25 January, 2020

Diageo Australia receives WGEA citation for gender equality

Diageo Australia receives WGEA citation for gender equality

Diageo Australia has received its first official citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE).

Diageo Australia is one of only 140 Australian businesses to be recognised by the Australian Government statutory agency tasked with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The WGEA EOCGE citation is given only to those businesses demonstrating best in class commitment, leadership and policies to truly gender equal workplaces.

"I’m so proud of this citation and the recognition it brings of our sustained focus on gender diversity," said Diageo Australia MD, David Smith. "We’ve worked hard to implement programs and policies to support greater gender equality and embed a culture of inclusiveness.

"Creating a work environment with a diverse mix of people, where everyone feels totally comfortable to be their authentic selves not only makes Diageo a great place to work that attracts the very best talent, it inspires everyone to give their best and enjoy it. This in turn drives brilliant performance, it’s a win-win.”

The win follows Diageo Australia taking out the inaugural Gender Equity Award at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards.

Diageo Australia’s executive leadership is 50-50 male and female while the extended leadership group is 53% male to 47% female.

The business has consistently ensured it has no gender pay gap and has recently focused on greater gender equality for paid parental leave with new dads from right across the business taking parental leave to support their their partner’s own return to work transitions.

“We now ask everyone who is becoming a parent regardless of gender, ‘What type of leave will you take?," said Smith.

“We partner with people to tailor their parental leave that’s going to best suit their needs. It might be full-time leave, part-time leave, or a combination.”

It recently launched its flexible work philosophy that prioritises its people’s need for balance, well-being, opportunity and fulfilment and has introduced a suite of new technologies that support a flexible work culture.

In 2018, Diageo formed its inaugural Inclusion Council made up of employees from across the business who volunteer their time to run events and information sessions that promote diversity and inclusion including greater gender equality.

The company also invests in well-developed coaching and mentoring programs that encourage its people to manage their energy rather than their time.

The WGEA said trends it saw among those businesses leading the way include entrenching flexible work practices, tailored parental leave policies that support both men and women, programs to increase female leadership and correction of gender pay gaps.

“Embracing workplace gender equality means different things for different organisations," said WGEA Director, Libby Lyons. "Every employer committed to gender equality embarks upon their own unique journey towards achieving the equal participation by women and men in their workplace. The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation provides a rigorous and sophisticated roadmap to guide employers along the path.

“We’ve awarded a record 140 EOCGE citations this year. All of our 2018-19 EOCGE citation holders are at different stages of their gender equality journey. What unites them is their determination and commitment to achieving gender equality. I congratulate all of these organisations for being agents of change, leading the way forward for other Australian employers to follow.”

Diageo Australia was assessed according to WGEA’s criteria for citation that includes:

• leadership

• learning and development

• gender remuneration gaps

• flexible working policies

• employee consultation

• preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination

• targets for improving gender equality outcomes

David Smith talks diversity at Diageo

Following a Leadership Summit for The Drinks Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Council last year, industry leaders including Diageo's David Smith have joined together to give their views on shifting the dial. Senior executives are showing their support for a more inclusive drinks community via a series of YouTube videos.

The purpose of The Drinks Association is to make a positive difference to the industry, by being a dynamic, vibrant and collaborative partner for members and strengthening the brand proposition of the industry in Australia and beyond.

Within this purpose, the Association has developed three ‘Promises’ for members. We INFORM our members by identifying needs and coordinating industry’s ready access to valuable, current and trusted data and information. We CONNECT our industry through the creation of events and initiatives that engage our community and strengthen meaningful, valuable networks. And finally we STRENGTHEN our industry through initiatives that establish the drinks industry as a destination of choice that attracts and retains diverse industry talent.

The D&I Council is a priority for The Drinks Association in supporting those pillars, with the Leadership Summit a milestone event for the industry.

See what David Smith had to say below: