EOC news

Business plan for gender pay equality

Kim Macdonald | March 07, 2017
CEOs for Gender Equity Logo

WA's leading businesses are set to commit today to conducting gender pay equity audits within three years and aiming to remove wage inequality between the sexes within five years.

In one of the strongest bids for workplace equality to date, the proposed targets are set to be adopted by a group called CEOs for Gender Equity, who represent leading businesses such as BHP Billiton, South32, Alcoa, KPMG, CBH and the Department of Planning.

Convenor of today’s meeting, Jenni Hill, a partner at Clifford Chance law firm, said the wage equity commitment may involve a formal written pledge.

All signatories will promote the audits and the five-year bid for wage parity among other organisations in WA.

“We want all organisations carrying out audits within two to three years, aiming to close the gap within a five-year period,” she said.

At present, only 25 to 30 per cent of companies conduct gender pay equity audits, and WA has the dubious record for having the biggest gender pay gap in the country at 24 per cent.

Ms Hill said there was no reason for wage disparity to exist and she was confident the targets would be adopted by all 15 member organisations and embraced by others in WA.

Shell Australia last week won a resources sector award for reducing the gender pay difference to zero on like-for-like positions.

The heavy hitters at today’s meeting include the chief executive of CBH Group, Andy Crane, South32’s Graham Kerr, the WA Cricket Association’s Christina Matthews, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Deidre Willmott and Mercy Care’s Chris Hall.

Others include the director-general of the Planning Department Gail McGowan, BHP Billiton’s Edgar Basto, managing director of Programmed Chris Sutherland, president of Alcoa Australia Michael Parker and chief operating officer of the RAC, Rob Slocombe.