To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, Transurban has launched a new 16 week, fully paid parental leave scheme for its employees in North America. 

Transurban Group General Manager Human Resources Sue Johnson said the new leave entitlements were in line with its offering to Australian employees and put Transurban in a leadership position among US corporates in supporting parents in the workplace.

“Based on our research, we think our new parental leave policy for US employees is cutting edge. As parental leave rather than maternity leave it applies equally to our male and females if they take on the primary carer role, and also to adoption leave.”

Addressing Transurban’s US employees for International Women’s Day, Transurban Non-Executive Director Sam Mostyn said more companies needed to break the stigma of viewing family friendly arrangements in the workplace as “women’s issues”.

“Having companies that understand and set in place a tone around flexible work arrangements and respectful care arrangements and don’t just simply rely on the letter of the law is part of how good businesses actually get better,’’ Ms Mostyn said.

“I see it at Transurban in all of our HR policies and systems. We have to keep working on inclusion of women in this environment, but they have to move away from being viewed as women’s ­issues. For us to really harness the true available talent, we have to have policies truly embracing of flexibility and inclusion.’’

Transurban’s new US Parental Leave Provisions, which come into effect 1 April 2017, are an additional enhancement to the Company’s current policy. Employees accessing parental leave will continue to be eligible for up to 52 weeks leave in total.

According to The Society for Human Resource Management, approximately only 21% of US companies offered any maternity leave and only 17% offer paid paternity leave. The minimum legislative requirement is to provide the Family Leave Medical Act entitlement of 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

Of Transurban’s total workforce of approximately 1,250 employees, the Company has just over 100 people based in North America of which 33% are female.

Transurban believes a diverse workforce is core to attracting and retaining talent as well as aiding in productivity and innovation. Transurban has equal gender representation on its Executive Committee and 37% female representation on its Board.

Transurban has been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) with an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citation for three years in a row. The WGEA citation recognises organisations that demonstrate an active commitment to gender equality in the workplace, with a focus on removing the structural and cultural barriers that prevent the full participation of women at work.

The Company’s other gender diversity initiatives include: