Sydney, 29 May 2009
Allianz recognised as Employer of Choice for Women
Allianz Australia has been awarded the Employer of Choice for Women citation by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.
Allianz Australia Managing Director, Terry Towell, said he was proud that Allianz had been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Women. “Companies need to address gender diversity as a business issue and CEOs ignore it at their company’s peril.”
In 2006, the Allianz Group established a Global Diversity Council to enhance the level of diversity at Allianz. The Diversity Strategy has been a key initiative of the Council and aims to enhance diversity among both Allianz’s employees and customers. Consistent with this, Allianz Australia has been focussing on further enhancing its diversity as part of the Allianz Group’s Diversity Strategy.
According to Mr Towell “in terms of our employee diversity strategy, Allianz took a decision to start with a focus on women to ensure that we were fully tapping into all the talent capabilities within the company and also to capitalise on the impact diverse teams have on improving business performance. In addition, we wanted to maximise the potential of women as our customers.”
“The focus on women is designed to increase the level of female representation in senior management roles and in the talent pipeline. Allianz will not succeed by focusing on the attraction and recruitment of women to the organisation only. There is already enormous talent within the company which can be maximised through initiatives such as enhancing capability development and enabling improved work-life balance management.”
The EOWA Employer of Choice for Women citation is awarded to non-government organisations with more than 80 employees that have demonstrated that they have policies and practices that support women across the organisation and these have had a positive outcome for both women and the business. Allianz is one of only two large insurance companies to be recognised.
To be recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women, employers are required to meet stringent criteria each year which include offering a minimum of six weeks paid maternity leave; providing the ability for female managers to work part time; ensuring the percentage of female managers and pay equity outcomes meet best practice benchmarks.
Initiatives at Allianz that assisted in achieving the Employer of Choice for Women citation include:
- Flexible working arrangements, including part-time, job share, compressed hours, flexible working hours, work from home and high return to work rates by mothers.
- Career development opportunities for women, including training programs for managers, job relief and job placement opportunities, and accelerated development programs.
- Maternity leave benefits, including up to seven weeks paid maternity leave, 12 months maternity leave with the option to extend to 24 months.
- A “Keep in Touch’ program, which helps employees keep informed about what is happening in the business while they are on maternity leave and assist with their transition back into the workplace.
- Family leave benefits, including paternity and adoption leave, family and emergency leave, purchasing additional leave, child care referral services and access to FamilyBiz online resources to assist with achieving or maintaining a work-life balance.
On the question of whether adopting goals to increase the proportion of women in management conflicts with a merit-based culture, Mr Towell said, “merit underpins recruitment and promotion at Allianz, but consistent with that principle we decided that goals were needed to address gender diversity as a business issue. Goals create a serious focus and require planned actions to ensure that they are achieved.“
Mr Towell stated “if women represent half the workforce, it is not logical for women to be under-represented in top management positions at Allianz.”
“The focus also makes sense from a market perspective, for example, in the US women make up over 80 per cent of buying decisions and 50 percent of all businesses are owned by women1
. Allianz cannot afford to miss out on this input into management.”
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Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*
The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It includes one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and a life insurer.
Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. It is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.
Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance
, home insurance
and Life insurance
Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff.
The Allianz Group’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised the Allianz Group as the most sustainable general insurance group in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz Australia is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. *Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards
*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards
Allianz Journal, International Edition 3, 2008, p3.