All employees across all Seymour Whyte sites around the country donned bright pink high visibility safety shirts to show their support for gender diversity on 8 March, International Women’s Day.
The 2018 International Women’s Day theme Press for Progress marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, which resonates with Seymour Whyte’s efforts to increase female representation in its workforce and close the gender pay gap.
CEO and Managing Director John Kirkwood said, “The pink shirts are a bit of fun, but there is a serious intent behind it—we want gender diversity and equality to be top of mind for all our employees, both male and female.
“We are asking all sites to have conversations about we can do as a company to make a career in construction appealing, and also what each team member can do as an individual to encourage more women to join the construction industry.”
According to the 2017 Workplace Gender Equality Agency report, the construction industry has only 16.9% female representation, and within civil engineering it is only 12.6%. Further, the construction industry reported a 27.3% gap (25.7% in civil engineering)—higher than the 22.4% gender pay gap across Australia, where on average males take home $26,527 a year more than females.
Seymour Whyte is doing its part to promote gender parity by striving to deliver equal pay for men and women at each job grade; increase the pipeline of female engineers and graduates coming through the business to 21% by 2020; and increase the number of women in senior positions within the company.
Mr Kirkwood said that research has shown that companies with a top quartile representation of females outperform companies with under-representation of females.
“Diversity makes good business sense.
“But more importantly, it is the fair and right thing to do.”