On International Women’s Day, EnergyAustralia has announced it would invest $1.2 million to ensure women and men with equivalent experience and skills receive the same pay for doing the same job.
The investment accelerates the progress made through the company’s annual remuneration reviews so, effective from April, a current 2 per cent gender pay gap will be closed at EnergyAustralia.
“I’m proud of the good progress we’ve made in the past four years with hiring women to senior roles, the make-up of our workforce and in remuneration generally,” EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna said.
“But it’s not right or fair to expect women to have to wait any longer for the pay gap to close – so, we’re fixing that right now.
“Energy is a vibrant industry with an exciting – but challenging – future.
“If we want to attract our share of the bright, talented women out there we must also treat them fairly and give our people opportunities to do the best work of their careers.”
Around 350 women at EnergyAustralia will have their pay increased via an annual salary review and, in most cases, an additional one-off adjustment.
The one-off adjustment is about $3500, on average.
Also, about 80 men will have their pay adjusted following the review of the company’s employees not on enterprise bargaining agreements.
Ms Tanna said the pay review was about fairness, regardless of gender.
Since 2014, the company had progressively reduced or removed gender bias in recruitment, working arrangements, succession planning, internal appointments and promotions, performance assessment, remuneration and reward.
Women comprise around 40 per cent of EnergyAustralia’s total 2500-person workforce and hold a similar proportion of management positions.
Women occupy half the 10 seats on the EnergyAustralia board.
In 2016, EnergyAustralia ranked fifth in EY’s Women in Power & Utilities Index, which analyses the boards and leadership of the top 200 utilities by revenue across the globe. EnergyAustralia was the only Australian company in the top 20.
Last year the company made good on a promise by Ms Tanna to hire women operators to its power stations, welcoming the first intake of female trainees to the Yallourn plant in Victoria since the site was privatised two decades ago in 1996.
However, Ms Tanna said there was no “mission accomplished” moment in gender equality and EnergyAustralia still had room for improvement.
For example, men hold nine out of 10 jobs in the company’s energy function, which operates power stations in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
“Most of the roles at our energy assets, which typically offer good, well-paid jobs, are done by men,” Ms Tanna said.
“That’s why it’s important we encourage women to join our power stations. It’s about opening opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, background or affiliation.”
Ms Tanna said the company’s initiatives to promote gender diversity included establishing a mentoring program for women and embedding checks for unconscious bias throughout its internal processes, so pay equality is maintained.