WPP AUNZ announces a 50:50 gender target for 2021

WPP AUNZ has announced a target of 50:50 gender distribution across senior leadership positions to be reached by 2021.

The target joins a range of other diversity initiatives recently installed at WPP including the ‘Walk the Talk’ program for women and its paid parental leave scheme.

Executive director and interim CEO John Steedman announced the 50:50 gender target

Executive director and interim CEO John Steedman said in a statement: “We are absolutely committed to building a more inclusive and diverse group of companies, and this latest initiative is a fundamental step to ensure that we have the depth and breadth of thinking that we need as our industry continues to transform.

“Diversity is not a women’s issue, it is a business imperative. It demands all of us to be smarter and more open and optimistic about our future. Any leader appointment is based on ability; however, we will ensure that we have a strong pipeline of diverse candidates when filling these senior roles.

“Whilst diversity is so much more than gender, we do have a gender imbalance at the senior levels with 39% of the senior roles currently being held by women across WPP AUNZ. We are committed to changing gender imbalance with this target.”

The parental leave scheme, introduced last year, offers primary carers 12 weeks fully paid leave after one year of service. Secondary carers are offered two weeks paid leave after one year, and four weeks after two.

WPP has also signed up to the Diversity Council of Australia and Diversity Works in New Zealand to commit itself to reaching diversity benchmarks within the organisation. This includes efforts to recruit asylum seeker and refugee interns and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander employees.

The ‘Walk the Talk’ program aims to empower women with leadership tools to help them move into senior positions.

Steedman said: “The rationale for all these programs is simple; every person, regardless of their age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, disability, gender, Indigenous background, sexual orientation and socio-economic background deserves to feel like they have a workplace where they belong. Where they are valued for their thinking and contribution. And this sense of belonging will ultimately result in a better business, and better industry for us all.”


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