TWE leads change in addressing parental leave inequities

Australia’s largest wine company, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is enhancing its parental support offering as it works toward achieving 50 percent female representation in leadership roles by 2025.

TWE has today announced industry-leading parental support benefits for its employees in Australia, designed to champion gender equality and inclusion.

The progressive policy provides men and women with equal access to paid primary carer’s leave and up to 12 months’ superannuation contributions, even during the unpaid portion of parental leave.

Under the policy, secondary carer’s will also receive six weeks’ paid leave. Beyond financial support, TWE will also offer access to training, resources and continued connection with the workplace to address the disadvantages often faced by those who take extended leave from work.

“We are incredibly proud to be launching what we believe is the leading parental support offering in the wine industry,” said Katie Hodgson, chief people officer at TWE.

Hodgson says that, while the changes are designed to engage and retain women and increase gender diversity in leadership roles, the gender-neutral policies will benefit everybody.

“This is such an important change because it predominately affects our employees mid-career, which has positive flow-on impacts for women moving into leadership positions while also benefiting men as we recognise the importance of shared parenting responsibilities as critical in closing the gender gap,” she said.

“We’ve set a bold target of achieving 50% women representation in leadership positions by 2025 and these changes form part of a range of investments we’re making to achieve this goal.”

While 41% of leadership positions at TWE are currently held by women, when it comes to the industry more broadly, women in the wine sector still make up well below 50% of the workforce.

This number reduces even further when looking at leadership and senior roles in the industry, with female representation estimated at 8–10%, meaning there is still a long way to go for the sector to reflect the broader population.

In Australia, women typically retire with around half as much superannuation as men, with time out of the workforce to care for children cited as one of the biggest contributing factors. Paid superannuation during parental leave creates an opportunity for women to boost their retirement savings and help narrow the superannuation gender gap.

“At TWE, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work, and as part of that we’re moving to create a work environment and policy framework that support all elements of our employees’ lives,” concluded Hodgson.

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