We strive to create an inclusive work environment, with particular attention to gender diversity and the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Wesfarmers strives to create a work environment which is inclusive to all people regardless of gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, cultural background, religion, family responsibilities or other areas of potential difference. All areas of diversity are important and Wesfarmers pays particular attention to gender diversity and the inclusiveness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our approach to diversity
Wesfarmers recognises the value that diversity can bring, which includes:
- broadening the skills and experience of the pool from which Wesfarmers can draw and attract top talent to our businesses;
- providing greater alignment to customer needs;
- improving creativity and innovation; and
- modelling responsible corporate citizenship.
Wesfarmers has developed and implemented a Diversity Policy that aims to foster diversity at all levels within the Group.
Women hold 29 per cent of management and professional roles
Whilst Wesfarmers’ workforce is made up of 56 per cent (116,284) women and 44 per cent (90,998) men as at 30 June 2014, a key opportunity for the Group is to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions. The Wesfarmers Diversity Policy outlines four core objectives which are used to measure performance in this area:
- Foster an inclusive culture: This objective seeks to leverage each individual's unique skills, background, and perspectives.
- Improve talent management: This objective seeks to embed gender diversity initiatives into our broader talent management processes in order to support the development of all talent.
- Enhance recruitment practices: This objective is a commitment to hiring the best person for the job, which requires consideration of a broad and diverse talent pool.
- Ensure pay equity: This objective aims to ensure equal pay for equal work across our workforce.
The objectives are intended to remain relevant to the Group over a number of years and thus are not revised annually. Specific progress targets are linked to senior executive key performance objectives under the annual incentive plan. Given the diversity of the Wesfarmers portfolio, each division has developed its own gender diversity plan in line with the Group policy and tailored to the specific circumstances of that division.
Every year, Wesfarmers lodges its annual compliance report in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 which covers all our employing entities. Interested parties may obtain a copy of the report by contacting Wesfarmers.
Click here to find out about the recognition of our Resources division has received for its gender programs.
Reconciliation Action Plan
Five years with a RAP
This year marks five years of Wesfarmers having a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A RAP is a public Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement strategy, registered with Reconciliation Australia. Our RAP is the umbrella document for our Aboriginal engagement strategies and is available here.
Across the Group, we have made commitments to increasing our Aboriginal cultural awareness; supporting Aboriginal organisations through employee secondments; investing in Aboriginal education; increasing purchasing from Aboriginal-owned businesses; and growing our Aboriginal workforce.
This year, we made progress across all areas of our RAP. Highlights include:
Aboriginal employment remains the primary focus of our RAP. Full time and school-based traineeship programs are in place in four divisions and Indigenous cadetships are offered in corporate office and one division. Coles continues to provide access to store-level employment through its First Step pre-employment training program, as well as through an increased focus on direct recruitment. This year, Coles hired over three hundred new Indigenous team members through targeted programs. Full Aboriginal employee numbers can be found in the table below. Click here to watch a video about how our Resources division is supporting Indigenous women and click here to find out about how Coles is supporting Indigenous career development. Next year, we will re-commit to our goal of achieving a workforce that reflects the communities that we serve and focus on improving data collection methods to more accurately identify Aboriginal team members.
We continued community partnerships with The Clontarf Foundation, Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer Foundation, The Kaiela Institute and Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships. We commenced a four-year national partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience. Additionally, many divisions continued or commenced partnerships with organisations that support Aboriginal communities, such as The Fred Hollows Foundation, Red Dust Role Models and The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation. Wesfarmers also contributed 24 six-week secondments to Aboriginal organisations in the Kimberley and Goulburn-Murray regions through Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships.
Aboriginal procurement activities
To support our RAP objective of increasing purchasing from Aboriginal suppliers, representatives from six Wesfarmers divisions attended the Supply Nation Connect Aboriginal business conference in May 2014. Additionally, Coles hosted a 'meet the buyer' event for Aboriginal suppliers. Aboriginal-sourced products, including Yaru Water and Outback Spirit products, are now ranged in Coles outlets nationally, contributing to a cumulative spend of more than $2.5 million with Supply Nation-certified suppliers.
More than 80 per cent of our workforce is covered by collective agreements. We recognise the right of those we employ to negotiate either individually or collectively, with or without the involvement of third parties. We also believe in maximising the flexibility of workplace arrangements available to our employees and their managers.
Investing in our people
Given the autonomous nature of our Group operating structure, training and development is a core responsibility of the business divisions. Our recorded commitment to training and development this year was over 1.8 million hours across the Group. In addition, key human capital development policies and practices, including those focused on senior management remuneration, development and succession planning, are managed at a Group level.
Innovation is also important to the success of our businesses. If our people continually innovate, providing better products, services or solutions to our customers, sustainable growth is likely to be generated.
Wesfarmers seeks to develop a culture that encourages the boldness and creativity necessary to drive innovation. One example of this encouragement is our Innovation Awards program. This cross-Group initiative focuses on five categories: environment, customer, commercial, safety and people. There has been an excellent response from our businesses to these awards, with the entries reflecting a high level of innovation quality.
1.8 million hours training and development
As part of a long-standing practice to increase alignment throughout the Group, the Wesfarmers Leadership Conference was once again convened in September 2014. The conference brings together up to 400 senior leaders from across the Group and provides an opportunity to reinforce expectations for our leadership culture, introduce key leadership insights and opportunities for growth, share best practices across the businesses, and recognise the Innovation Award winners. Some of this year's innovation award winners include Coles soft plastic recycling, Australian Vinyls flame shield decking and Coles Liquor safe beverage handling.