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ThoughtWorks, a global technology company with just over 300 ThoughtWorkers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, has received the 2016 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation, awarded by the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

The citation recognises ThoughtWorks’ active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces and is aligned with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, which acknowledges that gender equality is increasingly critical to an organisation’s success and is viewed as a baseline feature of well-managed and leading organisations.

According to the WGEA, this year, despite more rigorous criteria, a record number of organisations have been granted the citation, indicating that commitment to workplace gender equality is gaining momentum. Trends in this year’s recipients include a focus on flexibility, greater support for women to progress into leadership positions and more sophisticated analysis of the causes of gender pay gaps.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our DNA at ThoughtWorks. We are passionate about addressing gender imbalance in the tech industry and have taken deliberate steps to align the issue with our business mission,” said Ange Ferguson, Group Managing Director for ThoughtWorks Asia Pacific.

“We invest in providing a workplace where ThoughtWorkers feel supported no matter their individual circumstances and strive to be a catalyst for positive change in the way women are viewed and treated. Our initiatives range from a focus on gender equality in recruitment to detailed gender remuneration analysis, internal policies and communities, and women in Leadership Development Programs.

“We hire, support, and recognise all employees without penalty or privilege towards their gender identification, and are proud to stand out as a tech industry leader with nearly half our people in Australia identifying as female.”

Since 2011, ThoughtWorks has set recruitment quotas with clear, achievable and measurable goals that are regularly assessed.

Australian diversity figures for ThoughtWorkers who identify as female:

- 49% ThoughtWorks Australia overall (Professional Services and Operations)

- 47% ThoughtWorks Australia - Professional Services

- 38% ThoughtWorks Australia – Software Developers

A detailed bi-annual gender remuneration analysis has also become a primary focus for the company’s pay review process and helps identify differences in salary by grade, role and gender. Additionally, various internal initiatives ensure ThoughtWorks remains an inclusive workplace for all, including policies like flexible work, parental and other leave.

“ThoughtWorks has a firm emphasis on supporting women returning to work, especially seeing as the fast pace of the tech world can sometimes mean people can feel left behind,” said Ange.

This is supported by other initiatives including a Parents’ Community and a Womens’ Network, which identifies areas for improvement and greater equality within the business. Dedicated Women in Leadership Development Programs deliver tailored mentoring and support to ensure there is diversity within the company’s future leaders.

Entrenched in the ThoughtWorks business, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of all decisions, and it encourages open and regular discussions about the issues driving inequities in the IT industry so all employees are aware of the company’s stance on diversity.

“We want ThoughtWorks to be an attractive and inclusive workplace as an employer of choice, but also want to lead by example and hope others will aim higher with their own diversity initiatives.

“After all, a more diverse and equitable tech industry is an improved tech industry, which ultimately will mean greater success for all,” concluded Ange.

About WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE)

The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation is designed to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

The EOCGE citation commenced in 2014, replacing the predecessor citation, the EOWA Employer of Choice for Women. The citation is strategically aligned with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act), reflecting the change in focus of the legislation to promote and improve gender equality for both women and men, while recognising the historically disadvantaged position of women in the workplace.

The EOCGE citation is a voluntary leading practice recognition program that is separate to compliance with the Act.

Criteria for the citation cover leadership, learning and development, gender remuneration gaps, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination, and targets for improving gender equality outcomes. Criteria are regularly strengthened to reflect best practice.

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