Addressing the gender wealth gap at retirement
Unilever Australia has announced a new superannuation policy to play our part in addressing financial security and the wealth gap at retirement.
Sydney, Australia, March 11 2019: Unilever Australia has announced a new superannuation policy to play our part in addressing financial security and the wealth gap at retirement. This move ensures a more balanced and inclusive workplace for the company’s employees in Australia and will build long-term financial security for parents taking primary carers leave.
Unilever has outlined a clear moral, economic and business case for the policy. It ensures that parents taking primary carers leave, who are still predominantly women, can continue accruing superannuation and build long-term financial security. A more robust superannuation policy creates more purchasing power in the economy and eases the burden on the public pension system, while the policy also helps Unilever attract and retain top talent.
The new policy will offer both male and female employees up to 52 weeks of superannuation during primary carers leave. On top of the previous policy which saw employees receive 16 weeks paid leave including super, employees will now be entitled to superannuation on unpaid leave of up to another 36 weeks. The policy also includes three weeks of fully paid secondary carers leave.
CEO of Unilever Australia & New Zealand, Clive Stiff believes business can play an important role in creating a fairer, better and more equal world. “The development and inclusion of half the world’s total talent pool has vast bearings on growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses. Leadership and accountability from the top are essential if real progress is to be made on closing the gap, which is why we remain committed to building a balanced and inclusive organisation.”
Women make up 46.5% of Unilever’s local workforce and 51.2% of management positions in Australia and New Zealand. Over 70% of the company’s consumers globally are female, therefore the company strives to build an organisation that reflects and understand the needs of people who buy its products.
Confirming the company is on the right track, Unilever Australia was recently recognised by The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for a second consecutive year as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.
The citation recognises employer commitment and best practice in promoting gender equality in Australian workplaces. Particular focus areas include leadership, learning and development, gender remuneration gaps, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination, and targets for improving gender equality outcomes. There is, however, much more to do, says Mr Stiff.
“We continue to focus on improving our gender balance in key areas of our business such as supply chain, sales and our local executive leadership team. One way we are addressing gender balance is through declaring “all roles flexible” to enable our people to balance their personal commitments and work in a way that meets both their needs and the needs of the business. This is important as it allows women to continue advancing in positions of increasing responsibility which previously were unavailable to them given their particular caring needs.
“In particular, we want to normalise flexible working for men which is key to managing caring responsibilities and empowering women and we’re proud to say we have some great examples of men in our business leading the charge on this.
“We have also achieved pay parity in Australia and New Zealand, but must work to fiercely protect this, in addition to stretching our ambition to support employees affected by domestic violence and help break the social stigma around the issue.”
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on March 8th. It is an important occasion that invites Australia to reflect upon and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Mr Stiff is also a proud and passionate participant in the Male Champions of Change (MCC) program which empowers men in positions of influence, stepping up alongside women to drive systemic change. At the heart of the MCC strategy, is listening to and learning from women and men, and stepping up beside women to identify and implement practical actions to create a gender equal future.
Representing Unilever and MCC, Mr Stiff is joining the panel at this years’ UN Women International Women’s Day (IWD) Breakfast in Sydney, themed ‘More Powerful Together’ – Australia’s largest IWD celebration which aims to recognise the important role we all must play to advance gender equality.
Emma Jane Edwards
0424 634 490
About Unilever Australia and New Zealand
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Foods & Refreshment, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 161,000 employees and generated sales of €53.7 billion in 2017. Unilever employs more than 1,300 people locally, and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand.
Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, our brands include Lipton, Bushells, Dove, Rexona, Lynx, Vaseline, OMO/Persil, Surf, Continental, Toni & Guy, Choysa, Ben & Jerry’s and Streets.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of the company’s growth in 2017.
Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the seventh year running. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030.
Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors and named Graduate Employer of Choice in Australia.