Employers have a crucial role to play in supporting women’s advancement through the financial services industry, and this year’s Employer of the Year, TAL, takes this responsibility seriously.
The insurer has been an industry leader in improving the representation of women in senior roles. Half of its executive team reporting to the CEO are women, as are 40 per cent of its board.
“We focus on building the profile, confidence and capability of the women at TAL,” TAL chief people and culture officer, Ceri Ittensohn, says.
She pointed to the success of insurer’s dedicated career partnership program for high potential women as part of this, saying that four of the 21 participants had been promoted into senior leader roles. Many other participants had also moved into new opportunities to broaden their skills laterally.
Considering that a key judging criterion was the proactive advancement of women to senior positions and creating an environment conducive to their advancement, it’s little wonder the insurer found success in this category.
Furthermore, the insurer has improved its pay equity position year on year since April 2016, with Ittensohn saying that TAL’s commitment to pay parity was one of the things it was most proud of.
“We work hard to maintain this position, and further support financial equality by maintaining superannuation payments for our people on unpaid parental leave.”
The insurer also has a flexible working setup that includes remote working, part-time work, flexible hours, job share, and compressed working weeks. Last year, it implemented a formal policy, strategy and support mechanisms for employees experiencing domestic violence.
TAL sees this promotion of gender equality and inclusion as more than just “doing the right thing”. Ittensohn says that it ultimately makes good business sense.
“It enhances our business and is integral to everything we do. Having a diverse workforce and providing an inclusive workplace encourages different experiences and perspectives, which promotes innovative thinking and leads to better business decisions.”
Then, of course, it makes sense for businesses to consider that they have clients that are women.
“It is important that we have female decision makers in an industry that serves Australian women as well as men,” Ittensohn believes.