How businesses can #InspireInclusion this International Women’s Day

Friday 8 March 2024 marks International Women’s Day and off the back of last year’s campaign to #EmbraceEquity this year we’re ready to #InspireInclusion.
How businesses can #InspireInclusion this International Women’s Day

Friday 8 March 2024 marks International Women’s Day (IWD), and off the back of last year’s campaign to #EmbraceEquity this year we’re ready to #InspireInclusion.

Did you know that IWD has been celebrated for over a century, with the first day celebrated in 1911? This day isn’t specific to a country, group, or even organisation but rather a collective day of global unity and activism that celebrates the ongoing fight for women’s rights, equality, and inclusion.

Startling facts about women in today’s Australian workforce:

  • Women earn $0.78 for every $1.00 men earn.
  • Only 22 per cent of people who hold CEO positions in Australia are women.
  • Only 63 per cent of employers offer employer-funded parental leave.
  • It currently takes women an additional 56 days of work to earn the same average pay as men.
  • In February 2023, the WGEA reported the gender pay gap was sitting at 13.3 per cent, now almost a year later in February 2024, the same report states that the gap is now at 12 per cent.

Inspiring inclusion might sound ambitious, but there are easy things every business can do to promote inclusion in the workplace. Here, we share our top tips for building a positive workplace culture that embraces diversity, celebrates equality, and inspires inclusion.

3 things you can do to make your workplace stand out

1. Walking the walk when it comes to flexible working arrangements.

Improving overall productivity and individual employee performance can be as simple as ensuring staff are taking their entitled breaks throughout the workday. Flexible working arrangements offer staff more control over their day-to-day life and allowing the option of remote working will not only benefit the business but also your people. By removing the stress of commuting to and from work, employees can claim back valuable time that can lead to improved focus and productivity during working hours.

2. Water-tight – and enforced – anti-discrimination, harassment, and bullying policies.

Having concise policies in place that communicate clearly to employees what constitutes bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, and any other form of inappropriate behaviour will help to minimise risk not only to the business but also to the employees. Ensuring that you’re protecting your employees will send a message that every worker is valued and supported in the workplace.

Failing to have these policies in place can contribute to poor workplace culture and, in the case of sexual harassment, can amount to a serious breach of legal obligations.

3. Thriving social activities that build culture and create bonds.

You can’t flip a switch and magically turn on a thriving workplace culture; it’s something that needs to be built on from strong foundations, with good intentions, and hard work. Social activities can range from impromptu after-work gatherings to planned team-bonding events, with the overarching theme of recognising the achievements of your people, and ensuring they feel heard, supported, and rewarded. The benefits of building a positive workplace culture can’t be underestimated, it can mean the difference between retaining your top talent and high productivity or excessive turnover rates and decreased satisfaction.

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If any of the information shared in this article has raised questions about diversity, inclusion, and equality in your workplace or you have another workplace matter you need assistance with, please reach out to our workplace relations experts via our 24/7 HR Advice Line – we’re here to help.

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