Celebrating inclusive workplaces

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Commonwealth Bank Diversity

The AHRI Diversity Awards, proudly sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank

Partnered by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency


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Recognising excellence in gender equity initiatives and programs in the workplace

Due to the calibre of applicants in this category from a range of different organisations, the judging panel have selected two winners for the Gender Equity in the Workplace Award in 2013

Australian Astronomical Observatory

The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) aims to be at the forefront of gender equity in astronomical research environments internationally. Specific goals, encapsulated in the ‘Gender Equity for Women in Astronomy’ initiative at the AAO, have included:

  • Flexible working arrangements promoted at recruitment
  • A generous ‘Return to Work’ scholarship award to facilitate rapid reengagement of women in the research environment following parental leave
  • Targeted professional development for women in the astronomy group at the AAO

View AAO’s winning initiative

“AAO clearly demonstrates that gender equity initiatives can benefit the organisation as a whole and are a sustainable, long-term option. AAO have taken an isolated issue of attraction and retention of women and they have developed a holistic solution aimed at benefiting the organisation as a whole.”

Judging panel

About Australian Astronomical Observatory

The Australian Astronomical Observatory is a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The AAO is Australia’s premier optical astronomical facility, providing world-class observing facilities for Australian astronomers.


Westpac Group

In October 2010, Westpac Group CEO Gail Kelly reinvigorated the commitment to gender equity by setting a public target to increase the percentage of women in leadership roles from 33% to 40% by the end of 2014.

Westpac Group established the Women in Leadership program and a Centre of Excellence for Diversity & Flexibility, implementing a comprehensive gender equity program. The structured program combined hardwiring and soft-wiring initiatives enabling the achievement of the target in September 2012, two years ahead of plan.

View The Westpac Group’s winning initiative

“Westpac Group displays a very clear and comprehensive approach to gender equity in the workplace and have some outstanding outcomes and statistics to support the program. Westpac Group demonstrates change within a large organisation, particularly in regard to flexibility, their general manager gender representation and parental leave outcomes. ”

Judging panel

About Westpac Group

Westpac Group was founded in 1817 and was the first bank and first company established in Australia. Today, Westpac Group employs 36,000 people across businesses including Westpac Retail, St George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA, BTFG, RAMS – located in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. Westpac is ranked in the top 5 listed companies with a market capitalisation of $61.6 billion.

Award Criteria

InnovationThe program or initiative represents a new and creative approach to the challenge faced by the organisation.
CultureThe program or initiative incorporates a cultural change approach to diversity where principles are embedded in the DNA of the organisation.
Outcomes and impactThe program or initiative has addressed the challenge, achieved the desired outcomes and/or positively impacted on the business.
SustainabilityThe program or initiative and its impacts or outcomes are sustainable and replicable for the organisation.
LeadershipThe program or initiative is supported or led by the CEO and/or senior leadership team within the organisation.
MetricsGender representation across levels within the organisation prior to the program/initiative and at time of application:
  • Board, Executive (level 1)
  • Middle Management (level 2)
  • Employees (remaining employess)
Flexible work practicesThe program or initiative identifies and addresses issues within the organisation impacting on the attraction, retention and development of women.
Training and developmentThe program or initiative identifies and addresses issues with learning and development opportunities for women.