At IPL, we are committed to being an inclusive and accessible organisation through the development of a culture that embraces diversity. We believe that making opportunities for the contributions of a diverse workforce has benefits for our employees, our communities and our business.
Our employees range in age and gender and come from many different cultures, traditions and lifestyles. It is the diversity of our people that makes our company a great place to work. IPL benefits from this variety of perspectives and ideas, experience and capabilities, all of which lead to a greater opportunity for innovation and a better workplace. Diversity at IPL is led by the Executive Team, championed by our MD & CEO, and supported by the Company’s Human Resources function. The Board maintains oversight and responsibility for the Diversity Policy and the development and implementation by management of the Diversity strategy. The Diversity strategy includes three principles which were established to provide guidance for the Company’s Diversity strategy and its relevant policies, programs and initiatives:
• Respecting our differences
• Shaping our future organisation
• Building a flexible organisation
Respecting our differences is critical to ensuring that our work places will be free of discrimination and harassment and inclusive of all people, regardless of differences. Shaping our future organisation means IPL is continually developing a more diverse workforce, creating business sustainability and strength. We also offer workplace flexibility by providing opportunities for working arrangements that accommodate the needs of the Company while balancing the diverse needs of its people at different stages in their careers and lives.
In order to progress our Diversity Strategy, this year the following initiatives were undertaken:
• Our Workplace Gender Equality Agency Report was endorsed as fully compliant by the WGEA, as in previous years. The purpose of the report is to provide an analysis of gender pay equity for IPL’s Australian and American operations, allowing us to implement strategies to address any identified issues. For more detail, see our Corporate Governance Statement.
• We reported on specific diversity targets on pages 2-4 of our 2016 Corporate Governance Statement.
• We introduced a Manager co-program for the leaders of female employees who are involved in the ‘My Potential’ Program. This co-program is specifically designed to enable leaders to support and coach our female employees.
• We used the key talent management metrics, introduced last year, and our Talent and Succession Planning process to improve gender diversity within our Senior Management Roles by 10 percent
• Our Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program intake included an Indigenous Australian and over 80% of the graduates were female.
• We launched the IPL Family and Domestic Violence policy to provide support for our employees.
• We continued to facilitate Indigenous cultural awareness for our employees through online learning, direct engagement with traditional owners and participation in events such as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
• We continued our involvement with organisations such as the National Association of Women (NAWO), the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) and Diversity Council Australia (DCA), which provide IPL with support and resources to attract, retain and develop female talent specific to our industry.
• Our CEO is an active member of Male Champions of Change (MCC), Victoria, which was established to identify and share practical actions that leaders can take to increase the representation of women in leadership. As in 2016, IPL will continue to participate in the MCC ‘Everyday Sexism’ working group in 2017 to ensure our work environment is one of respect and aligns with our Values.
In 2015, the My Potential program was introduced across Australia and the Americas. My Potential has been specifically developed to support female employees to progress and thrive in their careers.
Using our Talent Metrics, we tracked the progress of female employees who participated in the program and saw an increase in both promotions and role enhancement in comparison to non-participants. In light of the positive results and following overwhelmingly positive feedback from the program participants, this program was continued during 2016 for women across the middle and senior management levels within the Company.
We recognise that female employees can face actual and perceived challenges to career development and progression which are not immediately apparent to their leaders. In 2016 we introduced a co-program for leaders who manage high potential female employees involved in the My Potential program. The co-program will assist leaders to gain insights and coaching skills to assist their female team members in overcoming some of the challenges they face, and will build our leaders’ capacities to support female employees within their teams and across IPL.
Australian Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
In 2015 the IPL Board approved our Reconciliation Action Plan, which has also been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. The RAP was launched in 2016 and provides us with a framework to outline our vision for reconciliation and is also a public commitment to implementing and measuring practical actions that build respectful relationships and create opportunities for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
IPL has identified six organisational program investment areas and has committed to undertaking a significant body of work across these areas, developing the Australian Indigenous Employment Strategy and the Australian Indigenous Relations Policy. Each business and operational Group is responsible for identifying local engagement and employment needs and opportunities and working towards improving engagement and employment outcomes for First Australian Peoples as set out under the six program investment areas.
As an organisation, we are committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, other keys stakeholders and government agencies to deliver the goals set out in this plan. We aim to find the most innovative and efficient solutions to our challenges by exploring opportunities within the industry, partnering in other stakeholder initiatives, seeking out opportunities across both the private and public sector.
By working collaboratively and implementing the initiatives outlined in the RAP, IPL will continue to work towards reconciliation in Australia.