culturally diverse women by building social connections, developing confidence and providing opportunities for women to overcome barriers to employment.
The Spice Exchange is both a social enterprise and an employment and training pathway program that provides practical skills and workplace experience.
It assists women to gain work experience in a culturally responsive workplace environment where they can learn employable skills and develop an understanding of Australian business practices.
The Spice Exchange social enterprise has increased business savvy and small business aspirations among culturally diverse women as well as confidence of the participants, who recognise the value of food as a vehicle to promote and celebrate their culture and story (Access Community Services Ltd, Logan).
Find out more.
Suncorp, one of Australia’s largest financial services organisations, is leading the way in developing a range of policies to achieve gender and economic equality in the workplace.
In 2011, the organisation reviewed salary levels and addressed gender imbalances. In 2015, there were no cases of gender pay inequity. There have been no recurring cases of gender pay inequity since the reviews started.
A dedicated intranet page that provides information, materials and resources is in place to better support employees with parenting and caring responsibilities transition to and from the workplace.
Suncorp also has a number of initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace, including targeted leadership development for high potential females, and ongoing upskilling to reduce unconscious bias in recruitment and promotions. Suncorp offers flexible work options to help employees to integrate their family obligations and work commitments.
These initiatives have supported growth in the number of females in senior leadership roles in Suncorp, currently 38.9% against the 2017 (financial year) target of 40%.
Aurizon, Australia’s largest rail freight operator, has a deep and long standing commitment to tackling domestic and family violence, leading the ‘Wake Up and Walk’ campaign to raise awareness for domestic and family violence in 2009, and raising awareness through White Ribbon Day activities, including having large white ribbons on Aurizon’s locomotives.
In 2015 Aurizon’s Male Champions of Change organised and supported a range of awareness and fundraising events in nearly every work location across Queensland.
Aurizon has provided financial support through their Community Giving Fund to a range of organisations responding to those experiencing domestic and family violence.
In 2014 Aurizon introduced its first Domestic and Family Violence Policy. The policy has recently been updated to include 10 days of domestic and family violence leave, the provision of domestic and family violence resources for employees and domestic and family violence training for HR business partners.
The Deadly Sistas program, developed by the Wirrpanda Foundation, aims to build proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls.
The program builds self-esteem and encourages positive social interactions and healthy choices. It also helps girls to expand their thinking, and become active members and leaders in their communities.
The program focuses on building self-esteem and confidence, pride in cultural identity, making practical cultural contributions in the community, building relationships based on mutual respect, encouraging active self development, and yarning about sexual and women’s health, drug and alcohol abuse, road safety, healthy nutrition, financial literacy and healthy relationships.
Importantly, the program uses strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models to support girls in discussing issues they may be facing.
Implemented in 12 locations across Australia, the program was launched in 5 South-East Queensland highschools in 2015, in partnership with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
Find out more.