A new toolkit enabling employers to determine realistic gender representation targets has been launched by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) director, Helen Conway.
The toolkit includes a target-setting calculator that allows employers to input their own data, such as turnover and recruitment rates, to determine gender representation targets over a period of time.
Claiming that quotas can often lead to a ‘tick-a-box’ mentality that doesn’t promote the necessary cultural and structural change to ensure sustainable improvement, Conway said targets provide a better solution.
“Targets based on rigorous baseline data and analyses are a powerful lever for change that can be applied at any level of an organisation and allow employers to set realistic goals, taking into account their particular circumstances,” she said in a statement.
“Similar to setting financial or other operational targets, establishing gender targets will help to ensure organisations develop the strategies and commit the resources to meet the targets.”
Given recent changes to the regulatory environment, such as the requirement that non-public sector organisations with 100 or more staff report to the WGEA on a range of gender equality indicators, Conway said employers should be given the opportunity to self-regulate.
“There is compelling evidence that diverse organisations outperform the competition, so employers that don’t set gender targets risk being left behind their competitors that do,” she said.
The launch of the target-setting tool follows a commitment last month from 14 senior business and government leaders, including chief executives of ANZ, Qantas, Woolworths, Telstra, KPMG, IBM Australia and Citi Australia to disclose the percentage of women in management and targets for how many women they aim to have in at least three levels of management.
This article first appeared on Women’s Agenda.