Diversity and inclusion
Our customers and stakeholders are diverse, and to gain the best insights into their needs and expectations, diverse and inclusive teams are required. A diversity of perspectives and backgrounds also strengthens creativity in teams. Creating an environment that attracts, retains and develops team members with a wide range of strengths and experiences ensures Wesfarmers is well equipped for future growth.
Wesfarmers strives to provide an inclusive work environment where everyone feels respected and safe. We recognise, recruit and support many facets and combinations of diversity across Wesfarmers, consistent with our broader community. Our Diversity and Inclusion Policy fosters diversity and supports inclusion at all levels across the Group.
For Wesfarmers to derive benefits of this diversity, our team members must understand the benefits of inclusion and act with inclusivity. To support this ambition, Wesfarmers is a member of various expert diversity and inclusion research organisations, including the Diversity Council of Australia and Catalyst. Wesfarmers shares best practice and research from these organisations across the Group.
Wesfarmers continues to focus on achieving gender balance across all divisions, at all levels and increasing the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We track metrics on these two focus areas. Additionally, our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to all people and perspectives. Our businesses focus efforts on various initiatives relevant to their workforce, industry and the communities in which they operate.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Policy requires our Board to set measurable objectives that are reported on within our Corporate Governance Statement each year. The objectives, which are used to measure progress and are reviewed annually by the Board, are:
- To be and to offer an inclusive workplace
- To ensure equitable and transparent people processes and practices
- To increase or sustain gender representation to achieve gender balance in teams.
Across the Group, each division develops its own diversity and inclusion strategy tailored to the specific objectives of that division. Some areas of focus from across the Group are outlined below. Progress against the third objective, to increase or sustain gender representation to achieve gender balance in teams, is described here.
For more information on the businesses’ diversity and inclusion focus areas and initiatives, refer to our divisional pages here.
To be and to offer an inclusive workplace
Inclusive workplaces unlock the benefits of diverse workforces. Inclusion in the workplace is achieved when a diversity of people feel they are respected, connected, contributing and progressing.
Building capability in inclusive leadership practices continues to be a focus area for a number of our businesses, to ensure managers and leaders are equipped with the skills to foster a sense of belonging among increasingly diverse teams.
Some areas of focus over the past year include:
- Inclusion and cross-cultural training for leaders and team members
- Driving gender balance across STEM roles has been a strong focus for some divisions. Initiatives include a technology gender balance SteerCo and summer vacation programs with strong female representation (minimum of 50 per cent)
- Introducing initiatives for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) team members and customers across all divisions. This included policy reviews, support networks, partnerships with key organisations such as Pride in Diversity, running listen and learn sessions with team members, marking days of significance and awareness programs
- Initiating listen and learn sessions and online modules to build leader and team member confidence in:
- Identifying, supporting and assisting customers with disability, for example with accessing products or services
- Enhancing leader and team member understanding of people with disability employment.
To ensure equitable and transparent people processes and practices
Wesfarmers' businesses have implemented actions to ensure their practices identify, support and encourage a diversity of strengths, styles and working arrangements for all team members. These practices differ by business depending on team member needs, industry and business priorities.
Some areas of focus over the past year include:
- Improved recruiting for gender balance and representation across broader facets of diversity including disability
- Parental and carer support, including transition support and online resource centres for caregivers
- Recognising and supporting team members of all ages and at different stages of their careers, including mature age team members. Providing support for transition to retirement
- Supporting flexible working arrangements. All Wesfarmers' businesses continue to evolve ways of working, adapting to new hybrid models that leverage the best of in-office and working from home.
Gender pay equity
A Group review of gender pay equity has been conducted annually since 2010, with results reviewed by divisional Managing Directors and the Wesfarmers Remuneration Committee and Board. Any gaps are analysed to ensure they can be explained by market forces which may include different rates of pay in different industries, location, the relative supply and demand for different qualifications or specialist skills, individual performance and experience.
Across all managerial levels1 a pay gap of no more than five per cent exists. All divisions continue to review their gender pay equity practices, participating in the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reporting, and this result is well below the national pay gap as reported by WGEA in February 2022 of 14.6 per cent. The focus remains on improving gender balance across all levels of seniority in the Group, particularly women’s representation in leadership roles, and in technology, digital and data roles, as an important driver of future pay equity outcomes.
Team member (employee) standards
Wesfarmers is committed to workplaces that treat all team members with respect and fairness. The policies and frameworks that support the Group’s day-to-day operations are designed to observe and safeguard all relevant universally recognised human rights. Each division must comply with the principles of the Wesfarmers Code of Conduct and the Wesfarmers Diversity and Inclusion Policy or incorporate these principles into their policies and procedures.
In March 2021, the Wesfarmers Code of Conduct was enhanced to include greater clarity on management of conflicts of interest particularly in context of relationships at work. The Wesfarmers Diversity and Inclusion Policy was also expanded to provide more detail on equality and examples of conduct that may constitute bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment. Divisions are required to ensure their policies and practices align with the Group’s minimum standard. Work has progressed across the Group to enable the prevention of sexual harassment within our workplaces. Examples include the addition of targeted questions in engagement surveys; providing education and support to leaders on standards, processes and tools available; providing a range of complaint options; compliance and behavioural training; consistent reporting; and improved policies and communications.
1 Definition of ‘managerial levels’ are: Managers, Senior Professionals; Senior Managers; General Manager and above
GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 405-1, GRI 406-1