Industry recognised by gender equality agency


Biopharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have featured prominently in the 2017-18 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation by the federal government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation started in 2014. The 2017-18 citation list includes just 120 Australian-based companies.

The citation is aligned with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and recognises the increasing importance of gender equality to an organisation’s success.

Criteria for the citation cover leadership, learning and development, gender remuneration gaps, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination and targets for improving gender equality outcomes.

The companies to receive the citation include MSD, for the third consecutive year, while Johnson & Johnson has been recognised for the first time. Baxter Healthcare has also received a citation for the third year in a row.

MSD managing director Riad El-Dada, who has been a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador since 2016 and is now also a Flexible Working Ambassador for leading recruitment service Diverse City Careers, said, “We recognise flexible working arrangements benefit all individuals and have a positive impact on productivity and workplace culture. That is why we have created a number of options for our people to work flexibly, in whichever way suits them, their team, their clients, and the business. We have communicated this to all staff and set the expectation among our leaders so that each new and existing employee can feel comfortable in discussing flexible working arrangements with their manager."

He continued, “We are proud to be once again recognised for our commitment, and proud that we could demonstrate how we continue to improve the work we do on advancing gender equality at MSD,” said Mr El-Dada.

“Since 2014, we have sustained our efforts to increase greater participation of women in leadership positions – currently more than 50 per cent of our leadership team are female.”

“We’re thrilled to have been granted the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency," said Doug Cunningham, managing director of Johnson & Johnson Pacific.

"We’re proud of our extensive support programs, initiatives and policies that enable both women and men working within our companies to thrive in their careers and personal lives."

Bruce Goodwin, managing director of Janssen Australia and New Zealand, the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson, said, building a highly inclusive culture creates a deep sense of belonging for all employees.

“We are proud to be setting the benchmark for other Australian workplaces to follow and we remain committed to equality for men and women in our organisation across both Australia and New Zealand.

“We would like to acknowledge the work of our Human Resources team and the enterprise Diversity & Inclusion Council for helping us to drive these initiatives across our businesses, and to all our employees for making the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies a great place to work,” added Mr Goodwin.

General manager of Baxter Australia and New Zealand, Steven Flynn, said the company was proud to be recognised as a leader in diversity and gender equality.

“We treat diversity and gender equality as a key business issue and central to our culture of employee engagement, inclusion and collaboration,” said Mr Flynn.

“We are proud to have implemented a number of gender equality initiatives that involve women and men as active and equal partners.

“Our policies on flexible working arrangements, paid paternity leave and pay equality support our employees and help deliver on our mission to save and sustain lives.”