The employers hitting ZERO on the gender pay gap

The employers hitting ZERO on the gender pay gap

Following Australia Post’s lead, another major employer has announced it has also achieved a zero per cent gender pay gap across its workforce.

But this employer also happens to be in a fairly male dominated industry, which is an excellent sign.

SA Water announced this week that it hit the zero mark across its more than 1500 employees, with Chief Executive Roch Cheroux saying the achievement is one aspect of the organisation moving to better reflect the diversity of its 1.6 million customer base in South Australia.

Not bad considering the national gender pay gap is still at 15.3%. South Australia has the lowest pay gap nationally, at 9.8% (compared with 22.8% in WA). The national gender pay gap in ‘electricity, gas, water and waste services’ is 9.6%, down from 12% in May 2016.

Despite SA boasting the lowest pay gap nationally, the state was recently found to have a 15% gender pay gap amongst public servants — of which 70% are female. SA is the first state in Australia to have completed such an audit, with the results labelled as “bizarre” and “disappointing” by the state’s Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Niki Vincent.

SA Water has taken deliberate and accountable steps to remove its pay gap.

“I’m so proud of our achievement, we pay fairly and gender doesn’t enter the equation,” he said in a statement on the announcement,” Roch said.

“The gender pay gap hurts us all – men, women and their families who depend on them – and its socio-economic impacts are long-term and significant.”

So how did they do it? Well they started by putting the correct structures and processes in place to help promote an organisational culture that’s inclusive and equitable. They developed a “science” to how employees earn dollars, including a system of checks and balances around any pay rises given, adjustments to creating robust employee contracts, better flexible working arrangements, and initiatives to address unconscious bias.

Meanwhile, SA Water also has plenty of women in leadership, with four of its six board being female along with a number of women in GM positions leading operational teams.

Well done SA Water. We look forward to more employers following their lead.

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