Where Australia wants to work now...

Here are this year's top 25 companies in Australia.

The Top Companies list is based on the billions of actions taken by LinkedIn members and looks at four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. (We exclude LinkedIn and Microsoft from all LinkedIn Lists.

Go global: If you want to live and work overseas, accepting a job with this professional services network could be the first step. As a global firm, there is no shortage of short and long-term secondments for staff: there are currently more than 2,500 PwC people on international assignments around the world including 176 Australian employees, the company says. When you arrive in a new office, there are little details to make it feel like home -- like the bespoke PwC scent that all new offices feature and a wayfinding kiosk so you can locate a colleague or a free desk.

Global headcount: 236,000

Parenting perks: Employees are not expected to clock up the usual 12 months of employment before being eligible for parental leave, which is 18 weeks regardless of whether you’re a mum, dad, foster carer or dealing with the tragedy of stillbirth.

Bank balance: Commonwealth Bank of Australia identified its staff were not immune to financial pressures despite working for a bank, and so introduced a staff financial wellbeing program. The program helps manage everyday expenses, preparing for unexpected events and making progress against long-term goals. The bank has had a tough year, facing questions over its insurance products, for which it refunded customers $16m, as well as allegations surrounding money laundering and terror financing.

Global headcount: 48,900

Woman on top: When it comes to gender equality, the chairman of the board is female – Catherine Livingstone – as are 57.8% of the bank’s workforce, including 44.4% at manager level and above. Livingstone was instrumental in bringing on Matt Comyn as the bank’s incoming CEO, in the hope of looking to a brighter future.

Work to make a difference: Valuing the Great Barrier Reef and creating augmented reality experiences are all in a year’s work for this accounting firm which prides itself on looking into the big issues. Deloitte staff worked with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to calculate the total economic, social and icon asset value of the reef, landing on $56 billion. Climate campaigner Al Gore was one of many prominent people who applauded the report.

Global headcount: 263,900

Welcome back: A pilot program for people returning to work after parental leave includes training, mentoring and support for 20 weeks. The organisation offers 18 weeks’ paid parental leave regardless of gender, which can be taken flexibly.

Head health: Mental health is one of this professional services company’s core pillars. Panels have been conducted nationally where employees, along with doctors and health professionals, share their own journeys, in a bid to normalise mental health. The idea is to discuss issues, debunk the myths and give people hope and real resources to access. All staff are also encouraged to embrace work flexibility, and to ask ‘why not?’ when assessing opportunities like job share, working from home and more.

Global headcount: 197,000

New digs: Nationally, the professional services company has spent the last 18 months moving into new buildings to give staff flexible arrangements and access to health and wellbeing perks.

Happy birthday: As Australia’s oldest company and first bank celebrated 200 years, it also surpassed population parity for Indigenous employees. Targeted recruitment campaigns and cadetships resulted in 140 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accepting jobs last year. Westpac aims to offer internships to at least 400 Indigenous university students by 2025. Last year, the bank also achieved gender parity at leadership levels thanks to a talent program and a mandate of 50% women on recruitment shortlists.

Global headcount: 40,000

Saving lives: Westpac staff, through its sponsorship efforts, helped develop the world’s first automated rescue drone, Little Ripper. It deploys flotation devices to swimmers at risk of drowning, and saved its first two swimmers in January.

Intrepid staff: Opportunity and adventure go hand in hand for employees at CIMIC Group’s subsidiaries CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia, Thiess, Sedgman, UGL, Pacific Partnerships and EIC Activities. You’ll find their staff experiencing subzero Mongolian winters at mining sites, hiking up a hill in Rwanda to build a much-needed footbridge and more.

Global headcount: 50,000+

Bridging the pay gap: A global review to bridge the gender pay gap resulted in one-off payments to women found to be paid less than men. Pay disparity is a particular issue in the mining and construction industries. The group is also rolling out unconscious bias training and created a new LinkedIn network for women in non-traditional roles and industries.

Good start to the day: A healthy breakfast is waiting for employees each morning at Macquarie Group, a global provider of banking, trading and financial advisory services. Wellness perks include yoga and meditation classes, while parents can tap into resources such as a kids club, school holiday program and access to childcare services. The benefits also extend beyond its staff. Last year, employees chose the causes they cared about and raised $A29.4m for community organisations through the Macquarie Group Foundation.

Global headcount: 14,234