Posted: 13 May 2020 5 min. read

8 steps we took to advance gender equity

At Deloitte, we’re committed to advancing a diverse workforce while ensuring all our people thrive in an inclusive culture—so that everyone feels a sense of belonging, makes an impact, and succeeds.

We know this doesn’t happen overnight—that’s why we’ve developed global and local strategies for a sustained, strategic, and scalable approach to diversity and inclusion.

This effort is illustrated through our gender equality strategy, Inspiring Women, which was recently recognised with the Catalyst Award. Created by Deloitte Australia in 2000, Inspiring Women takes a sustained and strategic approach to advancing women’s careers through targeted focus on the following eight areas:

  1. Holding our leaders accountable.
  2. Measuring progress and impact of our actions on women’s representation and talent pipelines.
  3. Ensuring gender pay equity through regular analysis and action.
  4. Embedding workplace flexibility for all employees.
  5. Developing our talent pipeline through inclusive talent management.
  6. Ensuring our policies and processes remove barriers for all our people.
  7. Building the capability of our leaders to lead inclusively and support our gender strategy.
  8. Creating an inclusive culture based on respect and our firm-wide values.

To achieve these goals, we believe our efforts require a combination of deliberate and measurable actions to ensure we provide an inclusive culture and flexible working environment for all of our people.

Our approach encompasses a range of initiatives, programs, and policies that demonstrate our long-term commitment to driving greater gender equality within the firm.

The key highlights of Deloitte Australia’s commitment to gender equality include:

  • A working environment to support all employees, including equal parental leave for all employees that can be taken flexibly in the first three years after the arrival of a child—and comprehensive and transparent flexibility policies applying to all the people who work at Deloitte.
  • A culture that supports diversity in all its forms and inclusion as a shared value, led from the top. Programs such as Deloitte Dads, a photo exhibition that celebrated the accessibility and value of the parental leave policy for fathers, and the global Deloitte ALL-IN commitment to the acceleration of gender representation, represent our values.
  • A focus on continual learning, with mandatory ‘Respect at Deloitte’ and inclusive leadership training for leaders, a robust coaching structure including mentoring and sponsorship of women, and Aspiring Women, a 12-month development and career acceleration program for high-potential women.

By identifying and removing barriers to equality within our employee experience, we’ve created a level playing field and a more inclusive culture. From 2015 to 2019, representation of women on our executive team in Australia increased from 15% to 38%, and the percentage of women partners increased from 22% to 30%.

By leading with inclusion, we’re smashing long-held gender stereotypes and breaking barriers to progress for everyone—which is great for our people, our clients, our business, and our society.

Our ongoing commitment to taking care of our people and supporting them to reach their full potential gave us a great framework to leverage so we could respond at speed to the current unprecedented global Covid-19 pandemic. For example, our comprehensive support for parents meant we could quickly pivot to support any of our people with caring responsibilities during these challenging times. We were able to give our people six options to care for their loved ones, including the full extent of DeloitteFlex and other measures so our people can lean on these support measures and balance their caring responsibilities without necessarily taking leave to manage their caring responsibilities.

More about the authors

Clare Harding

Clare Harding

Chief Strategy Officer

Clare Harding is the Chief Strategy Officer of Deloitte Australia. Clare oversees the setting and execution of the firm's corporate strategy aligned to the global and Asia Pacific strategies of Deloitte. Clare has oversight of Innovation for the firm including Ventures. Clare sits on the firm's National Executive Committee, the AP Strategy and Innovation Council and the AP Talent Executive. Prior to this role, Clare has been the Chief Transformation Officer and the Managing Partner for the Financial Advisory business unit. She is a Technology, Media and Telecommunications specialist and a strategy partner. Clare has worked in both the UK and Australia for Deloitte and her career has spanned Consulting, Financial Advisory and Tax. Clare has worked with businesses such as NBN, Telstra, News Corp, Fairfax, APN News and Media, Seven West Media, ABC and SBS. Clare is the Lead Client Service Partner for the relationship between News Corp and Deloitte.

Margaret Dreyer

Margaret Dreyer

Partner, Audit & Assurance

Margaret is a senior Audit and Assurance partner. She is a former member of the Deloitte Australia board and is the Lead Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing Partner nationally. Margaret champions a number of national programs, most notably "All In". Through her leadership Deloitte has achieved the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency’s ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ award for over twelve years. Margaret’s extensive portfolio incorporates some of the world’s largest multinational organisations.