As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 and the positive progress made around the world to improve gender equality, it’s important to revisit current work practices. Legislation and social movements continue to highlight the need for business to shift its focus on improve gender equality initiatives in the workplace.
In Australia there are mandatory reporting requirements under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 for business. The Act requires businesses to promote and improve gender equality ( including pay difference between women and men); remove barriers to full and equal participation of women in the workforce; promote the elimination of discrimination on the basis of gender (including family and caring responsibilities) and foster consultation on issues concerning gender equality. Overall purpose of the legislation aims to improve competitiveness of non-public sector employers (with 100 or more staff) through the adoption of gender equality work practices (such as policies and procedures and strategies) in the workplace.
The International Women’s Day lists 10 key criteria in which businesses are considered a ‘Prime Employer for Women’. Employers need to:
- demonstrate executive leadership commitment to gender equality
- embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion
- forge a female hiring pipeline from early career to executive level
- value and support flexible working arrangements
- provide formal avenues to address any concerns of bias
- ensure women’s inclusion from supply chain through to decision making
- ensure marketing and communications are consistently free from stereotyping
- provide external support for women’s advancement
- monitor progress and outcomes from equality initiatives and activity
- maintain external validation of progressive employer practice
To achieve gender equality in the workplace, HR policies and procedures need to enable advancement of such initiatives. However, simply relying on a series of policies and procedures is not enough. Setting business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) is a vital means of ensuring everyone is responsible for the attainment of Equality in the workplace. Cascading KPI’s on Gender Equality (and Diversity) ensures responsibility and overall accountability is measured from Board to functional and individual job level.
The HR Landscape continues to support client’s in their endeavours to creating meaningful workplaces for all their employees. Conduct us if you require assistance in improving your Gender Equality initiatives.