Coles recognised as Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

Coles Group has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for its commitment to action on gender equality. 

Analysis from WGEA shows that employers awarded an EOCGE citation are closing gender pay gaps faster than other organisations, with a 26 per cent lower gender pay gap of 17.4 per cent on average. 

After passing an exacting, evidence-based evaluation of workplace policies and actions across critical areas, 25 new organisations were added to WGEA’s existing list of 104 citation holders.

As a new EOCGE organisation, Coles has met key benchmarks for making quantifiable improvements in increasing learning and development opportunities, narrowing gender remuneration gaps, encouraging flexible working, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination, and meeting targets for improving gender equality outcomes.

Mary Woolridge, Director of WGEA, said EOCGE companies lead the way in gender equality reform by supporting women in the workforce and taking action to create change in a meaningful way. 

“EOCGE employers have made gender equality an integral component of their business strategies and they’re seeing results.

“Leading employers, like Coles, have stepped up to the plate by taking action to accelerate change for gender equality in the workplace. 

“Critically, EOCGE employers are delivering an approach that results in better support structures in place for working families; stronger actions to address pay inequalities; and strategic recruitment, promotion and retention practices that encourage the full participation of women at work,” she said. 

Sally Fielke, General Manager Corporate and Indigenous Affairs at Coles Group and chair of the Coles Gender Equity Steering Committee, said Coles is proud of the recognition. 

“Gender equity is fundamental to our ambition to build a strong, diverse and inclusive culture at Coles. We’ve continued to push for gender balance, setting targets for more women in leadership, and supporting a range of programs including talent attraction programs like RelauncHER, our accelerator program for store managers, as well as initiatives to retain the incredible women we have in our business. 

“We’re committed to creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported, so we continue to attract the best people to Coles,” she said. 

The EOCGE announcement coincided with Coles’ latest fundraising campaign for national charity Fitted for Work, who support disadvantaged women returning to the workforce. 

Research from Fitted for Work shows that 99 per cent of all Australian women looking for employment feel they do not have enough money saved for their future, while 24 per cent of women feel they only have enough money for their basic needs. 

Donna de Zwart, Managing Director at Fitted for Work, said the funds raised would help thousands of Australian women in their quest for employment and a better life. 

“Right now, women in Australia are overwhelmed and worried about the future, facing cost-of-living pressures and widespread housing stress. 

“The generous donations from Coles this March will help thousands of women on their journey towards not only finding employment but experiencing social connection and a sense of purpose,” said de Zwart. 

“Ahead of International Women’s Day, it’s important we think about what we can all do to support the economic potential of women. We know how important organisations like Fitted for Work are with helping women from all walks of life get work, keep work and build successful careers,” said Fielke.  

For the first two weeks of March, Coles will donate 10 cents from every haircare, skincare and cosmetic product sold in supermarkets nationally. 

“We encourage our customers to get behind Fitted for Work by purchasing a haircare, skincare or cosmetic product from any Coles supermarket during the campaign,” said Fielke.  

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