Whether it be concerning economic security, workplace participation or women in leadership, current statistics continue to reflect a culture of male dominance in Australia’s workforce – however not at Reckitt Australia and New Zealand.
Home to household brands, including Vanish, Finish, Nurofen and Dettol, Reckitt has transformed its culture and policies over the last 18 months, through their People, Purpose and Performance Councils, to encourage true inclusivity and diversity within the workplace and promote women in leadership positions resulting in over 50:50 gender parity across the leadership team.
Reckitt Australia and New Zealand HR director, Jennifer Warr (pictured below) believes it’s no longer enough for business to champion only white, cis women in the workplace – they must look at the way systems are stacked against women of colour and the LGBTQI+ community and promote breaking the bias more broadly.
“In this day and age, it’s unacceptable for organisations to have cultures that don’t promote equity and break bias, and in an employee’s job market, women will talk with their feet,” she told Retailbiz.
“This year, some incredible women have come together to push for change in laws and codes to enhance inclusion, safety and diversity. Organisations must capitalise on their self-made momentum, with respect to empowerment and progress to actively create cultures that break the bias for women.”
According to Reckitt Australia and New Zealand finance director, Alexis Poole (pictured below), we must strive to inspire women and provide practical guidance that can be harnessed to better their careers in male dominated sectors, such as finance, supply and science.
“It’s my belief that representation in leadership positions promotes their future success by providing living proof that you can break the glass ceiling. At Reckitt Hygiene ANZ, where over half of our senior leadership team is female, we’re constantly searching for ways to inspire the next generation of female leaders,” she said.
“Whether it be through discussion panels or mentorship programs, our priority is to empower women and build up their confidence. Supporting and investing in their careers, plays a significant role in encouraging them to upskill and build their expertise within their field to succeed.”
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, especially in leadership positions, is what gives businesses a leading advantage, Reckitt Australia and New Zealand trade strategy and category director, Nicola Williamson (pictured below) said.
“Challenging gender stereotypes is critical to this evolution, in recognising that we (both men and women) are part of the problem and therefore responsible for the solution,” she told Retailbiz.
“Here at Reckitt Hygiene ANZ, our People Council has created initiatives that champion our differences – because it’s these differences that create a thriving and unique culture that builds diversity of thought, giving us the ability push the envelope and maintain our status as industry leaders. Supporting our women is big part of that.
“We’re now working on our unconscious bias. Slashing the stereotypical view of a ‘leader’ will allow for a more diverse range of skills to be harnessed within an organisation. Our parental leave policy is a clear example of breaking the gender bias, enabling both male and females to be equal partners in the home.”