We are proud to have been named as a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for the fourth consecutive year.

WGEA’s Employer of Choice citation is awarded to organisations that demonstrate a genuine commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Being one of just 119 organisations to achieve this citation in 2020 is a real honour, especially as the WGEA continues to improve and strengthen its equality measurement framework.

This year saw us continue to strengthen a range of equality measures right across our organisation, including championing workplace flexibility, focusing on our recruitment and professional development practices in support of greater gender equality and holding our managers to account, with equality forming part of their leadership goals.

While we are proud of our achievements this year, we recognise that now is not the time to be complacent as there is still more work to do to create genuine gender equality in all workplaces.

Nearly 70 per cent of First State Super members are women, and we are acutely aware of some of the very real barriers they face in achieving gender equality in their workplaces.

Issues such as the gender pay gap, underemployment, career breaks, lack of flexibility in the workplace, and unpaid caring responsibilities all have a significant impact on Australian women not just during their working lives but throughout their retirement as well.

So much work has been done over recent years to try to address this imbalance, but until we remove some of the societal norms and structural barriers to equality in our workplaces, women will still be at a disadvantage.

– Deanne Stewart, First State Super CEO

Gender inequality has real effects on super balances

According to Women in Super, women are retiring with 47% less super than men.

Our research also shows that up to three quarters of that is due to the salary gap experienced by women in Australia.

Pay equality plays a central role in ensuring more Australian’s retire with an adequate super balance, and we believe that leading by example and advocating for positive change in corporate Australia is important for our members and the society they live in.

New initiatives that made a difference in 2019

As one of Australia’s largest industry superannuation funds, our aim is to be a leader in supporting equality, inclusion and diversity, not only in our workplace but with our members and in the broader community as well.

In 2019 some of the initiatives and achievements we are most
proud of are:

  • 40% female representation across all leadership levels including our Board and Group Executive,
  • Setting internal targets for candidates and interview panels to ensure gender balance in recruitment decisions,    
  • Standing up a dedicated team of performance and reward professionals to continually analyse and support pay equity,
  • Supporting a range of external initiatives including Equal Pay Day, Women in Leadership and NSW Women of the Year awards.

What has this meant for our employees? A recent Lived Experience check showed very pleasing results.

  1. My immediate Manager genuinely support equality between genders:
    Female: 89% and Male 92%
  2. I have the flexibility I need to manage work and other commitments: Female: 81% and Male 88%
  3. In my organisation gender-based harassment and sexual harassment is not tolerated: Female: 94% and Male 97%

Our internal results, alongside research by the WGEA, shows that dedication to the goals of WGEA can deliver genuine positive change to the workplace.

“New research just released by WGEA and the University of Queensland’s AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace shows that the targeted and strategic action EOCGE citation holders are taking has delivered significant improvements. They are closing their pay gaps and increasing their representation of women in management at a faster rate than other employers in
our dataset. These findings alone demonstrate the tangible impact of the EOCGE citation.” - Libby Lyons, WGEA Director

Find out more about the WGEA citation