At Femeconomy, we understand that for companies, achieving gender equality is a journey. We are committed to creating a community of practice where people can learn from the practical programs organisations have implemented, to help others inform their “how” when it comes to progressing gender equality. Our aim is to share and celebrate solutions to gender equality, and to ignite important learning conversations.
I recently met Suncorp’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Michael Cameron at an AICD and Chief Executive Women launch of Boards for Balance: Your Leadership Shadow, and he shared with me many of Suncorp’s initiatives to progress gender equality. As one company who is achieving impressive results in this area, we asked Suncorp to share their story, to help others. Amanda Revis, Chief People Experience Officer at Suncorp outlines for us the gender diversity programs in place, and also transparently shares Suncorp’s results to date.
Gender Equality at Suncorp
At Suncorp, we create a better today through our diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We recognise that a diverse workforce, representative of our customer base and the communities we live in, is critical to our organisational success. We are committed to building an inclusive environment to support our diverse workforce and leverage the diversity of thought, backgrounds, and experiences that brings. We believe this creates greater innovation and ultimately improved business performance. It also means employees can be themselves at work, feeling valued and respected for their perspectives and contribution.
Our Diversity and Inclusion program is overseen by Suncorp’s Diversity Council, chaired by our Group CEO and Managing Director, Michael Cameron. While the strategy is owned and driven by our senior Executives, we involve our people in determining what is going to best achieve our Diversity and Inclusion goals. This input is gathered through surveys, focus groups, and employee groups which have formed around topics of interest relating to specific diversity demographics.
Gender targets help Suncorp to ensure that all our initiatives contribute to achieving our longer-term ambition of gender balance at all organisational levels. Our approach has seen us achieve close to gender balance across our total leadership community, at 49% female and 51% male (at June 2017). We continue to build toward balance within our senior leadership community at 42% female and 58% male currently, and have 33% female representation on our Board. The Board has set a target of achieving 40% representation of females by FY2020.
Key initiatives to support gender equality include: mandating at least one male and one female candidate on shortlists for senior leader role vacancies; monitoring the diversity of new hires, promotions and development; training programs dedicated to developing our high potential female talent; training for leaders to increase awareness and reduce unconscious bias; and mentoring and sponsorship programs. We also provide an online parents and carers portal, alongside a ‘buddy’ program providing peer support for parents.
In addition, Suncorp is committed to supporting workforce flexibility that meets the needs of our people, the business and our customers. We continue to improve our ‘Smart Environment’ to enable our people to work at home and in remote or regional locations and promote our dedicated Work@Home employment arrangements. In a recent employee survey (November 2016), 82% of our employees answered favourably about working flexibly to suit their personal and business needs. 84% of our leaders also indicated that they work flexibly to suit business and personal needs, demonstrating they are visible role models and advocates for flexible working.
Suncorp is proud to have received the following recognition of our progress to date:
- Highlighted in LinkedIn APAC Moving the Needle for Female Leaders Report, June 2017
- Employer of Choice for Gender Equality – Workplace Gender Equality Agency 2014, 2015, and 2016
- Winner, Best Workplace Flexibility Program – Australian HR Awards 2015
- Winner, Asteron Life NZ – Women’s Employer of the year – ANZIIF 2015
- Winner, Best Workplace Diversity Strategy – Australian HR Awards 2013
Suncorp is proud of our achievements and we continue to adapt our diversity and inclusion agenda to reflect our changing organisation and new workforce opportunities. For us, it’s about creating an inclusive environment where we can encourage diversity of thought, experiences and points of view. We believe that we will be our best when our workforce is as diverse, talented and passionate as the communities in which we live and operate.