In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, BP Australasia president Andy Holmes talks gender pay equity.
Why are we still talking about the pay gap?
I believe most employers understand they must continue to address gender pay equality; however, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) recently reported that only one in four organisations conducts analysis to understand their gender pay gap. Without a thorough understanding of the issues within an organisation, it’s difficult to determine goals and implement an action plan.
At BP, we have had a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, which has been an integral part of our business strategy since 2009. We’ve set goals with regard to female representation and gender pay equity, and we closely monitor our progress against these goals.
How does BP attract, retain and promote women?
BP in Australia has committed to meet the target set by the BP Group to improve the representation of women in senior management roles to 33 per cent by 2020. Currently, 24 per cent of senior management roles are filled by women in Australia, an improvement of 6 per cent since 2009.
We ensure we have at least one qualified female candidate on all shortlists for senior roles. We have identified suitable females on all of our senior role succession plans, and at least half of our graduate and intern recruits are female. In terms of retention, we promote flexible working and job share arrangements and have networks such as our part timers network to support our flexible workforce.
What benefit do Australian organisations get out of promoting gender pay equity?
There’s a wealth of research demonstrating that companies with greater diversity are more innovative, productive and successful than those who have not embraced what diversity can bring to an organisation. BP understands that investing in diversity programs is not only investing in the future of our business, but is also the right thing to do for future generations.
What factors are key to rolling out an equal pay strategy?
A key component in rolling out an organisational diversity strategy is ensuring your leadership team is engaged and committed to addressing gender pay inequality. Research has shown that 80 to 90 per cent of behaviour in organisations is influenced by what leaders say and do.
In addition, relevant and accurate internal and external pay data needs to be accessible. This is essential for managers to make informed decisions with regard to pay so as to have a positive impact on gender pay equality.
Finally, there’s a need to be relentless on this issue. There’s no quick fix. At BP, we have a multi-year strategy and conduct regular analysis to ensure we stay on track to meet our goals.
AHRI is celebrating International Women’s Day in March with events in Sydney and Melbourn. Find out more.
Registration is now open for the AHRI Inclusion and Diversity Conference. Find out more. (link to come, website launches on Monday).