At Telstra, diversity includes differences that relate to gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and cultural background. It also includes differences in background and life experience, communication styles, interpersonal skills, education, functional expertise and problem solving skills.
Having a diverse range of employees better enables Telstra to provide the best in service to its customers. It enables it to foster greater innovation, stronger problem solving capability, greater customer connection, increased morale, motivation and engagement.
Diversity and inclusion at Telstra are business imperatives. Telstra’s approach is based on three strategic pillars:
- our customers – to leverage diversity as a business driver;
- our communities – to be a leader in diversity and inclusion in the broader community;
- our people – to attract, recruit, engage and retain diverse talent, and embed inclusive practices within each part of Telstra’s employee life-cycle.
Telstra’s diversity and inclusion framework has five core principles – meritocracy, fairness and equality, contribution to commercial success, that it’s everyone’s business, and that, at Telstra, it’s a part of who we are.
Diversity and inclusion at Telstra is led by Telstra's CEO Leadership Team, who convene as the Telstra Diversity Council on a quarterly basis. This group is chaired by the CEO.
On 30 June 2010, the ASX Corporate Governance Council released the Amended ASX Principles and Recommendations, which included amendments in relation to diversity. While the changes did not apply to Telstra until this financial year, the Company had already taken steps to adopt key provisions of the ASX Principles and Recommendations as disclosed in previous annual reports. These steps included:
- establishing measurable objectives for achieving diversity at all levels of the Company in respect of fiscal 2012;
- formally adopting policies in relation to diversity at Board level and at all levels below the Board, reflecting the principles and practices Telstra has had in place for a number of years – this provided the framework for measurable objectives to be set by the Board. These policies are available on the Documents and Charters webpage;
- including responsibility for diversity in the Board Charter, the Nomination Committee Charter (Board diversity) and the Remuneration Committee Charter (diversity at all levels of the Company below Board level).
The Board has assessed the Company’s performance against the measurable objectives for achieving diversity at all levels of the Company established by the Board in respect of fiscal 2012. Details on the Company’s progress in achieving those objectives, and the measurable objectives which have been set by the Board in respect of fiscal 2013, are outlined below:
|Measure||Objective and Progress/Result in respect of FY 2012||Objective in respect of FY 2013|
|Women on the Board|
Objective - By the end of fiscal 2013, there will be 3 women on the Board, representing a female gender representation among non-executive Directors of at least 30%.Progress: As at 30 June 2012, there were 3 female Directors on the Board (including the Chairman of the Board), representing a female gender representation among non-executive Directors of 30%.
|There will be 3 women on the Board, representing a female gender representation among non-executive Directors of at least 30%.|
|Female representation in graduate intake||Objective - 50% female representation in 2013 graduate intake|
Result - 29% female representation
|35% female representation in 2014 graduate intake, with an aspiration of 50% female representation by 2020.|
|Promotion rates||Objective - To exceed their representation at Business Unit level|
Result – Promotion rates for women exceeded representation in majority of Business Units
To exceed their representation at Business Unit level
Engagement of identified groups**Identified Groups are female employees, Indigenous employees, other culturally and linguistically diverse employees (CALD), employees with a disability, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex employees (GLBTI).
Objective - Equal to or greater than national benchmarks
Result - Engagement of identified groups was higher than national benchmarks (the Telstra-wide engagement score) in most cases (females, other CALD, GLBTI employees) and equal to or greater than fiscal 2011 scores in those cases. No identified group showed a lower engagement level than in fiscal 2011.
Equal to or greater than Telstra-wide engagement score, with any negative differences not statistically significant
|Female representation for 30 June|
Objective – 2012 - 32% (Telstra) and 25% (Executive Management)
Result - 31% (Telstra) and 25% (Executive Management)
2013 - 32% (Telstra) and 25% (Executive Management)
Telstra has in place a range of initiatives to achieve its diversity measurable objectives, and diversity and inclusion at Telstra in general, including in the areas of Board diversity, gender equality, flexible working, Indigenous, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, as outlined below.
The Board considers that diversity includes differences that relate to gender, age, ethnicity and cultural background. It also includes differences in background and life experience, communication styles, interpersonal skills, education, functional expertise and problem solving skills.
Two new non-executive Directors were appointed to the Telstra Board during fiscal 2012:
- Mr Timothy Y. Chen* was appointed to the Board as a non-executive Director effective 1 April 2012. Mr Chen is an internationally recognised technology executive with experience in major global firms in China and the United States. Mr Chen’s career experience aligns well with Telstra’s strategic growth areas, particularly in the Asian and Network Applications and Services business.
- Ms Margaret Seale was appointed to the Board as a non-executive Director effective 7 May 2012. Ms Seale has served in senior executive roles in Australia and overseas, primarily in the global publishing industry, during a career spanning more than 30 years. Ms Seale has experience in the transition of traditional business models to adapt and thrive in a digital environment.
Both of these appointments are important from a diversity perspective, as the Board considers that diversity is not limited to gender. As part of the Board’s routine considerations regarding Board renewal, it will continue its focus on diversity as it has in recent years, to ensure that there is an appropriate mix of diversity, skills, experience and expertise represented on the Telstra Board.
There are a number of initiatives the Board has in place to meet its strategic imperative of ensuring the Company has a diverse Board and to achieve its measurable objective regarding Board diversity. These include:
- ensuring a diverse range of qualified candidates are considered for Board appointments;
- developing a pipeline of potential Board candidates;
- evolving a Board skills matrix and using the matrix to identify any gaps in the experience, skills and background, including gender and diversity generally, of Directors on the Board;
- considering diversity at Nomination Committee and Board meetings;
- reporting on the use of professional intermediaries (such as external search firms) to identify and assess qualified candidates (as disclosed earlier in the section entitled “Board composition”); and
- participating in programs to assist in the development of a broader pool of skilled and experienced Board candidates, including support for the AICD ASX 200 Chairmen’s Mentoring Program.
* On 5 October 2012, Mr Chen resigned as a non executive Director of Telstra to return to a full time executive career based in China.
At Telstra, it is critical that gender is not a barrier to participation, success and opportunity. The Company’s approach to gender equality is to involve both women and men in creating an inclusive environment.
The achievements of Telstra Corporation Limited in fiscal 2012 include:
- Telstra was a winner of the 2011 Australian HR Award for Best Workplace Diversity Strategy and Winner of the 2012 Australian HR Institute Award for Gender Equity, with individual recognition as winner in the CEO and HR Champion categories;
- Telstra’s CEO continued his involvement in the “Male Champions of Change” group, convened by Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick. This group models effective leadership by male executives in relation to gender equality in some of Australia’s largest corporate and government organisations;
- ongoing implementation of a specific employment brand and website to increase the attraction of women into roles at Telstra;
- further closure of the gender pay equity gap through close analysis and deliberate action to correct differences in pay that cannot be explained by differences in length of service or levels of performance when comparing people doing the same jobs;
- embedding of inclusive practice across the employee life-cycle, into the responsibilities of middle and senior managers;
- Telstra’s continued support of its women and men participating in development events and programs, and partnering with organisations such as Catalyst, Sustaining Women in Business, Business Chicks, Women in Engineering, Chief Executive Women and Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications;
- Telstra men continued as ambassadors and supporters of the White Ribbon Foundation campaign to eliminate violence against women; and Telstra was included on the 2012 Women on Boards Traffic Light Index on gender diversity with a “green” rating. The index evaluates companies’ responses to the revised Principle 3 of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.
|As at 30 June 2012||As at 30 June 2011|
|Role||By Number||By Percentage||By Number||By Percentage|
Representation of Women in the Telstra Group* - as at 30 June 2012
|As at 30 June 2012|
Flexible Work and Careers
New policies covering Flexible Working and Working outside the Office were launched within the Company in December 2011. These policies provide a platform for further promotion of flexible work and careers and active practice of inclusion, particularly for women and men with caring responsibilities. Wide consultations were conducted throughout the Company, and companywide education and awareness sessions were commenced on flexible working, to continue to bring the Company's policies into practice.
The Company's commitment to, and work in, other areas of Diversity and Inclusion during fiscal 2012 has also resulted in achievements in each of the following areas:
Indigenous Australians – The Company commenced developing its specific Indigenous employment brand and completed an Indigenous Employment Plan which was endorsed by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. As part of this Plan, Telstra completed a feasibility study that identifies the opportunities it has to increase Indigenous career pathways and job readiness. Telstra's Employment Plan outlines how it will achieve this through traineeships, cadetships and graduate recruitment, among other approaches.
The intake of Indigenous trainees in Telstra Operations and Customer Sales and Service increased in fiscal 2012 as a result of targeted recruitment initiatives and candidate care, meeting the targets Telstra set for this year. 17 of the 20 Indigenous employees who joined Telstra during fiscal 2012 remain employed at Telstra as at 30 June 2012. Voluntary separation of Indigenous employees remains consistently below representation.
Disability – Telstra employs people at all levels in the Company who identify as living with a disability, in a variety of roles and Business Units, from operational to Executive levels. In fiscal 2012, Telstra continued its partnership with the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) to support candidates with a disability to have great careers at Telstra. Between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2012, 52 new Telstra employees have identified as living with a disability, representing a 14% increase on initial numbers. Telstra's voluntary separation rates of employees with a disability are consistently lower than their representation rates and the engagement of this group increased over the past year. Telstra has also continued the employment of people with a disability working in a supported program to help in the maintenance of Telstra Exchanges. Its work on employment of people with a disability was recognised as Finalists in the 2012 AHRI Diversity Awards in the "Disability Employment" category.
GLBTI Inclusion – Telstra supported the Aids Trust of Australia with its Red Ribbon SMS service for World Aids Day 2011, its GLBTI employees contributed their stories by video to the global "It Gets Better" campaign to support GLBTI youth and Telstra continued its support of the Midsumma Festival in Melbourne. Engagement of GLBTI employees at Telstra remains very high.
Telstra believes that the benefits of its activities and initiatives around Diversity and Inclusion accrue in many ways in its business. Most importantly, improving diversity and flexibility within its workforce has seen increased employee engagement, which is a key driver for productivity and providing great customer service. It also helps Telstra remain innovative in the ever-changing markets in which it operates. In addition, improving the diversity of its workforce and being an inclusive place to work has meant that Telstra has been able to build stronger connections in the communities it serves and in which its employees live, and has been able to effect beneficial changes for them. Telstra’s plans in these areas are focussed on continuing to connect with its diverse customer base, contribute within the community and be a place where diverse people can be engaged and productive in delivering against Telstra’s strategy.
Further information regarding Telstra’s customer and community diversity and inclusion initiatives can be found in the sustainability reporting included in Telstra’s 2012 Annual Report and on Telstra’s website at www.telstra.com.au/sustainability.