4 minute read

Sustainable Development Goals: How AGL is contributing to SDG5 - Gender Equality

What's AGL doing to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals? Cathlin Thurbon looks into SDG5: Gender Equality.

Cathlin Thurbon
Cathlin Thurbon
21 March 2018

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2015, countries adopted 17 common Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to transform our world by ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all as part of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Australian businesses have an important role to play in helping the Government fulfil its responsibilities to achieve the SDGs.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

We believe that we can play a role in helping achieving gender equality, benefiting our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate. Goal 5 recognises that:

Some of the work that AGL has undertaken to help build a more inclusive workforce includes:

We monitor gender at every level of our organisation.

We set (and achieved) targets for the percentage of women on our board and for the percentage of women in our senior leadership pipeline.

  • AGL’s Board committed to achieving a target that, by 2018, 30% of the Directors would be female. This target was met with the appointment of Diane Smith-Gander to the Board on 28 September 2016, who joined Jacqueline Hey and Belinda Hutchinson to bring the percentage of women on the AGL Board to 33%. We are one of 22 ASX 50 companies with more than 30% female representation on our Board.
  • At the end of FY17, 38% of our senior leadership pipeline were women (see below), and by the end of CY17 we exceeded our target of reaching 40% by FY19.

We prioritise flexibility.

  • We recognise how important it is for people to balance their work and personal commitments in a way that enhances their wellbeing and meets the needs of the business. We are creating a workplace where working flexibly is the norm, rather than the exception, which means that we consider flexibility (in some form) for all new and existing roles.

We have a leading parental leave policy.

  • From 1 July 2017, we increased our paid parental leave entitlement from 14 weeks to 20 weeks, providing greater flexibility for our people who are primary carers to take essential time to bond with and care for their new babies. This represents one of the highest number of weeks offered by an ASX listed organisation
  • We also offer parents’ rooms, which provide parents returning to work with a quiet space for breastfeeding, expressing or other baby care, having the flexibility to work without compromising on their baby’s needs.

We are taking significant steps to help raise awareness about family and domestic violence*.

  • We are rolling out company-wide Family and Domestic Violence training to all of our people, to raise awareness, change behaviours and attitudes towards this issue, and ensure we can recognise the signs of someone who might need support and confidently respond in a caring and inclusive way.
  • We’re also committed to supporting customers who are impacted by family and domestic violence. Our contract centre employees receive specialised training on how to assist customers experiencing family violence, both in terms of account security and referral to external assistance services.

I recently spoke with Andrew Peterson, CEO of Sustainable Business Australia (SBA), about what AGL is doing to contribute to SDG5. You can listen to my podcast (alongside podcasts from female leaders in other SBA member organisations) here.

* We recognise that family and domestic violence can impact men and women in heterosexual and same sex relationships, as well as children in family relationships, and our policies and support extends to all our people and customers, not just females.