“Initially our focus has been on recruiting and retaining more women and more Māori … We are trying to do this in a smart way — in all parts of the business and at all levels of seniority. We have looked at how we appeal to women in advertising – language is now gender neutral in advertisements.”
Alison Andrew, Chief Executive Officer, Transpower
Reduce bias in decision-making
Unconscious bias training for leaders and managers is an important first step. It has to be supported by processes that maximise objective decision making.
Have clear criteria to reduce decisions being based on factors like ‘fit’ and ‘style’, and personal views.
Individual decisions are more prone to bias than group decisions. Decisions can be made in groups or checked against criteria by third party moderators before being finalised.
Review decisions about groups of employees (eg, annual performance and pay rounds) for the gender balance of the results. If there is an imbalance, check if there is a legitimate reason for this or if it is the result of bias.
Transparency around pay
Transparency about salary ranges for particular jobs gives women and all – employees – the information they need to be paid fairly and equally.
There is evidence that women ask for more pay just as often as men do, but get it less often. Employers can contribute to more equitable outcomes by making salary ranges transparent to all employees, ensuring women know when negotiations over salaries are possible or expected in an organisation, and monitoring the outcomes of these negotiations.
Review other workplace policies
Broader diversity and inclusion practice highlights the importance of diverse panels for appointments, reviewing job descriptions for biased language, and ensuring shortlists include a diverse range of suitable candidates.
Make your workplace a good environment for women. Sexual harassment and working in a sexist environment can seriously undermine women’s performance, their well-being and their retention in an organisation. Formalise practices to address harassment and consider taking a zero tolerance approach to sexist comments and behaviour.
A growing number of organisations are also establishing policies to support employees experiencing domestic violence.
Other actions for employers