Diversity in the workforce

GWA recognises and celebrates the value and contribution each individual brings to the workplace and appreciates the value of attracting and retaining employees from different backgrounds. GWA is committed to creating a working environment that is fair and flexible, promotes personal and professional growth and benefits from the capabilities of its diverse workforce.

GWA recognises that diversity in the workforce contributes to business success and benefits employees, customers, consumers and shareholders.  Leveraging diversity in the workplace delivers a strong competitive advantage.

We remain committed to promoting diversity and inclusion through the implementation of policies and initiatives to achieve a diverse workforce.  The Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy is available on the Group’s website at www.gwagroup.com.au under Corporate Governance Policies.

We understand that each individual is unique and we recognise individual differences.  These differences can include skills, experience, thought, gender, age, disability, ethnicity, cultural or socio-economic background, religion, sexual orientation, political or ideological beliefs as well as other dimensions such as lifestyle and family responsibilities.

At GWA we are committed to: 

  • a workplace which is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying, victimisation and vilification;
  • treating employees fairly and with respect;
  • a workplace culture that is inclusive and embraces individual differences;
  • equal employment opportunities based on ability, performance and potential;
  • awareness in all staff of their rights and responsibilities with regards to fairness, equity and respect for all aspects of diversity;
  • flexible work practices and policies to support employees and their changing needs;
  • attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented people;
  • equitable frameworks and policies, processes and practices that limit potential unconscious bias.

In 2012, the Board established a number of measurable objectives to promote and encourage increased diversity and in particular, to improve gender diversity within the workforce.  The measurable objectives are assessed annually and are reported in the Corporate Governance Statement which is available on the Group’s website at www.gwagroup.com.au under Corporate Governance.

The objectives and supporting actions are:

Increase the percentage of females employed by GWA

  • Ensure the recruitment process and practices continue to comply with equal opportunity principles;
  • Provide recruitment training for managers ensuring a focus on equal opportunity and avoiding ‘unconscious bias.

Women comprise 42 per cent of GWA’s overall workforce for the reporting period.  This includes reporting data for Methven which was acquired in April 2019 and was not included in the prior year.  For the prior year, female composition of the workforce was 39 per cent.  The Group’s focus on diversity has been recognised by employees and has shown by increased scores in our engagement survey where we are now two percentage points above the Australian norm.

In July 2020, the Group lodged its 2020 Australia Workplace Gender Equality Report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) in accordance with the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act).  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 at www.gwagroup.com.au under Gender Equality Reporting. The Group received notification from the WGEA that it is compliant with the Act.


Provide and promote flexible work practices to attract and retain diverse talent

  • Continue to promote awareness of current flexible work practices available in the Group to existing employees and potential candidates;
  • Investigate and implement any additional flexible work arrangements appropriate to the needs of employees with families.

Across GWA we continue to review employment policies and practices to ensure that, among other things, flexibility is offered to attract and retain talent.  GWA fully supports and encourages flexible working arrangements and many employees take advantage of this policy to work from home or to work flexible hours. 

The wide use of flexible work practices enabled the Group to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with all office-based staff having the ability to work from home.  GWA also provided additional tools and training during the pandemic to ensure that staff were supported to work remotely as part of our ongoing focus on their safety and wellbeing.  In a recent employee survey, 77% of employees felt that they “have the flexibility to modify their work schedule to address personal situations” which is two percentage points above the Australian average. 

In addition to a number of employee benefit programs, a purchased leave plan is also in place which allows employees to “purchase” additional leave of up to four weeks per year via salary sacrifice.

Succession planning and high potential employee development

GWA ensures a diverse group of high potential employees are identified as part of the Group’s succession planning process and actively developed for career progression.  The Group’s recruitment and development strategy continues to focus on attracting, developing and retaining a diverse pool of talent to deliver our growth strategy.

GWA has regular talent reviews to strengthen our succession plans.  These talent discussions include career development actions which are regularly reviewed.  Managers are aware of their responsibility to develop talent and in a recent survey, 81 per cent of Managers responded “I am accountable for developing high performers” which is above the norm for Australian organisations.

The following table is a summary of GWA’s Australian workplace profile at 31 March 2020 as reported to the WGEA:

Title % Female
Board 25%1
CEO and Key Management Personnel 33%
Senior Managers/Other managers 38%
Total Management 38%
Total non-Management 43%
Overall Total 42%