Corporate Diversity Pathways to Share Insights with Drinks Executives

Corporate Diversity Pathways is preparing to share insights with drinks industry executives on the judging process for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards.

CDP is a management consulting firm with a vision to leverage female talent across the drinks industry, including leadership and board positions. As a Pay Equity official supporter of the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), CDP focusses on helping organisations to achieve diversity of thought leadership to accelerate change through a suite of 10 best practices developed by McKinsey, WGEA and the Business Council Australia.

CDP founder and CEO, Jeromine Alpe, was on the judging panel for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. Here's what she had to say about the process and outcomes:

What were some of the insights you gained into the drinks industry and its diversity journey from being a judge at the Australian Drinks Awards?

The privilege of being a judge on this year’s first Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award provided many insights into The Drinks Association member organisations that prioritise diversity and recognise the value of an inclusive workplace for individuals and their company. There were a number of exceptional entries from a cross-section of organisations that are demonstrating excellence in initiatives and strategies facilitating a diverse and inclusive workplace including - but not limited to - people wellbeing initiatives, fair and equitable treatment of employees and corporate values/principles that incorporate cultural change to diversity and inclusion.

The judging panel brought together independent professionals who possess the unique expertise to objectively evaluate all the entries to decide on the organisation that best meets the selection criteria which focused on impact, metrics and outcomes.

What do you see as some of the key areas the drinks industry can focus on to drive its diversity agenda?

The drinks industry wants to better understand and get its workforce and the way it designs work, to consistently represent the communities it serves. It is therefore uniquely positioned to take advantage of diversity of thought leadership in 2019 by raising everyone’s awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Companies with diverse workforces are 1.7 times more innovative, enhancing productivity and peak performance. Companies with gender diverse teams also experience 21% above average profitability which is good for the drinks industry and creates opportunities to grow careers of valued employees for greater futures.

Enhancing capability and effectiveness as leaders, championing change by providing equal opportunity to men, women and LGBTI staff and leveraging talent across the organisation comes from building a strong case for change by understanding why workplace diversity and inclusion matters, role modelling a commitment to diversity by unmasking unconscious bias, identifying current opportunities such as redesigning roles and work to enable flexible work and challenges such as questioning traditional views of merit in recruitment and committing to move from strategy and policy by setting clear diversity aspiration, backed up by accountability and action.

You attended The Drinks Association’s Network breakfast recently – do you have a perspective to share on the drinks industry from your observations that morning?

The network breakfast on October 23 was the first event I have attended since becoming an Associate Member of The Drinks Association this year. For me it was an opportunity to be introduced to The Drinks Association community of member organisations, associate members and suppliers.

My first observations were the diversity of age, gender and culture along with a wonderful energy that comes from connecting in such an iconic venue with new and existing B2B relationships. John McLoughlin from the Advantage Group presented on ‘what kind of business partner do you want to be? With some wonderful insights and strategies on the importance of positioning your organisation so that you have a place in the mind of your customers which is uniquely distinguished from your competitors.

What is your next step with the drinks industry?

As 2018 draws to a close, The Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon is taking the opportunity to celebrate the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award's first year by inviting Drinks Association member organisations to morning tea on November 29, 2018.

As one of the judges of this year’s Inclusive and Diverse Workplace award, Jeromine will share insights with drinks industry executives on the judging process for the Diverse & Inclusive Workplace category at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards. With exceptional entries from across drinks industry organisations who demonstrated excellence in initiatives and strategies facilitating a diverse and inclusive workplace, the aim of the morning tea is to engage in conversation for shared learning, providing a balance of education and motivation to inspire ongoing leadership of organisational diversity and inclusion agendas for 2019,

The topics of conversation which will be explored include:

Feedback from the Inclusive & Diverse Workplace Award submissions including:

  • Areas that are top of mind for organisations

  • Shared learnings – moving beyond compliance and leading the way in creating an inclusive and diverse workplace with sustainable and measurable outcomes

  • Guide to a successful 2019 submission

  • The judging processes

  • Lessons from Australian companies leading the way

  • Q&A – challenges and opportunities

Find the original article on the Drinks Guide website here.

Kelly O’Dwyer’s $109 million package supporting women is a much needed start but not nearly enough

Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer MP has today released the Women’s Economic Security Statement and the Coalition Government’s plans to spend $109 million over four years to support women’s economic empowerment. In her statement Kelly O'Dwyer MP commits to a shake-up of the paid parental leave scheme, offering families more flexibility, increasing workforce participation, closing the gender pay gap by increasing earning potential and driving economic independence. Extra support of domestic violence, especially those financially dependent on abusive partners will make it easier to leave with early access to superannuation, and an extension of the low interest loan scheme will help women relocate and no longer have to face alleged abusers in court.

The full article by Womens Agenda is below:

With the reinstatement of Time Use Surveys and provisions to support those escaping domestic violence, the Morrison Government outlined a number of measures for women. But much more needs to be done. 

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has today released the Women’s Economic Security Statement and the Coalition Government’s plans to spend $109 million over four years to support women’s economic empowerment.

It’s a small pool of money, given the magnitude of the three areas it aims to address: workforce participation, earning potential and economic independence.

But it’s a good start and meets the ‘seperate women’s statement’ initiative promised in the 2019/19 Federal Budget.

Leaving aside some of the small token-like measures, such as scholarships for women in finance and a vague push to promote female entrepreneurs, this statement includes kickstarting some programs that could be greatly beneficial for improving policy-making on women’s economic security areas later on, and offer long-overdue financial security measures for women escaping family violence.

The stronger parts of the statement include the reinstatement of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Time Use Survey, in that it will present essential data on how men and women are spending their time and — hopefully — enable policy makers to better quantify and address the economic value of unpaid labour being contributed. I’ve written previously about why it’s so important that we put a dollar value on such unpaid labour, given the mantra of Marilyn Waring that, “What we don’t count, counts for nothing”.

Other policies regarding women’s economic security will be meaningless if we don’t count the significant amount of unpaid work women are putting into caring and domestic responsibilities. This unpaid work is still the single largest sector of any nation’s economy, but Australia has failed to collect this data for decades, despite other countries including New Zealand, the US, and countries across Europe, Asia and Scandinavia continuing to do so.

Also strong and potentially life-changing for some women are measures to help prohibit the cross-examination of victims of family and domestic violence in “specific and serious circumstances” in court. The statement then outlines funding for family law property mediation and improvements to transparency on superannuation in property settlements, as well as continued support of the no-interest loan scheme through the Good Shepherd microfinance program.

Another aspect being widely promoted today from the Statement includes extending early superannuation access provisions to women who are victims of family and domestic violence, an “important last resort lifeline needed to begin the recovery process in a safe environment”. This measure comes in addition to the Coalition Government continuing to fund “Specialist Domestic Violence Units and health and Justice Partnerships”.

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

Also significant in today’s Statement are changes to Government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PLP) that will enable more flexibility for parents accessing the scheme, particularly for women running their own businesses. The policy, which would be adopted for babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2020, will enable families to split their PLP period into blocks of leave, and take up to six weeks between 12 and 24 months (currently it must be taken within the first 12 months).

Still on PLP, current work test rules that say parents cant take more than an eight week break between two working days in ten of the 13 months prior to the birth will be amended to enable a 12 week break.

THE PAY GAP

The Coalition has also provided $8 million in funding (announced last week) to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to update its software and report on a wider number of employers, potentially increasing the percentage of employees covered from the current 40 per cent to 75 per cent.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND OTHER PROGRAMS

Meanwhile, some of the smaller measures promised as part of the package include a pilot program called Career Revive to support women returning to work in regional Australia, as well as a ‘Reducing Barriers to Work Forum’ to discuss ways to close the ‘flexibility gap’ between men and women, and address the gender pay gap and identify practical measures to support women in returning to works.

There are also measures to encourage an early interest in STEM for girls, as well as a $3.6 million ‘Future Female Entrepreneurs’ program aimed at engaging 55,000 girls and young women in a digital platform and in-person workshops. There are also scholarships for women in economics and finance funded through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program.

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It’s great to see the Minister for Women, who declares herself a feminist, releasing this statement and putting these issues on the table, finally. As she is expected to tell the National Press Club today: “When women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prospers.”

However, while spending $109 million over four years can greatly assist in kickstarting initiatives and funding particular programs — including, as mentioned above, the all important time-use survey — it’s a tiny amount given the stated ambitious goals.

The focus on addressing women’s safety is also welcome, but again the money allocated appears limited compared to the size of the problem.

The statement notes that “1.6 million Australian women” are affected by such violence, given 17 per cent of women have experienced violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15. This number is obviously significant. Offering the early release of superannuation is an interesting idea, but must really only be considered a last resort — and one that could be significantly detrimental to a woman’s retirement savings later on. Also, how many women have access to significant amounts of superannuation in the first place?

Meanwhile, measures to offer interest free loans to victims as well as better support in court are also necessary and long overdue. These are economic security measures — that fit with the economic security goals of this statement — but the prevalence of domestic and family violence in Australia simply mean the problem needs more significant funding at the Federal level.

This first statement marks a much-needed and long-awaited start from the Coalition Government. But $109 million over four years to tackle women’s economic security? To address the pay gap, the rising number of women retiring into poverty, to help women return to work and raise female workforce participation, to financially assist women escaping violence, and more? It is, unfortunately, not enough.

Below is a break down of the measures announced in the Women’s Economic Security Package, as provided by the Minister’s office.

Measures to increase women’s workforce participation ($54.8 million over four years):

  • Reinstating the Time Use Survey, a contemporary evidence base to measure women’s economic security

  • Improvements to Workplace Gender Equality Agency systems to enhance Australia’s gender equality data and reduce the cost of reporting for business

  • Establishing the Reducing Barriers to Work Forum

  • Increasing flexibility in the Paid Parental Leave system and extending access through changes to the work test

  • Supporting regional employers through the Career Revive initiative to develop action plans for their business to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break

  • Providing scholarships for women in economics and finance through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program

    Measures to improve women’s earning potential ($18.6 million over four years): 

    An expansion of the Curious Minds program

  • Establishing a Future Female Entrepreneurs program in partnership with the private sector

  • Creating a new grants program, Boosting Female Founders, to ensure women can access the finance they need to achieve their entrepreneurial goals

    Measures to support women’s economic independence ($35.6 million over four years):

  • Providing Specialist Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships, including for financial support services

  • Extending early release of superannuation for victims of domestic and family violence

  • Expanding the No Interest Loan Scheme run by Good Shepherd Microfinance to women experiencing family and domestic violence

  • Funding legal assistance to ensure victims of family violence are protected from direct cross- examination by their perpetrators in family law matters

  • Improving the visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings

  • Providing family law property mediation

  • Establishing a new Small Claims Property pilots program

 

WGEA's 2018 Gender Equality Scorecard

Corporate Diversity Pathways were thrilled to wake up this morning to discover the latest annual snapshot from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), which shows that the gender pay gap fell by 1.1 per cent last year.

This is the biggest single-year drop in the gender pay gap has reduced it to 21.3 per cent, but, on average, men still take home $25,717 more than women per year.

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Some of the key findings from the 2017-2018 Gender Equity Scorecard include:

  • Construction pay gap increases: At 29.4%, Construction saw a 2.0pp increase in the gender pay gap. Financial and Insurance Services still has the highest pay gap (30.3%) although it has declined steadily over the five-year dataset.

  • Health pay gap increases again: Gender pay gap in favour of men increases for the second year running in Australia's most female-dominated industry (up 1.4pp from 14.7% in 2015-16 to 16.1% in 2017-18).

  • Women’s promotions continue to rise: Women now comprise 39.1% of all managers, with 43.3% of manager appointments in 2017-18 going to women.

  • Gender balance remains static at the top: Female CEOs increased slightly by 0.6pp to 17.1% and female representation on boards crept up by 0.9pp to 25.8%.


In regards to organisations’ move towards creating gender equal workforces, the scorecard showed:

  • Employers supporting flexible work: More employers have a policy or strategy for flexible working (up 2.4pp to 70.7%), but only 5.2% have set targets for employee engagement.

  • Pay equity analysis on the rise: There was a 4 percentage point increase in organisations analysing pay data (up to 41.6%). However, over 40% of those employers took no action to close the gap

  • Employer focus on gender equality increases: Almost 75% of employers have an overall gender equality strategy or policy (up 2.8pp). However, only 31.4% have implemented KPIs for managers relating to gender equality outcomes.


While there have been lots of improvements in some areas, there is still a long way to go in others. As proud Pay Equity Supporters of the WGEA, it is our mission to build gender equal workforces in Australia. Go from strategy and reporting to action, and achieve the WGEA’s Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citation in 2019. To understand more about workplace gender equality and the services we offer, email us at info@corporatediversitypathways.com or schedule your free 30 minute consultation here.


Find the full WGEA 2017-18 scorecard here.

The Psychology Behind Employee Engagement

How does Australia measure on an employee engagement level? 60% of Australian employees are not engaged in the workplace resulting in low motivation and effort invested in the organisation and its goals (Gallup's 142 country study on the State of the Global Workplace).

Gallup also reported that 16% of Australian employees are actively disengaged meaning they are unhappy and unproductive at work which can result in negativity spread to co-works.

Finally, only 24% of Australian employees are engaged.

Corporate Diversity Pathways is proud to be partnered with MentorCloud - Mentoring Made Simple and Scalable.

MentorCloud’s white paper explores the psychology behind employee engagement and proposes methods and tools to improve employee satisfaction.