Report reveals companies need to put gender imbalance on the agenda

New self-audit tool for companies to help promote gender diversity

The Queensland Male Champions of Change (QMCC) cooperative released a report this week spotlighting the gender imbalances in some of Australia’s top companies.

The 36-page report, ‘Get in the game 2014’, draws on the experience of ten CEOs, Managing Directors and senior leaders based in Queensland, who opened up about the challenges and successes of promoting gender diversity in their organisations across issues such as recruitment and retention, pay equity, mentoring, and flexible work arrangements.

These leaders from Aurizon, Ausenco, A P Eagers, Bank of Queensland, Cardno, Super Retail Group, Thiess, the University of Queensland and Wesfarmers Resources recognise the importance of leadership commitment to gender diversity and building inclusive cultures in their organisations, and have taken a public stand on the issue.

Ausenco’s Chief Executive Officer Zimi Meka, said the release of QMCC’s first report marked a milestone for putting gender diversity on the agenda.

“We have seen reports which focus on the national or international status of gender diversity, but this report puts a spotlight on the state of play in Queensland – where we have the power to affect change,” Mr Meka said.

“We don’t claim to be experts, but we are committed to starting a conversation to find solutions to this challenge faced by companies.

“Through QMCC, we hope sharing our successes, challenges and initiatives will inspire other companies to join us on the journey towards a culture of inclusion in our workplaces.

“We are often asked why we’re ‘Male’ Champions of Change. The reality is that men hold a significantly larger portion of senior positions. With management support crucial to driving organisational change, male involvement and leadership on this issue is essential if more is to be achieved.”

In Australia, the top 200 ASX-listed companies are predominantly run by men, with females representing only 10.1% of key executives.

As part of the report the QMCC advocates a three-step model to achieve gender diversity in their organisations:

1. ‘Getting in the game’, putting diversity on the organisational agenda and starting to put words into action.
2. ‘Getting serious’, when senior management recognise gender diversity as a business imperative.
3. ‘Capturing the diversity advantage’, when cultural change is achieved.

The report is available for download from the QMCC website www.qldmcc.org