Legitimate DEI in the workplace demands commitment. These organisations not only signed up to it, but are leading the change by introducing progressive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to make opportunities more accessible to women and people from underrepresented groups.
A mosaic is a piece of art composed of many tiny pieces of glass or tile. The best mosaics glisten from afar with an impressive array of colours and patterns. Similarly, the best workplaces are composed of an array of people with intersecting cultures, abilities, orientations, languages, religions, ages and experiences.
It’s up close that the intricacies and effort involved (in both mosaics and workplace diversity) are unveiled. While many companies will say they support diversity, equity and inclusion, our close inspection reveals many have put as much effort into their workplace mosaic as a Year 3 art project, and job seekers waste time inspecting the details of a potential employers’ careers pages, employee reviews, social media accounts, or wait for an interview - only to find that out.
WORK180 Endorsed Employers are not only committed to change this dynamic, but are leading the change. They are investing in creating masterpieces with measurable impact in their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and even meticulously producing frames for other organisations by introducing trend-setting and progressive programs and policies.
A close up on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) game changers
Explore each section using our shortcuts:
Women in Leadership | Non-linear Career Paths | Youth Employment | Migrants and Refugees | Balance and Flexibility | Ex-Defence & Veterans
Women in leadership: Supporting gender equity and representation of women in senior roles
The Emerging Female Leaders Program allowed me to pause and reflect, to rethink my priorities and goals. Taking the time for myself and to be immersed in this program was definitely a right decision! The opportunity came along recently for me to step up into the Group Taxation Manager role, to head the Tax function at UGL with the retirement of my manager.
Louise Chiu | Group Taxation Manager, UGL
The Emerging Female Leaders program is targeted at women with managerial experience to further develop their strengths and leadership skills. We assist with their career development and help increase their visibility at work and facilitate them to expand their professional networks.
Run by Xplore for Success, the program provides an excellent platform for women to meet other like-minded individuals in the business and a welcoming environment to share their aspirations and struggles alike.
Since first participating in the Diversity and Inclusion programs I’ve been on a huge personal growth journey. As a result, I’m more confident and challenge myself to take on challenges that used to previously terrify. It has helped in breaking down barriers in my work and opening the door to different opportunities.
Kay O’Carroll | Experienced Solution Architect, graduate from FUEL program, Ericsson
FUEL is a community and professional development program for emerging women talent to support them in their career and development goals. It includes professional development workshops, coaching, lunchtime connect sessions, web-based learning, and participation in a variety of industry and leadership events to facilitate networking.
Among 52 participants (excluding the 2020 new intake), 67% of the group has had a substantive role change – job stage promotion, role change, stepping into additional projects, becoming Line Manager (without JS change). FUEL group has been promoted at 2.5 times the rate of women who have not been through the program.
In addition, there are three outstanding initiatives in place:
- Ericsson ensures a gender lens is taken across talent and succession planning and proactively ensures women are considered for promotion opportunities including leadership and critical roles.
- The management team takes systematic action to close the gender pay gap as part of the annual remuneration review process to ensure pay parity.
- The executive team sponsors an on-going leadership capability development program across the top 140 senior leaders, including training in Inclusive Leadership, Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Recruitment. Ericsson screens all job ads before they are advertised to ensure they use gender neutral language.
Our women's mentoring program ensures mentoring across the business to support equal opportunities for women and men. In addition, our focus on equal gender balanced candidate shortlists has allowed us to attract and hire more standout women in the last few years than ever before.
Lauren Solly | HR Business Partner, F5 Networks
F5’s Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs) bring people together across F5 worldwide. In particular, Women's Employee Inclusion Group 'F5 Connects Women' invests back into development workshops and group coaching, as well as supporting women in tech through industry NFPs.
Our Next Generation program supports Sofology women who aspire to be leaders in our business by providing the path for them to achieve at work and at home. We have seen several colleagues in sales progressing to management level.
Joanne Beech | Senior People Business Partner, Sofology
As part of our internal development program, we stretch ourselves to ensure women are represented equally from the get-go with a 50:50 split of men and women for every intake. The result: the increase of women in leadership from 8% in 2019 to 32% in 2021.
Non-linear career paths: Recognising transferable skills
EY has supported me in balancing my professional and athletic careers with a flexible working arrangement and enduring team support. EY encourages a culture of flexibility, of working to your strengths…
Georgina Howe | Management Consultant, EY
EY Australia’s Elite Athlete Program is a unique program building to support elite athletes as they move from careers in sport to careers in business. It provides the opportunity for elite athletes to gain valuable work experience in a corporate setting while still training and competing in their chosen sport. Read more about EY’s Elite Athlete Program.
The Transition to Rail Program has allowed me to develop my leadership and relationship building skills, and developing my knowledge of train crew operations, from an operational and leadership perspective.I have also had the benefit of undertaking a number of qualifications, and spending time working in the yard – something I never would have expected as a former financial adviser!
Karlee Box | Transition to Rail Leadership, Aurizon
Our Transition to Rail Leadership program allows individuals who began their careers in other industries to gain valuable experience in our business from an operations/frontline leadership perspective.
The J.P. Morgan Chase & Co Autism at Work program has been running since 2015 and aims to hire qualified individuals with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) into meaningful roles across the firm. We seek to develop candidate pipelines through non-profit organizations, social services departments, and educational institutions. Learn more about the J.P. Morgan Autism at Work Program.
Youth employment: Improving educational and life outcomes
The Prospects Program is popular with and well-supported by Alcoa employees and viewed as easily transferable for other resources companies or industries. One of the most positive outcomes has been students leaving the program with job application-ready resumes.
Jo Rutkowski | Talent Sourcing Specialist, Alcoa
The Girls Prospect Program is an Alcoa initiative providing interactive student mentoring for girls in Year 10 at Pinjarra Senior High School. It focuses on increasing student’s awareness of possible career pathways within the resources sector, exposing them to industry professionals and providing workshops to improve their communication and written skills for future interviews and resume writing. Alcoa’s Girls Prospect Program was nominated for the 2021 Outstanding Company Initiative at Women in Resources Awards and continues to be supported by Alcoa’s employees to inspire young women about the possible careers and educational opportunities within the industry.
I proposed launching a pre-apprenticeship program at TransGrid because I’m passionate about getting women into Trades. I hear so many stories of women who want to make the change or have always been curious about trying a Trade, but don’t know where to start. TransGrid is really supportive, we’ve got a great opportunity here to encourage women to try out a different career.
Chelsie Webster | Substation Technician, TransGrid
Transgrid’s pre-apprenticeship program has been designed to attract more women to Trades in regional growth areas. This initiative involves a two week residential immersion at TAFE to give women the opportunity to get a feel for the industry, develop skills, like hand skills, complete some TAFE units, and get a taste of what TAFE is like before committing to a full apprenticeship. "Due to the pandemic, the program has been deferred from 2021 to 2022, to ensure accessibility for participants.", Chiara Van Viet | Employee Relations Advisor, TransGrid
Did you know that only 50% of foster youth finish high school and of that, only 3% graduate college nationwide? I am one of the few foster youth that overcame systemic and cultural barriers to graduate college. I’m proud to say, I successfully paved my way to a brighter future.
Diana Pham | HR Consultant, NortonLifeLock
We partner with Pivotal, a non-profit initiative committed to improving educational and life outcomes for foster youth. By investing in Pivotal, we led to the hire of intern Diana Pham. We are grateful and lucky to say Diana is now a permanent employee and brings so much value to the NortonLifeLock family. Read more about her story: The Odds Against Me.
As a new 2021 Graduate, it’s great to see Aurizon focuses on graduates from different backgrounds including those living in regional centres. Living in Mackay Queensland, I am fortunate enough to gain experience within a large corporation, developing my skill set and accessing numerous opportunities to kick-start my career – all this without having to leave my hometown and family. Aurizon’s commitment to regionalisation has positively impacted my career.
Chloe Baulch | Human Resources Graduate, Aurizon
Voted by its graduates as one of the top 75 employers that provide the most positive experience for new graduates, Aurizon’s development program offers challenging career development opportunities along with permanent employment, a dedicated mentor and a supporting environment, a competitive salary and annual performance-based remuneration review, and opportunities to connect with technical and peer networks across Australia.
Altis Consulting recently launched the DevelopHer initiative, an initiative targeting graduate women. The program runs for six weeks and consists of both technical and soft skills training, with the aim to equip the new team member with the tools they need to have a successful consulting career at Altis.
99designs have turned interns into new hires through partners like Code Like a Girl. In addition to 99nonprofits, they host Girl Geek Academy hack days and provide career development and learning including courses in technology, formal and informal mentoring and access to conferences.
J.P. Morgan apprenticeship programs have a strong track record of attracting high numbers of women applicants from a wide range of backgrounds across the UK. They are designed to provide students who are finishing or have finished 6th form or college with an alternative route to join the firm. Apprentices obtain a degree from the University of Exeter – the training provider – as well as professional qualifications, without incurring the associated costs.
J.P. Morgan partner with a select number of carefully chosen partners to specifically target and promote our opportunities to diverse students. For women students we have three main partners to engage with diverse high potential students who are interested: The Bright Network, GTI and Hire STEM Women.
Skilled migrants and refugees: Breaking down barriers to meaningful employment
Research suggests that 47% of highly qualified migrants remain unemployed in the first two years of migration (compared with 23% of similarly qualified workers born in Australia). After 5 years, 40% of qualified migrants are still working in lower-skilled jobs.
Melbourne Water Pathways Program provides culturally diverse skilled migrants with up to three years of paid work experience within their field of expertise, including the opportunity to work with our partners.
Tara Zwaans | Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Melbourne Water
The program, with participants from Pakistan, Zimbabwe, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt and Uganda, is run in collaboration with Jesuit Social Services, and trains both participants and managers.
BOC member of The Linde Group
BOC’s Workforce development & building future talent pipeline strategy focus on attracting early in career talent from under-represented groups and further ensuring gender diversity.
Paulette Ansara | Head of Talent Development, Resourcing, Diversity & Inclusion, BOC
Partnering with Career Seekers, an organisation that supports refugee and asylum-seeking students gain internships with Australian employers, we were able to work with two refugee interns who have had a fabulous experience and are returning back this year for further project work with the potential opportunity to be invited to apply to our Graduate Development Program in 2022.
Read Shahad Al-kes Batras' inspiring story and her lessons for finding success as a refugee, a university student and an intern throughout her internship with BOC.
Mott MacDonald AU & UK
We are working to remove the barriers that prevent refugee employment. The skills and diverse ideas that refugees bring to the business are too important to miss out on.
Ben Saxon | Business Analyst, Mott MacDonald UK
We have increased our intake of refugees in all our Australian offices in partnership with Career Seekers, and have launched a digital apprentices initiative to provide entry-level pathways in the digital space for young people from diverse backgrounds.
In collaboration with social enterprise Transitions London, we help provide opportunities for the refugee community in the UK. We also promote a program to encourage Mott MacDonald colleagues to volunteer their spare time to help refugees navigate the job market (CV writing, interview advice, etc.). To date, 13 coaches across a range of specialisms have coaching partnerships with refugee candidates.
Balance and flexibility: Policies adapting to individual needs
Western Power implemented a specialised parent’s portal for families managing the demands of work and family commitments. It provides targeted information for each stage of family development from antenatal to the teenagers, as well as caring for aging family members.
As a working parent over COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the materials on the portal provided me with some well-timed tips for managing my family, myself and my work commitments over this time.
Natasha Kornweibel | Change and Innovation Partner, Western Power
Toyota Motor Corporation Australia launched a Cultural Days Off Procedure, allowing employees two Cultural Days Off per year in lieu of a state public holiday to recognise cultural events such as Ramadan and Chinese New Year.
It has provided me the opportunity to celebrate Orthodox Christmas with my family.
Grace Bucalo | Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Toyota
Sofology had enhanced their flexible working policies to support women in a more flexible way of working by structuring an approach to attracting part timers to appeal to women at various stages of their lives.
Melbourne Water are introducing job-share arrangements for senior roles.
Freightliner & Pentalver
Freightliner & Pentalver have completely transformed their careers pages, including more diverse imagery, videos and testimonials from women, to challenge the preconceived ideas about women working in male-dominated industries. As an extension to this, they also feature women wherever possible when promoting job vacancies on social media.
Ex-Defence Members & Veterans: Making the transition to civilian careers
Ericsson signed the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Commitment - a public declaration to support the employment of veterans, ensuring that ex-ADF members have equal opportunity in gaining employment with Ericsson, and actively seek to understand how military skills and experiences can translate into civilian situations to drive success at Ericsson.
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Our UK Military Transition Program has been running since 2011. The program offers veterans from all ranks and services either a six-month, two year or three month paid placement with formal mentoring. Ex-military candidates can also become part of the Veterans Business Resource Group that promotes veterans’ issues across the firm.
Helen Tabeshfar, Vice President | EMEA Diversity and Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co
NortonLifeLock invests in partnering with nonprofits like Npower, supporting military veterans & young adults from underserved communities. They are committed to making the transition to civilian careers as successful as possible. NPower has been providing upskilling, professional development & job placement services to over 1,500 veterans and their spouses. NLOK offers coaching and guidance to the veteran trainees which is critical to their success.
Aisling McWeeney, Principal Recruiter/EMEA TA Lead, NortonLifeLock
Read more about why and how leading employers are hiring ex-military personnel.
Raising the standards while embracing The Power Flip
We are thrilled to be partnering with these organisations whose diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives recognise, support and enhance the everchanging mosaics of the workforce.
Their support goes beyond the standards and embraces The Power Flip by making opportunities more accessible to women and people from underrepresented groups.
Apply confidently to workplaces with a proven commitment to diversity, inclusion, and gender equity using WORK180’s transparent job board to find your next role.
To learn more about you can be part of The Power Flip and raise your company’s profile as an employer of choice, visit our Why WORK180 page.
About the author
To help women find a workplace that will work for them, we prescreen employers on flexible working, pay equity, paid parental leave, and more. Find your next role on the WORK180 job board.