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John Holland Aims to Eliminate the Gender Pay Gap

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This week, John Holland announced that it is increasing the salary of women found to be paid less than their male counterparts across the business. After appointing an independent consultant to carry out a review, it found that around 15% of women were being paid less than male colleagues by around 8-9%, and immediately set about closing the gap.

Jobsite spoke with John Holland’s Chief People Officer, Jane Sherlock about John Holland’s latest initiative and its plans to further embrace gender and other diversity initiatives.

“Our CEO Joe Barr travelled around the country to meet with women and understand how we could make John Holland a better place to work. As well as unconscious bias and return to work arrangements, John Holland women called out gender pay as an issue that needed to be addressed,” she said. 

"We will stamp out the gender pay gap where it exists." 

“We engaged an independent consultant to carry out a review and find out the extent of the issue and found 15% of women were being paid less than their male counterparts in comparable roles. We’re pleased to announce we acted immediately to fix this.”

The construction company has actively been focussing on encouraging women into the business for some time, and has been developing numerous programs to make construction and John Holland an attractive place to work for everyone regardless of gender, as Jane recounts: “One of our big areas of focus is flexibility,” she explains.

“We know from external and internal research that people who work flexibly are more motivated and productive, and more likely to want to join or stay at an organisation that promotes a work-life balance,” she says. 

“Our Flex Your Work program encourages employees to pursue a working arrangement that suits them. This is not just for parents. We have many people working flexibly to pursue hobbies, sporting commitments, volunteering and other activities. 

“It doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement; it might just be the option over school holidays or while studying. This has been taken up by many women and men in our offices – the next challenge is how we make it work on project sites,” she continues.

The appointment of CEO Joe Barr to the role of Pay Equity Ambassador is another move which sees John Holland taking a more prominent leadership role in the issue of gender pay equity. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. Pay Equity Ambassadors are business leaders who formally pledge to take action on gender pay gaps within their own organisation, and to advocate for gender pay equity amongst their peers in other organisations.

“The construction industry hasn’t typically led the way when it comes to providing a level playing field for women." 

“The construction industry hasn’t typically led the way when it comes to providing a level playing field for women, but that’s something I am determined to change,” said CEO Joe Barr when the company announced the gender pay parity review results. 

“John Holland has now told employees we will stamp out the gender pay gap where it exists. Fixing salaries immediately is the first step, and now the challenge is making sure pay gaps don’t creep back in,” he said.   

CEO Joe Barr was recently announced as a pay equity ambassador by the Workplace Gender equality Agency (WGEA).

To find out more about working at John Holland, visit: http://www.johnholland.com.au/careers/a-career-with-us/

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