Diversity in the workforce

GWA is committed to promoting diversity through the implementation of targeted employment policies and initiatives to achieve a diverse workforce.  The Board understands the significant benefits that arise from increasing the pool of talent from which the Group can draw highly talented employees and the different perspectives that can be brought to the organisation from a diverse workforce.

The Group continues its focus on diversity and has seen an overall increase of female representation from 33% to 35% over the reporting period to 31 March 2016 under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.  The Diversity Policy which is available on the Group’s website establishes a number of measurable objectives to promote and encourage increased diversity and in particular, to improve the representation of females within the workforce.  The measurable objectives are assessed annually and are reported in the Corporate Governance Statement in the Annual Report.

The objectives are:

During the year the Group conducted a detailed review of its recruitment processes and practices leading to the implementation of a new simplified process which continues to encourage the promotion of equal opportunity and diversity.  This will be followed in the upcoming year with training of recruiting managers in best practice recruitment skills (including a focus on avoiding unconscious bias). The GWA People and Culture team continues to provide coaching and assistance for managers when they are recruiting, particularly for senior roles, to support the focus on diversity.

The Group has completed a detailed review of employment policies and practices during the year to ensure that, among other things, they are offering the flexibility required to attract and retain female talent.  Along with this, the Group has introduced a new policy enabling victims of domestic violence to take an additional 5 days paid leave per year.  A number of employees continue to move to flexible working arrangements, particularly on return from parental leave.

The Group has strengthened and increased focus on reviewing talent and planning for succession during the year and has commenced a program of work to further develop its Senior Leadership Team and those employees considered to be of high potential.

As outlined in the Group’s 2016 Workplace Gender Equality Report, the overall workforce consists of 35% female and 65% male.  This is an increase in the overall percentage of female employees from the prior year and also includes an increase from 22% to 30% of females in senior management roles.  The Chairman has increased the gender diversity of the Board through the announcement on 14 July 2016 of the appointment of Jane McKellar as Non-Executive Director effective from the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting.

The following table is a summary of the Group’s workplace profile at 31 March 2016:

Title % Female % Male
Board 0 100%
Key Management Personnel 20% 80%
Other Executive/General Managers 20% 80%
Senior Managers 30% 70%
Other Managers 20% 80%
Total – Management 23% 77%
Total – Non-Management 35% 65%
Overall Totals 35% 65%

* On 14 July 2016, the Chairman announced the appointment of Jane McKellar to the Board effective from the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting.

In May 2016, the Group lodged its 2016 Workplace Gender Equality Report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.  The Group notified its employees and employee organisations of the lodgement of the report and advised how it may be accessed.  The Group also allowed employees and employee organisations to make comments on the report.  The report is available on the Group’s website under Gender Equality Reporting.  The Group received notification during June 2016 that it is compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.