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Yarra Valley Water has announced a new four-year plan to achieve greater gender equality in the workplace.

Yarra Valley Water launched its Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to support the delivery of the State Government strategy to improve gender equality in the workplace (Gender Equality Act 2020).

Central to the GEAP is achieving greater gender balance across the organisation, while ensuring equal pay for roles of the same or similar value.

Yarra Valley Water will also commit to greater education of staff and conducting various organisational reviews to better support gender equality.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said Yarra Valley Water wants all employees to live in a safe and equitable society, and to be treated in a fair and respectful manner.

“We’re tremendously proud to launch our first Gender Equality Action Plan, which provides us with a strong framework to build upon our long-standing commitment to promoting gender equality,” Mr McCafferty said.

“We are strongly determined to achieve greater gender equality at Yarra Valley Water and will continue to invest significant time and effort to reach our goals. 

“We cherish and value every staff member for who they are, and want our workplace culture to reflect that.”

Gender equality is not a new focus for Yarra Valley Water. In 2015, the water corporation launched its first Diversity and Inclusion strategy

Since then, Yarra Valley Water has driven programs for gender, LGBTIQ+, multi-cultural, disability and First Nations inclusion, and this GEAP provides a strong framework for the organisation to further its commitment to achieving gender equality.

Representation of women across Yarra Valley Water rose from 44 per cent in 2015 to 50 per cent in 2021, while women in leadership increased from 35 per cent in 2018 to 45 per cent in 2022. 

In addition, the number of women on the organisation’s Board and Executive team is currently sitting at 50 per cent women on the Board and 50 per cent women on the Executive team.

Yarra Valley Water General Manager of People, Performance and Culture, Amy Singe, said the GEAP is an important pillar of our commitment to making positive change.

“We are driven by creating a workplace that treats all staff equally and allows them to progress in their careers regardless of their gender identity,” Ms Singe said.

“Work plays an integral role in many of our lives, both professionally and personally. 

“That’s why it’s so important that we instil a culture of equality and fairness across the board, so our staff feel proud to come to work every day. Our GEAP is an important part of that process.”

A key feature of the GEAP is extending the 14 weeks’ paid parental leave to both parents, with reduced eligibility requirements allowing both to be off work at the same time.

In preparing the GEAP, Yarra Valley Water consulted widely with a number of groups, both internally and externally, to ensure a range of different voices are represented and heard.

The organisation will closely track, measure and review its progress, while providing ongoing public reports to promote accountability and transparency.

To read the GEAP in full, and learn more about Yarra Valley Water’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit https://www.yvw.com.au/diversity.

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