Construction company tackles gender pay gap

Infrastructure and property company John Holland recently conducted a pay gap analysis and discovered 15% of their female employees were being paid less than their male colleagues across the business.

Joe Barr, CEO of John Holland and the latest Australian leader to become a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador, says the company immediately took action by implementing a one-off pay rise for the affected employees.

“The construction industry hasn’t typically led the way when it comes to providing a level playing field for women, but that’s something I am determined to change,” said Mr Barr.

The company has now told its employees it will continue to stamp out the gender pay gap when it exists, with Mr Barr acknowledging that while fixing salaries immediately is the first step, the challenging part is making sure pay gaps don’t creep back in.

“This is about truly understanding and addressing the issues that create pay inequity in the first place. As part of my role I’ve held gender forums across the business to get to the bottom of these issues.”

John Holland has more than 3,600 employees, of which 25% are female, while 15% of its management roles are held by women and Mr Barr says ensuring pay equity is just the first step.

“We’ve got a lot more to do when it comes to making our workplace more inclusive for everyone, especially women. It’s something I’m passionate about because it’s not only good for our business, it will lift our whole industry.”

John Holland’s next gender equality focus will be embedding flexibility and wellbeing into the culture, which Mr Barr says is no small feat in the construction and property industry.

“We already offer lots of benefits to our people to promote flexible working, and I want to lead the way to make this a reality on John Holland worksites.”

If your CEO is interested in joining the Pay Equity Ambassador program and publicly committing to addressing pay equity, visit the Pay Equity Ambassadors section of our website.