During the year, over 600 employees were moved to our new headquarters at Macquarie University. The new site provides world class facilities to support employees and is situated near transport, retail, recreation and university library facilities. Lane Cove manufacturing and support staff will transfer across later in F12.
Attracting and keeping the best people
In a competitive global talent market, Cochlear continues to have low staff turnover, at 8% in F11. This retention of staff remains a competitive advantage for Cochlear.
The Company continues to build its engineering capabilities and pipeline of talent through its graduate program, which started in 2006. These graduates continue to participate in a broad development program as they rotate throughout the various aspects of Cochlear's business. Those who joined the Company in the early years of the program are now moving into senior engineering roles.
To support individuals and team capability development, Cochlear continues to invest in employee development programs. Our new site provides a more flexible working environment with improved facilities for collaboration and learning, and we have complemented this with greater use of our learning management system, Cochlear Academy, to provide a blend of flexible learning for all employees. We now have approximately 200 online learning modules on topics ranging from workplace health and safety (WHS) to Cochlear products. Cochlear Academy is now being used globally to provide an increased range of multi-lingual learning options, modules, documents and webinars for employees.
Currently, Cochlear's workforce is 47% female, which is above the Australian workforce average. In Australia, 31% of our managers are women and 38% of our new employees were female. Importantly, the proportion of female executive managers at Cochlear (22%) is higher than that for other top 200 ASX organisations (which averaged 10.7%). During F11, the Board approved Cochlear's Diversity Policy and an active program to promote diversity in our workforce continues. Specifically, we have encouraged the Women in Leadership network, which fosters the development of female leaders at Cochlear. In addition to hosting sessions with senior female speakers, the group has been active in university programs and supporting high-performing professionals and first level supervisors at Cochlear.
Ensuring the health and safety of employees
Cochlear remains committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. Our WHS team helped in the move to the new site by ensuring our facilities, office furniture, equipment design and staff training enabled us to set new workplace safety standards. During the five week transition period, 550 staff participated in induction training at the site and 330 completed ergonomic training. A range of initiatives addressing quality of work life have accompanied our move to the new site including facilities for cyclists, a café selected by our Coffee Committee, as well as access to the facilities at the university, in particular the aquatic centre, volleyball courts, sports fields and library. Wellness programs offered by Cochlear include ergonomic assessment of workstation layout for individuals, free flu vaccinations, free eye screening and access to in-house Pilates and yoga classes.
Supporting the community
The Cochlear Foundation, established in 2007 with an initial donation from Cochlear followed by additional donations in 2009 and 2011, continues its work. The Foundation supports various activities promoting research and awareness of treatments for people with significant hearing impairment. In F11, the Foundation matched Cochlear employees' donations to the Brisbane flood appeal and the Japanese disaster relief appeal. It was also an inaugural sponsor of the WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) Leadership Summit held in April in Canberra to support the development of female engineers and scientists.
Cochlear also supports its employees' participation in community fundraising and sporting activities. Among the events that Cochlear and its employees supported this year were the City2Surf Fun Run, the Sydney to Gong Bike Ride, the BRW Corporate Triathlon, as well as Australia's Biggest Morning Tea and Loud Shirt Day.
Cochlear supports an internal group of employees called "greenFEVER" whose goals are to raise awareness of environmental issues, promote sustainable living at work and at home, and identify areas to further reduce Cochlear's environmental impact. The group has been active in the move to our new site, promoting alternative transport options and collaborating with the university to promote car pooling.