Catalyst awards Telstra’s gender diversity initiative
Telstra has become the first Australian company to win the prestigious Catalyst Award, an annual international award for initiatives that support and advance women in business.
Telstra received the award for its Next Generation Gender Diversity initiative, which has helped boost the proportion of women in management and executive roles at the company.
Chief Executive Officer David Thodey said that Telstra’s employees were delighted that their work towards creating a more diverse workplace had been recognised.
“We are proud of our progress in increasing the representation of women in management and executive roles. This is an important milestone for us on this journey as we know we still have many further steps to take in creating a truly diverse workplace.” Mr Thodey said.
“Our objective remains to create a workforce that reflects the community we serve and where our people, whoever they are, know we celebrate diversity and their career success depends only on their performance,” he said.
Telstra’s Next Generation Gender Diversity initiative aims to increase the proportion of women in management and executive roles, and to engage men as change agents, by creating an inclusive culture of mentoring and networking.
The initiative includes mentor programs for male managers, a companywide network for women, an annual audit of pay equity, shared goals for gender representation, and partnerships with external organisations such as ’Serious Women’s Business’, ’Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications’ and ’Chief Executive Women’. Telstra also sponsors an annual award for high-achieving women in Australian business.
Over the last three years the proportion of women among promotions into management roles at Telstra has grown steadily from 29 per cent to 41 per cent. Over the same period, the proportion of women serving as corporate officers has increased from 31 to 35 per cent, and the proportion of women on the company’s senior leadership team has increased from just six to 31 per cent.
“These initiatives exemplify our Catalyst vision - ’Changing workplaces. Changing lives’,” Ilene H. Lang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, said.
“They impact the lives of employees, families, and communities by transforming organisations, and serve as models that inspire and encourage others to embrace inclusive workplaces that benefit women, men, and business,” she said.
Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Elizabeth Broderick, also welcomed the announcement.
“Winning the 2010 Catalyst Award for its Next Generation Gender Diversity group of initiatives demonstrates that Telstra has achieved something significant with its commitment to gender equality in business. It not only recognises the company’s internal commitment, but its external commitment to women’s leadership through initiatives such as the Telstra Business Women’s Awards,” she said.
“With the upcoming changes to the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Guidelines about women on boards and in management, I encourage other Australian organisations to follow this lead and commit to strong gender equality initiatives,” Ms Broderick said.
Catalyst Award-winning initiatives are evaluated in a rigorous year-long process against a robust set of criteria: business rationale, senior leadership support, accountability, communication, replicability, originality, and measurable results. These Award-winning initiatives reflect global best practices around diversity, inclusion, and advancement of women to leadership roles and positions of influence.
The other winners of the 2010 Catalyst Awardare the Campbell Soup Company, Deloitte LLP and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). A complete description of this year’s Catalyst Award-winning initiatives and previous Award winners is available at http://www.catalyst.org/.
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