Ms Geier and Ms Hehir
The School has been recognised as a leading employer for equal opportunity for women and men by the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Lauriston joins more than 100 other workplaces nationally with this status and is the only girls’ in Australia to have qualified.
To earn the citation for the third consecutive year the School had to demonstrate an active commitment to gender equality. Some examples of the School’s policies or practices that helped Lauriston earn the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) status include:
- The School Council consists of eight females and five males
- Men and women are paid equally commensurate with their education and experience
- Primary and secondary carers are both eligible for paid parental leave
- On-site childcare is available
- Part-time work and job sharing is offered
Principal Susan Just remarked, "Students need good role models and understand that a School or organisation is run by a collection of people who all have different skills and diverse perspectives. Lauriston acknowledges that to attract the best teachers and staff we need to be flexible and open to range of different working models. As a girls’ school, we prepare our students to be capable of doing anything. Women in the 21st century need the skills to stand-up for themselves or have the confidence to pursue any career so it’s important that Lauriston also ‘walks this talk.’"
A case-study: Job share across a Year 4 classroom
Lauriston offers a number of job share arrangements across the School. A great partnership works each week in a Year 4 class where two teachers share the class. Kate Hehir works full time with three days in the classroom and two days as the Director of the Junior School Curriculum while Kate Geier teaches two days in the Year 4 classroom and spends the other days caring for her young child.
“We love the flexibility of this arrangement which allows us to pursue other parts of our work and life. To have a management job, a teacher usually has to give up the classroom but I like the option of doing both,”says Ms Hehir. The students benefit from having two different opinions, two great teachers and learn that people’s lives are complex and they need to have a flexible workplace.