Employers must up the ante on workplace equality

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Employers must up the ante on workplace equality: Deloitte

Survey shows more investment in diversity and inclusion needed

5 November 2015: Australian organisations need to work much harder to ensure a fair share of talented women achieve senior level positions, according to Deloitte Australia’s CEO Cindy Hook.

Commenting after Deloitte was today named a 2015 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Cindy said Deloitte is determined to intensify its focus on achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace for all employees. “There has been improvement. But we all need to be moving faster to improve the rate of change,” Cindy said.

She supported the findings of a survey by leading Australian universities, released yesterday, that organisations should invest more in their diversity and inclusion strategies.

“It is concerning that this latest Australian research shows that only 13% of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practitioners agreed or strongly agreed that managers in their organisations had adequate skills to deal with equality issues,” Cindy said.

The survey titled Benchmarking Diversity and Inclusion Practices in Australia was conducted by the University of Sydney Business School’s Migrants@Work Research Group in collaboration with Macquarie University, the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and Diversity Council Australia (DCA).

It also found that almost 70% of organisations that linked their managers’ performance to diversity and inclusion outcomes said the policy resulted in improved business performance.

Cindy said: “2015 has been an important year for diversity and inclusion in all forms at Deloitte. We are especially pleased that this WGEA citation is the 13th time Deloitte has received official recognition for the initiatives that are driving tangible outcomes towards achieving greater workplace gender equality. Our commitment in this area has been longstanding and it continues. But we recognise that diversity brings competitive advantage and we need to do more.”

The Male Champions of Change cite Goldman Sachs & JBWere findings that the rise in the female employment rate since 1974 has boosted economic activity by 22%. Further closing the gap between male and female employment rates could boost the level of Australian GDP by 11%, according to the findings.

Cindy Hook said Deloitte wanted to challenge itself to move well beyond incremental increases in the number of women and people from other diverse groups reaching senior levels at the firm.

To accelerate progress on diversity and inclusion, Deloitte has:

  • Appointed retired Lieutenant General David Morrison AO (and Diversity Council Australia Chair) as a special adviser on inclusive leadership
  • Appointed three internal Diversity and Inclusion senior champions covering the areas of gender equality (Inspiring Women program), sexual orientation (LGBTI and GLOBE program) and cultural difference (Identity initiative)
  • Seen CEO Cindy Hook appointed a special advisor to the Male Champions of Change (MCC)

Deloitte is one of 90 Australian business organisations to have received the 2015 WGEA citation. The number of employers recognised this year increased from 76 in 2014.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said more employers were taking a sophisticated and whole-of-organisation approach to supporting women and men’s equal participation at all levels of the workplace.

“I congratulate all of the 2015 citation holders for their initiative and commitment. These employers are at the frontline of driving positive change as they set the gold standard for inclusive workplaces.”

Cindy explained, “The journey towards workplace gender equality has been, and remains, a marathon, not a sprint, for our firm.”

  • Deloitte has gone from 4 female partners in 1998 to 145 on 1 July, 2015
  • Of the 58 new partners promoted in 2015, 31% of those promoted internally were women
  • Women represent 23% of the partnership 
  • Women represent 27% of the Deloitte Board
  • Our experienced new starters included 49% women
  • Our graduate recruits included 48% women

Deloitte Chief Human Resources Officer, Alec Bashinsky, said, “Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy remains a key priority for the firm by fostering an inclusive culture. Our objective is to create an environment where every person regardless of their cultural background, gender or gender preference will know they have the opportunity and support to achieve their ultimate potential.”

Deloitte’s Diversity and Inclusion leader and senior partner, Margaret Dreyer, added: “The single most powerful thing about our firm is that we are a collection of incredibly smart and talented individuals. We each have our unique beliefs and points of view. This gives us the diversity of thought required to help our clients solve their most complex problems.”

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About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/au/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

About Deloitte Australia
In Australia, the member firm is the Australian partnership of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. As one of Australia’s leading professional services firms, and winner of both the Australian Financial Review/CFO Audit Firm of the Year and Accounting Firm of the Year awards 2013, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and its affiliates provide audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through approximately 6,000 people across the country. Focused on the creation of value and growth, and known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programs, we are dedicated to helping our clients and our people excel. Formore information, please visit Deloitte’s web site at www.deloitte.com.au.

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