Ascott Australia has been recognised as a champion of gender equality at the Recalibrate Gender Equity Awards 2023, held last Thursday evening at Crown Melbourne.
GM Brand and ESG at Ascott Australia, Anthea Dimitrakopoulos, accepted the prize for the Medium Business category. There were a record 158 nominations for the gender equity awards 2023, with other finalists including National Australia Bank, Cisco and Monash IVF. Winner of the Enterprise Business category was French multinational IT and consulting company Capgemini, and winner of the Large Business category was industry super fund, HESTA. Past winners include L’Oreal and Cotton On.
In 2023 Ascott Australia reached 55 percent female representation at the management level.
Ascott was recognised for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to fostering gender equity throughout its workforce, brand network, and the communities it serves through a comprehensive range of progressive and innovative business practices, policies and initiatives.
Earlier this year Ascott Australia launched a ground-breaking parental leave policy offering 24 weeks and paid superannuation. This ensures primary caregivers have the financial support and long-term stability necessary to bond with their newborns without worrying about their career futures.
Providing paid superannuation throughout parental leave was a deliberate decision to protect all vulnerable populations from homelessness in their later years. Women over the age of 50 are now the fastest-growing cohort to experience homelessness in Australia.
In 2023 Ascott’s Gender Equity Working Group worked to implement a Paid Menopausal and Menstrual Leave policy to acknowledge women experience symptoms that men do not experience, and that these symptoms can be impactful and debilitating towards career growth.
The foundational years many women progress toward the executive level also happen to be the age they experience menopause.
To further foster gender-balanced leadership, Ascott Australia initiated training and mentorship programs to develop and grow the leadership skills of women within the organization. By connecting aspiring female leaders with experienced mentors, Ascott Australia actively cultivates future women leaders from within the organisation.
Ascott’s Diverse Committee & Equal Representation Panel Pledge ensures the company continues to emphasize the importance of diverse perspectives by ensuring equal representation across committees and conference panels, contributing to nuanced and balanced discussions.
“At Ascott we understand progress on gender equity requires action to nurture equality in the workplace, and I’m proud of the progress we continue to make and this recognition for the changes we’ve made. We continue to walk the talk and stand up to ensure equity in our teams, events and businesses,” said Anthea.
“Here at Ascott Australia we have not just created a more inclusive and diverse workplace, but also set the benchmark we hope other organizations will strive to emulate.”
“We’ve been pleased to see the growing gender diversity of the corporate travellers we welcome to our properties over our last 35 years of operation. Ascott has taken and will continue to take tangible action to ensure our workplace truly reflects the communities we operate in across the country.”
The assessment was based on the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) standards and the specific actions organisations were taking to demonstrate a commitment to enshrining gender equity.
The panel of 20 independent judges included CEO Australian Retailers Association, Paul Zahra, Managing Director at Thinkerbell, Jamie Morgan, COO and Director Women on Boards, Nicole Donegan, RMIT Senior Economics Lecturer, Leonora Risse and CEO Franchise Council of Australia, Matthew Monaghan. Auditing of the judging was conducted by KPMG.
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