Mirvac ranks second in the world on Equileap’s top 100 global list of gender equal companies, with Stockland, Lendlease, Dexus and Vicinity Centres all demonstrating strong leadership.
Australian companies continue to dominate the top 100 rankings, Equileap found. Twenty-two companies were represented, despite only 206 being assessed. In comparison, 1,451 companies in the United States were benchmarked for just 13 spots in the top 100.
Companies were assessed against criteria including gender balance across the workforce, the gender pay gap, paid parental leave and non-discriminatory hiring and promotion, and supply chain safety.
Mirvac says there is no single initiative that has fuelled its shift towards gender equality. Instead, it maintains a “relentless focus” on gender equality in every decision – from how recruitment, promotions and remuneration are managed to professional and personal development, talent planning, succession and policy making.
Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac’s CEO and managing director, says the challenges of 2020 made it “even more important for us to prioritise workplace flexibility and inclusive leadership alongside gender diversity”.
As part of Mirvac’s pandemic recovery, a new flexibility charter “goes even further to ensure that our people have access to a range of working options to suit their lifestyle,” Lloyd-Hurwitz adds.
Mirvac reports regularly against its targets for female representation at all management levels and in its talent pipeline, including 50/50 recruitment shortlists for senior leadership roles.
“We have an ongoing investment in women’s mentoring programs and pay close attention to our gender pay parity analysis, where we have maintained a zero pay gap for like-for-like roles for the past five years,” Lloyd-Hurwitz explains.
In addition to a standard 20 weeks paid parental leave and four weeks paid partner leave, Mirvac also pays superannuation on periods of unpaid leave.
Stockland, meanwhile, was ranked just outside the top 10. Karen Lonergan, Stockland’s group executive for people and culture, says her company has expanded its long-term commitment to gender equality and “we recognise our role in getting this message out to our stakeholders, customers, business partners and suppliers to help drive genuine change across our industry”.
Stockland has recently updated its supplier expectations policy to emphasise diversity and inclusion, human rights, Indigenous procurement, sustainability and employment, Lonergan explains.
“This policy allows us to be clear with our suppliers that we will preference those who have policies that align with ours and those with a genuine desire and preference to collaborate on diversity and inclusion.” The policy is “opening the door to some really valuable conversations,” Lonergan adds.
“We continue to identify other initiatives to rollout across our business, including a focus on 40/40/20 gender balanced representation across our consultant and project teams in our major projects.”
Leigh Braddick, head of people and culture at Dexus, says his company has “worked to progress gender equality through real-life benefits and flexible practices, not just targets and talk”.
He points to Dexus’ position on closing the retirement income gap and extending superannuation payments to include periods of unpaid parental leave as examples, which were industry-leading at the time.
More recently, Dexus announced a new flexible parental leave policy which aims to increase male participation in traditional domestic caring responsibilities.
“The gender imbalance in unpaid domestic duties is a two-fold dilemma, with women out of the workforce and men potentially missing valuable time with their young families,” Braddick says.
“Our primary and non-primary parental leave can be taken flexibly to meet the unique circumstances of each family, and from 1 July 2021 we will be increasing paid parental leave to 16 weeks for the primary carer and 4 weeks for the non-primary carer.”
Property Council chief operating officer Kathy Mac Dermott says the five property companies listed in the top 100 “highlight local leadership on the world stage”.
“This achievement also reflects the power of an industry-wide goal – particularly over the last six years – to build a diverse and inclusive industry.”
Mac Dermott says the property industry’s collective approach has achieved world-leading outcomes in other areas, like safety and sustainability. “When the property industry identifies a priority area requiring focus and investment, we address it with energy, transparency and a willingness to share.”