Wannon Water is fostering changes to attitudes

Wannon Water staff Garrath Darkin, Anthony Evans, Steve Waterhouse, Deb Meinen, Jessica Quinlivan, Fiona English and Simon Hermans.

Wannon Water staff Garrath Darkin, Anthony Evans, Steve Waterhouse, Deb Meinen, Jessica Quinlivan, Fiona English and Simon Hermans.

Wannon Water is committed to gender equity and respect as an important step in nurturing a society that is free from family violence.

With 200 employees stationed across the south-west, Wannon Water has a role in supporting its communities to achieve this goal.

It is one of the reasons why the water corporation is again proud to promote the White Ribbon Day campaign as well as the 16 Days of Activism launched on Friday.

Managing director Andrew Jeffers said Wannon Water’s board had recently adopted an Inclusion and Diversity Policy and a Gender Diversity Plan.

“For the past two years we have been talking with all our employees about why gender equity is important,” Mr Jeffers said.

Research shows better business outcomes occur when men and women are involved in the business and in making decisions. - Andrew Jeffers

“Research shows better business outcomes occur when men and women are involved in the business and in making decisions.

“It lifts employee satisfaction, motivation and commitment.

“It’s also simply the right thing to do.”

“We’ve pro-actively increased workplace flexibility for both gender and productivity purposes and have particularly encouraged men to take this up.

“This gives them benefits around work-life balance and also supports more opportunities for the women in their lives.

“It also demonstrates that our children should not have to face limited opportunities in their lives.”

Other key steps Wannon Water has taken include:

  • The level of ‘family violence leave’ increasing from five days to 20 days in the new Wannon Water enterprise agreement;
  • Employees taking part in the Take A Stand Program in 2015 to increase their understanding of family violence, its causes and ways they can take a stand;
  • Wannon Water has two trained officers that can assist employees affected by family violence to access support; and 
  • Wannon Water is working with the Essential Services Commission to update the customer code to reflect the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
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