Creating a diverse workforce and inclusive culture
Wednesday 4 October, 2017
Suncorp’s Chief People Experience Officer Amanda Revis is a Board member of the Diversity Council of Australia - an organisation focused on achieving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
At Suncorp, over 49% of leaders are female. Amanda believes a diverse and inclusive culture isn’t only good for teams, it’s good for customers and business. Amanda discusses Suncorp’s approach to diversity.
What do you believe are the vital elements for creating a diverse and inclusive work environment?
Everyone has a role in contributing to an inclusive culture simply by acting in a way which makes people feel comfortable to be themselves. At Suncorp, we embrace and encourage a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture by celebrating and respecting our differences, and having processes in place, like flexible work arrangements and equal employment policies.
Policies and processes are just the start. We believe our people are their best when they feel included, valued and connected, irrespective of how they dress, how old or able they are, who they love, where they come from, or who they pray to. For the full benefits of diversity to be realised, people need to feel confident to bring fresh perspectives on issues they’re passionate about and feel empowered to identify new solutions to problems. One example of how this is demonstrated at Suncorp is through our Employee Resource Groups which you can read more about here.
How does a diverse workforce improve business outcomes?
A diverse workforce and inclusive culture fosters innovation and empowers creative thinking.
For Suncorp, one of our key priorities is to provide value to our customers. Our customers and the communities we serve are diverse. To truly understand their priorities and challenges, we need a workforce that reflects this diversity so we can better understand needs and develop solutions to meet those needs. Bringing together people of carious backgrounds and perspectives with different life experiences generate news ideas and identifies new ways to deliver for our customers.
Diversity and inclusion contributes to employees being their best at Suncorp. Research supports this. In 2017, a Deloitte study found that organisations with inclusive cultures are eight times more likely to have overall better business outcomes.
Bias is often found to be a key barrier to gender equality – how can this be resolved?
Both conscious and unconscious can play a role in gender inequality in the workplace. As senior leaders, it’s our role to ensure we challenge biased behaviour within the organisation and create a culture which encourages inclusion.
At Suncorp we have policies, practices and training in place which ensure equitable access to development, promotion and pay. We believe that having this focus helps to tackle bias and facilitates gender balance at all business levels. Our gender results show this is working. Read more here.
Suncorp has been awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for four consecutive years - why has this been an area of focus?
At Suncorp, we seek to draw on the full potential of our workforce, by targeting gender balance and providing equal access to development, promotion and pay. We do this through our policies and practices such as flexible work offerings, job design, recruitment, talent planning, parental leave and development training programs to help ensure our people, customers and communities all benefit from a fairer, more inclusive culture.
We aspire to be an industry leader for gender equality and inclusion. Being recognised as an Employer of Choice showcases the industry-leading practices we have in place and the progress we have made to strengthen gender equality as an organisation. We are proud to have been awarded this citation for the past four years and hope to make it a fifth in 2017.
As a company publicly committed to addressing gender pay equity, what approach are you taking to reduce the gap?
It’s a matter of principle for Suncorp that all employees should be paid equitably for the value they bring to our company and our customers. We carry out two gender pay equity reviews each year to analyse, investigate and amend any anomalies. Pleasingly no systematic issues have been identified. If any individual cases are identified, they are corrected.
We’re also excited that our CEO and Managing Director, Michael Cameron has proudly demonstrated his personal support to closing the gender pay gap by becoming a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Pay Equity Ambassador.
Any other comments?
I believe we can most effectively deliver great service and outcomes for Suncorp’s customers and stakeholders when our people can be themselves at work because they feel included, valued and connected. As a result our workforce continues to be as diverse, inclusive and passionate as the communities in which we live and operate.
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