People come from all walks of life and a strong focus on diversity and inclusivity makes for a stronger workplace, according to TAL’s chief people and culture officer, Ceri Ittensohn.
TAL has taken the title of Employer of the Year at Money Management and Super Review's Women in Financial Services Awards for the second time in a row.
According to TAL, the “Employer of the Year for women in financial services” is one that is “deliberate about attracting, developing, rewarding and retaining women and men equally”.
“It is one that looks deeply into how systems, processes and practices help to promote equality, eliminate bias and support conscious inclusion for all people,” Ittensohn said.
“A ‘best employer’ engages its people and leaders at all levels to take proactive action, valuing, measuring and communicating inclusion as a foundational part of organisational culture.”
The company, which managed to achieve a 50/50 representation of women and men in the executive roles directly reporting to the group’s chief executive, Brett Clark, said it was proud to have achieved gender parity in its senior leadership roles several years ago.
“We know that bringing about gender equality isn’t just about setting targets, it is about taking action to achieve the business benefits that both diversity and inclusion deliver.”
Also, gender equality was strongly supported by the firm’s executive team and its group’s chief executive who is the chair of diversity and inclusion council, a group that governs the key focus areas of gender equality, LGBTI+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and inclusive culture and flexibility.
Additionally, the firm implemented a number of benefits to support expectant mothers as well as took an ‘all roles flex approach’ to allow flexible working, for both men and women.
When asked what else the industry needed to do in order to better support women in their professional development, Ittensohn said: “Our industry shares a common challenge – achieving gender balance in leadership.
“Providing the opportunity to develop leadership potential and capability is important, as is sponsorship of female talent. Changing hiring practices is also important to increase the representation of women applying for roles and in shortlists.
“Selection that values potential not just experience is an important way employers can help women build knowledge and expertise in fields that have traditionally been dominated by men.”