Lion scraps salary questions in job interviews

Food and beverage company Lion has become
one of the first companies in Australia to formally remove questions about current or previous salary from its interview process, as part of its efforts to keep the gender pay gap closed.

Lion closed its gender pay gap for like-for-like roles in 2016 and unofficially dropped the salary question some time ago to build a fairer approach to pay offers.

“We will no longer ask people applying for a job with Lion what their current salary is because we believe asking the question only perpetuates the gender pay gap,” the company said in a statement to Inside FMCG.

“We’ve been unofficially following this process for a little while but we’ve now formally removed the question from online job applications and we’ll never ask the question in interviews again. Not only will this help us keep the gender pay gap closed at Lion, but it will also create a much fairer system for everyone with pay offers based on market data.

Everything from imagery to language on its website, job adverts, social media has been under scrutiny at Lion, to ensure the company is being inclusive of all genders in its approach.

“This is all part of our focus on making Lion a more equitable workforce,” the company said.

The company removed detailed lists from job ads as they were found to deter women from applying. Following a trial of this in 2017, the number of female applicants in New Zealand increased from 12 per cent to 37 per cent.

Lion also said it is also experimenting with transparency of remuneration in its job adverts, changing its EVP to attract a “gender-neutral audience” and even offering its HR professionals unconscious bias training.

“Our brains are hardwired to make decisions on intuition alone, so Lion’s HR team receives unconscious bias training to help them to select based on merit.”

In February, Lion was recognised by The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for best practices in promoting gender equality in the workplace alongside Allen’s, L’Oréal Australia, Metcash, PepsiCo and Caltex.

The announcement coincides with Australia’s Equal Pay Day, which falls on Wednesday August 28. The date marks 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work, on average, to earn the same amount as men earned that year.

This year, the date falls two days earlier symbolising a small improvement in the pay gap in Australia.

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