Lion Dairy and Drinks, Allen’s and L’Oréal Australia were among a number of FMCG companies recognised on Monday by The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for best practices in promoting gender equality in the workplace.
Metcash, PepsiCo, Caltex, Diageo Australia and Reckitt Benckiser also made the list of 2018-19 ‘Employer of Choice for Gender Equality’ citation holders.
Business trends among this year’s recipients included programs to support women into leadership; tailored parental leave policies to support both women and men; initiatives to encourage women to return to work after a career break and robust analysis and correction of gender pay gaps.
WGEA director Libby Lyons said the citation gives organisations a competitive advantage.
“More organisations are introducing strategies and policies to ensure women and men are equally valued and rewarded in their workplaces. Gender equality has become an important focus for Australian employers,” Lyons said.
“Each year, I am delighted to see the innovative approaches taken by our citation holders in implementing actions and programmes that we know drives change. I congratulate all of our 2018-19 EOCGE citation holders for being such important agents for change. They are leading the way forward for other Australian employers to follow,” Lyons added.
Metcash is one company that has made significant strides, with flexible working arrangements including job sharing and working from home options for workers. The conglomerate closed the gender pay gap to less than 2 per cent and created a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. It also launched a campaign to attract females to traditionally male-dominated roles such as logistics.
“I’m delighted that Metcash has received this citation. Metcash strives to be a favourite place to work and has implemented a range of programs over the past few years to increase diversity in our workplace, including flexible working, parental leave polies and addressing the gender pay gap. This citation aligns with our values and is a testament to our hard work so far, we’ll continue to build and improve on these efforts,” said Jeff Adams, Group CEO of Metcash.
Lion Dairy and Drinks revealed its plans to achieve a 50-50 gender balance by 2026 by focusing on culture, talent acquisition, and policies and practices.
“We are proud to have been cited by WGEA for the second year running for our passion and commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone feels their contribution is respected and valued. At Lion, we are ensuring gender equality becomes part of the narrative within the business and is embedded into our culture,” Lion Dairy and Drinks CEO Stuart Irvine, CEO.
Lion took action on the gender pay gap after it conducted a lengthy analysis in 2016 resulting in a pay rise for 1600 workers. To keep the gap at zero, Lion conducts pay analysis every six months and uses inclusive policies and talent strategies to recruit and retain women.
“Some of our other initiatives that foster inclusion are leadership development and unconscious bias training, flexible work, families at lion policy, returning to work from parental leave support, career acceleration programs for women,” Lion said in a statement.
At Reckitt Benckiser, diversity and inclusion are core values. Glenn Cochran, regional director ANZ, RB Health, told Inside FMCG that these values contribute significantly to the success of the business.
“We take a holistic approach to gender equality in the workplace and have a variety of initiatives and programs in place to foster leadership, improve gender remuneration gaps and promote flexible working, including supporting our employees balance work with their family responsibilities,” Cochran said.
“In Australia, we’ve made some significant strides in the past two years toward a more equitable and inclusive workplace culture. We still have much to do but are also incredibly proud of what we’ve managed to accomplish,” Cochran added.
“It’s an honour to receive this citation from WGEA for the second year running. We’re thrilled to be considered an Employer of Choice.”
RB has sent members of its Australian team to the company’s global Women in Leadership Program. It is also continuing to invest in Grace Papers, an online platform that delivers practical support to parents in the business and their managers to ensure employees have a smooth transition to parental leave and support when they return to work.