IFM’s Australian operations secures Family Inclusive Workplace certification


IFM Investors in Australia has been certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace by Parents at Work and UNICEF Australia. We sat down with IFM’s Chief People Officer Amelia McArdle to ask her what the certification is, why it’s important and what’s required to maintain the certification over time. 

Q: What does the certification recognise and why is it important? 

A: The certification recognises our commitment to being a family-friendly workplace and implementing an action plan that aims to further support parents and carers at IFM. 

At IFM, we consider a family inclusive workplace culture to be one that supports people to effectively manage family, caring and work responsibilities. We believe that such a culture can support and help improve our people’s productivity, stress levels and wellbeing.

Our current Australian policies and practices that have contributed to this certification include our Flexible Working policy and our Parental Leave policy, which includes provision for legal surrogacy, short and long-term foster care and pregnancy loss. We also offer our people Lifestyle and Wellness leave and provide a variety of resources to support family wellbeing. 

Q: What is the certifying body?

A: The Family Inclusive Workplace certification is administered by Family Friendly Workplaces (FFW), an initiative launched in May 2021 by Parents At Work and UNICEF Australia. The initiative aims to develop “National Work + Family Standards” in response to the findings of the 2019 National Working Families Report, which was commissioned by Parents At Work, and in the wake of COVID-19 impacts on families and workplaces. The standards provide employers with a benchmark of best practice policies and practices. The initiative aims to educate organisations and provide tools, frameworks and guidance to help them become more inclusive and supportive of employees juggling work and caring responsibilities.  

Q: What does the certification process entail? 

A: Organisations are assessed against FFW’s National Work + Family standards. Current policies and practices are taken into consideration and applicants must also provide an action-oriented plan to continually improve the family-friendly workplace culture. Organisations meeting the minimum standards are awarded the certification.

Maintaining certification over time requires us to report annually on the implementation of our continuous improvement plan.

Q: What’s involved in IFM’s continuous improvement plan? 

A: We’ve made commitments for the coming 24-month period to build out and improve our suite of workplace policies and practices that support an inclusive and family friendly workplace. This includes increasing awareness among our people about our flexible work policies, establishing a ‘keeping in touch’ program for parental leave-takers, and supporting People Leaders to manage flexible working arrangements for team members. 

Importantly, many of the actions we plan to implement over the next 24 months will impact our team members globally – even though this is an Australian certification. 

Receiving and maintaining this certification is part of our commitment to champion and foster diverse and inclusive workplaces. In doing so, we aim to attract and retain the talent we need to deliver on our purpose to protect and grow the long-term retirements savings of working people around the world.   

Meet the author


Amelia McArdle

Amelia is responsible for managing and developing IFM Investors’ human resources, and ensuring the firm’s culture remains true to its heritage as well as investor expectations. Amelia has more than 20 years of human resources experience, working for global institutions both in Australia and internationally.

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