Industry Solutions

NAWO e-newsletter Issue 1 December 2015

inspiring industry solutions

Are Australian businesses ready for the level?

To celebrate stepping up to the next level with a fresh new look and revitalised vision and focus, NAWO hosted a series of Industry Solutions events in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in the later months of 2015, inviting key industry leaders to join a conversation asking: ‘are Australian businesses ready for the next level?’.

NAWO Industry Solutions events are a key feature on our annual events calendar and are critical in helping us to achieve our vision of women and men being equally represented and valued at every level. Designed to generate high level conversations and debate, based on solid research and practical knowledge, these events are facilitated by an experienced leader and bring together small groups of senior leaders drawn from industry, government, and education. NAWO Industry Solutions events provide a ‘round table’ forum for participants to discuss and develop practical solutions to their gender diversity challenges.

The Perth event coincided with the launch of ‘Filling the Pool‘, a landmark research project conducted by the Committee for Perth that explored key issues creating barriers to leadership gender diversity in WA. Each of the events was well supported and generated intelligent discussion and practical solutions.

The overarching theme was that if we are to make real and lasting change in ending gender disparity, it is critical that the leaders of organisations are not only supportive of proactive gender diversity measures,  but actively driving change. And given that 85% of senior leaders are men, so it is that men need to step up and instigate change

Not surprisingly, one of the key learnings was that real workplace flexibility is the key to greater gender equity. Not rhetoric… real. It needs to be demonstrated from the top down, and embraced by men in the same way that it is embraced by women. Policies like BP’s ‘every role is flexible unless it is proven that it cannot be’ are a great start.

The importance of senior leadership involvement in the recruitment process, as they are in safety, cost and revenue strategising, was another key learning, and the importance of engaging in conversations about who is being recruited and promoted. All businesses should now recognise the economic value of accessing 100% pf the talent pool, not just 50%.

Reliance on policy to drive change was identified as a poor contributor to successful outcomes – policy was considered a ‘hygiene factor’. Those businesses that focus on initiating practical change find that they become employers of choice for the best in the talent pool – female and male.

To discuss practical gender diversity solutions for your business, please contact Louise Weine, National Director of NAWO.

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