Employment equality and inclusion at UOW
UOW is a powerhouse of learning and teaching excellence and we assert our standing as a significant research-intensive university. We aim for a position in the top 1% of world universities. UOW values the attraction and management of workforce diversity as an asset and we know that this asset will help us to reach our goal.
Like many universities, we have policies and practices in place to ensure that we provide fair workplace programs in a campus free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. But we know that maintaining a culture that demonstrates and lives these values everyday in a consistent way, requires broad engagement and support from all our employees. To design, implement and monitor diversity initiatives we have built the challenge of embracing diversity and dissolving barriers into our governance structure. Our Workforce Diversity Group oversees our workforce diversity and inclusion activities across the institution.
Work Life balance
"The University of Wollongong is committed to developing a workplace culture which supports the work/life needs of a diverse workforce. It recognises the need for staff to be able to balance and integrate their work and other life responsibilities by providing options on a permanent or temporary basis.
Work options should be explored to find the best possible match between the business interests of the University and those of individual employees. Such work practices include flexi-time; permanent part-time work; job sharing, provision of childcare and leave such as parental and carer's leave.
Workplaces can be made more flexible through the way jobs are designed, in how work is organised and by having supportive and understanding staff and managers."
Professor Paul Wellings, Vice-Chancellor
UOW aims to be an equal employer of women, to address gender pay equity and dissolve barriers to the selection, advancement and opportunities for people of all genders in the workplace.
"All people working at UOW should feel they are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of whether they are a woman or man"
Professor Paul Wellings, Vice-Chancellor
UOW has been very successful in attracting and retaining women. More than 50% of our staff and our Senior Executive are women, but like most industries, there are still pockets with gender imbalance, either more than 60% female or 60% male. In these areas and in pay equality we are working to achieve better balance.
UOW's Vice-Chancellor has expressed his commitment to gender equality and gender pay equity. Gender Equality will be a priority for us in 2016 and we will be making changes to become a leader in this area. UOW meets it's legislative requirements by submitting annual reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency each year. In 2016 UOW will apply for the 'Employer of Choice for Gender Equality' (EOCGE) citation. The process is a stringent one. EOCGE criteria and the UOW submission are available for your review.
In 2015, UOW was ranked (by the Australian Human Rights Commission) in the top ten most LGBTI friendly Universities in Australia. Our vibrant Ally Network is a dynamic group of staff and students, linked to the university through an advisory group of staff and student representatives. The network offers events and regular sessions to network and build awareness of LGBTI issues.
"UOW is a tremendously supportive place for LGBTI staff and students. We have openly gay, lesbian and trans staff across all levels. I was hired into the journalism program based in large part on my experience as editor in the gay and lesbian media. Because UOW is a regional university in an area that can still be challenging for LGBTI people, it's role as a beacon of openness and support is particularly important." Marcus O'Donnell, Journalism Program Convenor.
The University is committed to embracing the contribution of people with disabilities by providing support and removing barriers. Employment Opportunity for people with disabilities is integrated into University policies, procedures, decisions and operations so that managers can support their staff, whatever their needs.
Implementation of the University's Disability Action Plan (DAP) is overseen by the DAP stakeholder committee to address the needs of students and staff.
5.8% of our staff have told us that they have a disability and 1.9% of our staff require an adjustment. Our Workplace Adjustment Procedure supports changes to employment conditions, and wherever possible we support our staff through the provision of equipment and facilities to allow them to meet the inherent requirements of their role.
ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER INCLUSION
UOW's Indigenous Employment Strategy sets out initiatives to help us achieve 3% Indigenous employment by 2018. This is a key target but there is much more to Aboriginal & Torres Strait inclusion than just numbers. Like all equity groups, we know that it's about improving communication, listening to needs and developing strategies to address bias or barriers. To help achieve this our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Employment Officer is a key member of high level committees such as:
- Employment Equity and Diversity Committee
- Workforce Diversity Reference Group
- Reconciliation Action Plan Committee
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
16.5% of our staff have told us that they come from a non-English speaking background. Our body of staff and students is culturally rich and contributes to a vibrant community. This diversity is celebrated in staff and student events to dissolve barriers and enjoy the benefits of diverse cuisine, art, religions, language and more.
UOW upholds the Principles of Multiculturalism, and provides programs and services to meet the needs of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community that it serves.
At it's core, the University of Wollongong Multicultural Plan shows the strategies the University will use to ensure that all people, including those from different cultural, religious and language backgrounds, have access to services. This relates to the way the University supports it's staff, it's students and the community in which it operates.