Greater Western Water progresses gender equality with new parental leave policy

Photo caption: Dennis Zhang, Greater Western Water employee

Greater Western Water (GWW) has introduced a supercharged parental leave policy in a strong show of support for all working parents.

Combatting gender stereotypes, the new gender-neutral policy allows employees to access 16 weeks paid parental leave from the day they start, and a superannuation top up on return. The policy recognises the importance of flexibility for new parents with an option to take leave in three blocks over two years.

Leave for IVF treatment, foster care, permanent placement, adoption and pregnancy bereavement are also included.

GWW’s Chief People Officer, Louise Meadows said the new policy aimed to put working parents on a more equal footing, and normalise shared care arrangements irrespective of gender, relationship status or carer status.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to address outdated policies such as primary and secondary carer and build an inclusive family-friendly culture that reflects the real lives of our people,” she said.

“We value everyone for who they are and what they can bring, and we aim to be as diverse as the communities we serve.”

“It not only puts into practice our cultural ambition by supporting our people to thrive in a real and tangible way, but it also progresses gender equality,” she said.

Dennis Zhang, a recent addition to the GWW team, will be one of the first employees to benefit from the new policy. With only three months under his belt, Dennis will be able to take up the 16 weeks paid leave with no wait period.

“The new policy will allow me to play a shared caring role and I'm grateful to be working for an organisation that values its people,” he said.

Ms Meadows said the team were immensely proud of the new policy and they hope that employees on the parenthood journey feel valued by the organisation as a result of it.