Employers reminded to report on gender equality: deadline this week

Australian employers with 100 or more staff are reminded to submit their annual gender equality report by Tuesday 31 May.

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) expects to receive over 5,000 reports this year, but with less than a week until the report submission period closes nearly 2,000 employers have not yet begun their reports and fewer than 1,500 have submitted completed reports.

Logistics group Asciano has used the reporting process to monitor gender pay equity and close gender pay gaps. 

After identifying a double-digit gender pay gap among managers three years ago, Asciano has implemented a number of proactive strategies including embedding gender targets in manager KPIs, leadership programs for women, and actively closing pay gaps during remuneration reviews.

Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, all non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees are required to report on a series of gender equality indicators including representation of women and men in the workforce, equal remuneration and policies and strategies to promote gender equality.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said the information contributed by employers was building a world-leading dataset covering over four million employees in Australia.

“Collecting and reporting data on gender representation in the workforce gives us an opportunity to identify gender equality barriers and opportunities at a national and industry level,” said Ms Lyons.

“It also gives employers an opportunity each year to reflect on their own performance and take action to address gender pay gaps or imbalances in representation that are identified.”

Asciano CEO John Mullen, a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador, said increasing gender diversity has been central not only to the company’s cultural transformation and the company’s strong financial performance but has helped create a solid framework for the long-term sustainability of the businesses.

“The challenge we face is that the industries we operate in are among the most heavily male dominated of all industries, which makes our diversity challenge very visible,” said Mr Mullen.

“We have sought to increase diversity at all levels of the company, from senior management right down to front line roles such as stevedores. Sure, we still have a long way to go, but the fact is if a business like ours can make inroads in boosting gender diversity in a relatively short period then there can be no excuse for others not to do so.

“Not only do all businesses need to reflect the broader communities in which they operate but boosting gender diversity immediately deepens the potential talent pool that all businesses rely on to fuel future growth and prosperity.

“The first question to ask is why would any business want to exclude half the population from ever joining its ranks?”

Over 80% of organisations that have begun their report are using a new option to pre-populate information that is unlikely to have changed since last year, streamlining the reporting process.

After reporting is complete, WGEA provides each reporting organisation with detailed Competitor Analysis Benchmark Reports which summarises their gender equality performance compared to other employers. 

About the Agency: The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces: www.wgea.gov.au